Inclusive Communities

Our synod’s Inclusive Communities Committee’s purpose is to be a support to LBGTQIA+ siblings in our congregations, and to help rostered ministers, lay leaders and congregations that wish to expand their inclusion.

Inclusion is highly contextual and will look different from congregation to congregation. The committee is available to walk congregations through the process of discerning and providing resources to help them expand their welcome.

This is often expressed by becoming a Reconciling in Christ partner congregation. Since 1983, the Reconciling in Christ (RIC) Program has been a public way for faith communities to see, name, celebrate, and advocate for people of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions in the Lutheran church. The RIC Program is made up of congregations, synods, colleges, seminaries, outdoor ministries, and other Lutheran organizations — including our synod.

Find a Reconciling in Christ partner/congregation near you

Contact the committee by email and visit the Facebook page.

Award-winning writer, speaker and advocate Jamie Bruesehoff spoke at In God’s Image in 2022

In God’s Image Event Oct. 7

Each year the committee sponsors the “In God’s Image” event, a learning day to help congregations explore how to fully welcome LGBTQIA+ persons.

“In God’s Image: Shaping Your Ministry to be Inclusive and Safe for LGBTQIA+ Folk,” will be held on Saturday, October 7, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., at Upper Dublin Lutheran Church. Registration will open in September.

SEPA Synod has been a Reconciling in Christ Partner since the 1990s.

The 2022 Synod Assembly adopted this updated welcome statement to express our continuing commitment to welcoming and including all people in Synod ministries:

We, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod of the ELCA, rooted in Jesus’ gospel of liberation, unconditional love, and hospitality, welcome all into fellowship and community. This welcome includes those who have traditionally been marginalized in society inclusive of all sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, racial and ethnic backgrounds, physical and mental abilities, and stations in life. As God’s beloved, we are guided by the Holy Spirit, committed to the work of racial equity, and called to the pursuit of justice throughout our communities. We encourage all of our congregations to engage in this work of the gospel, creating safe spaces for all people to bravely be their full selves. We celebrate and affirm all of God’s children just as they are with all of their differences and gifts.


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