Reconciling in Christ (RIC) Resources
The Reconciling in Christ (RIC) Program is for congregations, synods, colleges, seminaries, and other Lutheran organizations. Lutheran communities that publicly welcome lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people are accepted onto the Reconciling in Christ Roster which now exceeds 813 settings. Most groups start the process of consideration by engaging in a study program or series of educational meetings. Hearing the experiences of LGBT people and their families often creates greater understanding and insights. Here are additional resources as you journey as a community:
- Reconciling in Christ Frequently Asked Questions
- "We're already welcoming! Why do we need to be RIC?"
- Congregational Assessment Survey
- "Lutheran Introduction To Our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, And Queer Neighbors"
- Sample Affirmation Statements
- "You're RIC! Now what?"
- Download the RIC logos
- Living the Journey - RIC Video Vignettes Reconciling in Christ (RIC) communities are on a lifetime journey of welcoming, including, and celebrating LGBTQIA+ people and their families. Here are some of their stories.
- Clunky Questions: LGBTQ Lutherans and Pastors Answer Common Questions In our work, we often hear people with good intentions feel they aren't able to ask questions about what it means to be LGBTQ because they are afraid of offending someone or they don't have the right words with which to ask. If this sounds familiar, or if your faith community is interested in how to better support LGBTQ Lutherans, then the "Clunky Questions" video series is for you.
- Enrich and Transform: Welcoming LGBTQ Candidates into the Call Process This guide is offered by our partners at Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries (ELM) in response to congregations and synods who have asked for resources to help open their doors more widely to the gifts of LGBTQ leaders in our church.
- Prayers of the People For LGBTQ Pride Season Consider adding these prayers to your congregation's "prayers of the people" during Pride Month. Thank you to Ashlei Buhrow, Reconciling in Christ Program Director for writing these words.
- Pride Guide for Reconciling in Christ communities Although Pride participation is not a requirement to becoming a Reconciling in Christ (RIC) community, it can be an effective form of outreach to the LGBTQ community. Marching in a Pride parade or hosting a booth at a Pride festival can be an incredibly powerful experience for both the LGBTQ participants as well as members of your community. Whether you are a first time Pride attendee or a seasoned veteran, this new resource will give you a quick glimpse at the background of LGBTQ Pride events as well as "pro tips" from RIC congregations that employ Pride as part of their ministry and witness.
The RIC Journey:
1. Begin a conversation
The RIC journey begins when only one person in a faith community wants to specifically welcome LGBTQ people into their midst.
The best place to begin is with the Building an Inclusive Church (BIC) toolkit and training. Drawing on over 30 years of experience, the BIC is a step-by-step guide to facilitate a RIC journey in your faith community. It also includes a Congregational Assessment Survey to determine an appropriate pace for your journey. Step one can take anywhere from a couple of months to a couple of years. Tools on the RIC Resources page will assist you during the steps of the welcoming church journey. You can always reach out to a staff person at ReconcilingWorks or your Volunteer Regional Coordinator.
2. Write and pass a welcome statement
After your community has completed some education, discussion, and mutual discernment, you are ready to write a welcome statement specifically naming "LGBT" or "people of all sexual orientations and gender identities." You are invited to include more identities in your welcome statement if your community discerns an even wider welcome. Our Sample Affirmation Statements resource will help you in creating a beautiful and rewarding statement.
Once the statement has been written, approve the welcome statement in a way congruent with how your faith community passes resolutions. Most times this is by a community-wide vote, but this could also be by a council, board, or other governing body.
3. Proclaim your welcome
After the welcome statement is adopted, let ReconcilingWorks know by filling out this RIC Profile Survey. A staff member will be in touch with you to review the survey, confirm that the language meets our standards, and answer any additional questions before your faith community is added to the roster of RIC participants. The RIC roster is publicly displayed on our web site and is distributed appropriately as a witness to the community and the church at large. Download the RIC logos here.
A welcoming journey never ends.
RIC communities are often the communities asking "Who is marginalized in our church and society?" and "What might we learn about God from people different than us?" You're RIC! Now what? and ReconcilingWorks' Dismantling Injustice web page are great resources to continue the welcoming and hospitality conversations.