Reconciling in Christ

Sample Welcome Statements

Writing a welcoming statement for your community is an exciting, rewarding, and historic task! It is a time to share with others your commitment to creating a welcoming environment in your faith community, and invites others to be a part of something special. Below are the following four public commitments that each Reconciling in Christ (RIC) Partner must meet to become a part of the RIC roster, and examples of affirmation statements to help inspire you and your faith community as you begin drafting your affirmation statement.

 

RIC Public Partner Commitments

  1. Your community explicitly states a welcome to people of "all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions" or "LGBTQIA+ people" and names its commitment to "racial equity" or "anti-racism" in its welcome statement.
  2. Open to calling an LGBTQIA+ and Black, Brown, Indigenous, Person of Color (BIPOC) Rostered Leader.
  3. Will allow community space/sanctuary to be used for LGBTQIA+ weddings and blessings.
  4. Will make a meaningful contribution annually to support the national RIC program.

Sample Affirmation 1

We are a community committed to the work of racial equity, bringing justice for God's beloveds. We welcome those who are seeking God’s love and grace for the first time or as a life long believer. We welcome because Jesus shows us how to welcome in the gospels, regardless of race or culture, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or relationship status. We welcome you without regard to addictions, physical or mental health, imprisonment, socio-economic circumstances, or anything that too often divides us. Our unity is in Christ.

-ReconcilingWorks Example

Sample Affirmation 2

We commit to being a Reconciling in Christ Congregation. As followers of Christ, who calls us to reconciliation and wholeness, we, the members of ________________, welcome all who are seeking God. Believing all are one in Christ Jesus. We welcome people of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions, as well as those who may have been excluded because of other human distinctions, such as race, ability, age, or economic status. We commit ourselves to the work of anti-racism, in institutions and internally; interpersonal and structurally. We pledge to ourselves and to all others to live as a reconciling people seeking reparations in our life together and in our outreach to the world through the welcome, inclusion, celebration, and advocacy for the beloved in the kin-dom of God.

-ReconcilingWorks Example

Sample Affirmation 3

Jubilee Collective believes the church needs to move beyond welcome and start to practice radical affirmation. We not only affirm the sacredness of LGBTQIA+, two-spirited, and other oppressed peoples who have historically been hurt by the church, we center their voice and lived experiences whenever possible and welcome their leadership. This is rooted in our commitment to dismantle oppression in “the church” or faith spaces. BIPOC peoples may know this is a space committed to the work of God’s salvation called collective liberation by peoples the world over. This commitment means we are an anti-racist space. We are not a safe space. We are a liberating one, full of people who are going to screw this up, but we gather as a collective to try to be Christians Jesus would actually want to hang out with.
You are absolutely welcome to join us. It’s ok if you don’t theologically agree with us. That’s not a requirement but moving together in love is something we will all learn and grow into together. We so desperately need each other in this world, and our sincere hope is by being in community with us you will know the Kin-dom of God has come near.

-Jubilee Collective (Vancouver, WA)

For more support with your faith community's welcome statement, connect with our Reconciling in Christ (RIC) Program Coordinator at https://www.reconcilingworks.org/ric/ricinfo/

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