First, you are invited to a GLBT & Friends Potluck on October 8th in the fellowship hall after the 11am service! There will be food and small group discussion. RSVP to Jennie S. for more details.
We participate in the larger network of RIC (LGBTQ welcoming) congregations across the metro area. On August 19th a group of over 50 people from various congregations came together to undergo a guided workshop using ToP Facilitation methods called “Re-Envisioning the Welcome in 2017.” The day was structured into 2 halves.
To begin, we did an activity called the Wall of Wonder. In this activity, participants reviewed what were the key shifts and trends that brought us to where we are today by mapping out 3 timelines from the 80’s to today. The first timeline looked at strictly events in our national and international political landscape. The second timeline mapped out significant events in our secular world and within the LGBT community. The final timeline looked at significant events within the ELCA and Minnesota. It was fascinating to see how the major events in each timeline interacted with and reacted to one another. It served as the foundation on which the rest of our discussion for the day was structured.
The second activity was called a “Consensus Workshop”. We were put into small groups and given a question to answer: “What can we do to support LGBTQ-Two Spirit people and allies and foster a renewed sense of purpose for the mission of RIC?” Each group came up with 3 - 4 one-sentence answers to that question. All of these ideas were then posted on the wall for everyone to review, and grouped into 8 categories: “Education that fosters inclusivity and understanding”, “Raising our voices for social justice”, “effective and intentional communication for the embodiment of the gospel”, “creating safe spaces through invitation and affirmation/creating invitation through our space”, “Be actively and visibly present in and across our communities”, “funding the mission is part of the mission”, and “maintain momentum together for tomorrow”.
The Twin Cities ReconcilingWorks Board has collected the data from these activities and is reviewing them to decide next steps. The raw material collected from the workshop will be shared with the participants soon and with all of the Twin Cities Synod RIC churches. If you would like to see a copy, both Glenn C. and myself attended from ECLC and would be happy to share them with you.
Also, check out the great video about ECLC’s RIC welcome that ReconcilingWorks filmed this spring to encourage more congregations to go on this welcoming journey: https://www.reconcilingworks.org/resources/ric/journey/
- Jennie Strunk