02 Oct Welcome Statement Approved at September Congregational Meeting
Welcome Statement Approved
An update from Pastor Chris Enstad and Board President Andrew Seaborg
At a special congregational meeting Sunday, September 29, the congregation voted 167-13 to approve a new Welcome Statement recommended by the Reconciling in Christ (RIC) Task Force. The vote also recommends to the Board they authorize Good Shepherd to become a Reconciling in Christ affiliated church.
The vote came after more than two and a half years of study and deliberation by the task force. During that time, the group helped organize and lead numerous Bible studies on the topic, including dialogues on marriage and sexuality. The task force followed a plan recommended by Reconciling Works, a Lutheran organization working on the topic since 1974. Here is the new Welcome Statement approved by the congregation:
“We welcome all to Good Shepherd. Everyone. Without exception. This welcome includes those shunned by society and by churches because of their race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, physical or mental abilities, financial resources, and family status, no matter what you have done or has been done to you, no matter what darkness you have struggled with, now or in the past. In this large, beautifully diverse world, we invite you to a community where we all belong. Whether you are a believer, a doubter or a seeker, in Christ’s love, we welcome you. By the power of the Holy Spirit we will work to extend God’s grace, love, justice, and dignity inside and outside our church. You are a Child of God. You belong here with your whole self. Your story and your life are valuable, here at Good Shepherd, and in the world. We welcome you.”
The board would like to thank the entire Task Force, including Chair Syrenne McNulty and former Task Force Chair Rachel Kleber for all the hard work on the topic.
For more information about what it means to be an RIC church, please go to the FAQ page at: gslcwi.com/2019/09/19/frequently-asked-questions-welcome-statement-congregational-meeting/.