Reconciling in Christ
Trinity Lutheran Church is currently in the process of looking at Reconciling Works as a vehicle for becoming a more welcoming church. What follows is a record our journey as we explore this idea.
Reconciling Works and Trinity, Newsletter Article, July 2018
I‘m sure that many of you have questions about the reconciling works ministry and perhaps some skepticism as well. Questions such as what actually is this ministry, what are we’re trying to do, what would this mean for Trinity and for each of us personally. Our team, which has about a dozen people on it, appreciates the need and wants to be as open, candid and transparent with you as possible.
What we believe is that God teaches us to love our neighbor and that many of our neighbors have been neglected by the church universal. In a nutshell, we recognize that there a need in our community, we’re having a conversation about what can do about it and we want to know if this is something Trinity can or wants to be a part of.
So far, we’ve had about a half-dozen meetings over the past year. We were asked to delay doing anything until Pastor David came on board, so most of these have been this year. Doing this time we’ve been trying to learn as much as possible about the Reconciling in Christ ministry (RIC). We’re trying see what that can mean for Trinity and how best to present it to everyone.
Although Reconciling Works specifically focuses on the gay community, we believe that it can be a vehicle to a larger goal; one that welcomes all people whether they’re gay, straight, divorced, addicted or just in need of God’s abiding love. We believe that loving your neighbor is not a passive thing, but calls for you to be intentional about it. At present, there is not one mainline church in all of Western MD that is RIC affiliated.
According to the RIC website; “Reconciling Works builds community for worship, education and support; fosters welcome and acceptance in all Lutheran settings; and advocates for the ecclesial changes necessary to ensure full participation in all sacraments, inclusive liturgical resources, and ministries of the Church, inviting all people into Gospel lives of authenticity, integrity, and wholeness”.
So what is the process? Where are we going forward? On July 21st The council and all of the committees are meeting to discuss the budget. Our team has been asked to make a presentation about the RIC ministry at that time. I’d like to invite everyone who is interested to join us on that day and hope that you’ll be part of this important conversation.
Following this will be a period of discernment. Over the next 6 months or so we intend to present more opportunities to understand and discuss the implication of what being an RIC affiliated church may mean for Trinity. Finally, sometime in 2019, we will decide as a congregation, if there’s a consensus to become an RIC affiliated congregation.
No matter what your personal feelings may be, our meetings are entirely open to all. Not only do we invite you to be part the conversation, we encourage it. In any case, If you have questions, you’re certainly welcome to talk with any of our team members.
The RIC Team
Hunt and Peggy Hardinge, Torben Aarsand, Arlene Shuster, Lauren Rowe, Craig Fentress, Ralph and Judy Conrad, Pastor David, Pastor Greg, June Habeck-Holler, Colleen Gildee, Carol Scofield, Tim Higgins