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Our journey began in October 2011 when we started discussing the National Church’s announcement regarding homosexuality and the need for each congregation to make its own decision.

 We started with a series of deep, prayerful, compassionate conversations respecting the diversity of understanding and the needs of our people. Families with homosexual members were invited to tell their stories. We wanted to know how the church had ministered or failed to minister effectively around orientation and family.

The journey continued into 2012 with a study of scripture, looking at the seven texts most often cited as opposing same-sex blessing, meetings with existing small groups, a caring conversation and a talking circle. In October of 2012 two consultations were held to discuss the direction proposed for ministry with same sex couples seeking Christian services. Council then directed and endorsed our rostered ministers to perform same sex marriage with care, prayer and attention to faithfulness due any couple.

Our journey now is to advise that we are an open church. We have done this by becoming a Reconciled in Christ Congregation. What does this mean? It means that our congregation will be listed on a roster of congregations, organizations and synods in Canada and the United States publicly welcoming members of all sexual orientations and gender identities. We join 21 other congregations from the BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Eastern Synods on this roster and we are pleased to say we are the first from the MNO Synod. The RIC roster can be found at www.ReconcilingWorks.org/ric.

As members of the body of Christ, we are called to be ministers of reconciliation both in the church and in the world. Through our baptism we are reconciled to God through the saving grace of Christ Jesus. As children of God, Christ calls us to lives of reconciliation, wholeness, integrity and authenticity. We are challenged by the Gospel to be agents of healing and love within our church and society.

We affirm with the apostle Paul that in Christ “there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female”(Gal 3:28) Christ has made us one body with many members, equal at the foot of the cross and at Christ‘s table of blessing and promise. God’s extravagant welcome is sure. (Reconciling Lutherans Covenant)

 

Rainbow Heart