Spirit Garage begins the Reconciling in Christ process
In the fall of 2022 the leadership of Spirit Garage decided it was time for us to re-evaluate what it means to have a “really big door.” Spirit Garage has always committed to being a place that welcomes all (and all means all) and that certainly extends to the LGBTQIA+ community, but saying “all are welcome” and doing the actual work of welcoming can be two very different things. And so, in case you weren’t able to be at our last community meeting, or missed the recap, I’ll share the news that we’ve started the process of becoming a Reconciling in Christ community.
What is RIC/ReconcilingWorks?
ReconcilingWorks is an independent, Lutheran, membership-supported organization that has been around since 1975. Their mission is to advocate for the acceptance, full participation, and liberation of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions within the Lutheran Church.
All of that might make perfect sense to you, or it might not. But it might also make you say, “Well, we already do that!” And that’s great! Going through this process is going to help us hone our welcoming skills – it will help us take a step back and evaluate how we talk about LGBTQIA+ people. It will teach us to welcome everyone not just passively, but actively; to become more explicit with how the Spirit Garage Community welcomes those who come through our “Really Big Doors.” Most importantly, it will raise our visibility as a congregation that is a safe, affirming place for people of all orientations, identities, and expressions.
What does the process involve?
Our RIC team (Pastor Holly, Adrienne Eldridge, Michelle Lewis and Scott Hochhalter) will be guiding Spirit Garage through this substantial (not short) journey that leads to us becoming listed as an RIC community. We undergo training, examine our public statements, and keep checking in with Spirit Garage people so your voices are included in the discussion. It will take several months, up to a year, but we believe that SG will come out on the other side as a stronger community.
As of now, the members of our team are reaching out to Spirit Garage to have one-on-one sessions so we can evaluate where we’re starting from. If you hear from one of us, please consider taking a little time to sit down and let us know where you’re coming from. Or if you’re interested in weighing in, you can contact Spirit Garage directly at [email protected]
Thanks for being a part of a place that sees God present in everyone. We’re excited to start this process, and we hope you are too. Let’s fling those doors wide open!