Our Synod Offers Wide Welcome

Our synod became a Reconciling in Christ Synod in 2016. What does this mean? It means we offer a wide welcome to all of God’s beloved children regardless of anything that seeks to divide us. Our unity is in Jesus Christ. Learn more here!

On May 19, 2016, our Lower Susquehanna Synod Council adopted the following statement of welcome:

You are Welcome Here!
In the Lower Susquehanna Synod of the ELCA we feed the hungry as we have been fed by Christ. We welcome with full participation and inclusion all who are seeking God’s love and grace. We welcome all because God welcomes all, regardless of race or culture, sexual orientation, gender identity, or relationship status. We welcome all without regard to addictions, physical or mental health, imprisonment, socio-economic circumstances or anything that too often divides us. Our unity is in Jesus Christ.

Then, at our 2016 Lower Susquehanna Synod Assembly, the Harrisburg Conference brought a resolution asking that our synod become a Reconciling in Christ (RIC) Synod designation in keeping with our statement of welcome. That resolution passed by a large margin, and we then sought designation from Reconciling Works. Since that time more congregations across our synod are becoming RIC congregations and requesting resources for study and discussion.

An Introduction to Reconciling in Christ and our synod’s Statement of Welcome:

What is RIC? The RIC designation is a program for congregations, synods, seminaries, colleges, and other Lutheran organizations that publicly welcome the full participation of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender persons. Currently, 740 Lutheran communities and organizations are on the RIC roster, and more than 400 communities are in the process of studying and/or receiving this designation. For more information about RIC and Reconciling Works, the organization that sponsors and oversees the RIC program, click here.

What Congregations and organizations in our synod are currently Reconciling in Christ? 
Christ Chapel, Gettysburg College, Gettysburg
Epiphany Lutheran Church, Harrisburg
Gettysburg Seminary
Lutheran Camping Corporation of Central Pennsylvania
Messiah Lutheran Church, Harrisburg
St. James Lutheran Church, Gettysburg
St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Middletown
St. Michael Lutheran Church, Harrisburg

“Blessing Beyond Belief”: Becoming a Reconciling in Christ Congregation
(St. Michael Lutheran Church’s Story)

How can I and/or my congregation learn more? Our synod has produced several videos to provide information and insight. We can provide workshop and Bible study leaders and materials to help you learn more. A forum for congregations is planned for Sunday, October 15, at Epiphany Lutheran Church in Harrisburg. See below.

Journey into Deeper Welcome (St. Peter’s Lutheran Church’s Story)

Called to Serve: One Seminarian’s Journey
(The Rev. Robin Fero’s Journey to Ordained Ministry)

October 15, 2017
Reconciling in Christ — A Forum for Congregations
Epiphany Lutheran Church, 1100 Colonial Road, Harrisburg
12:30 p.m. (lunch) 1:00 p.m. (program)
In 2016, our Lower Susquehanna Synod became a Reconciling in Christ Synod. A growing number of congregations in our synod are Reconciling in Christ.

  • What does it mean to be Reconciling in Christ?
  • How might your congregation begin the process of becoming a Reconciling in Christ congregation?
  • What have other congregations experienced on their journeys?

Find the answers to these and other questions at an upcoming forum! Participants include leaders of Reconciling in Christ congregations who will share their experiences; congregational members who will share what it means for people seeking a welcoming church home; synodical staff who will share new resources; and a representative of ReconcilingWorks, who will share some history of the organization and resources available to help you on your journey.

Please direct any questions to Molly Wirick at mollyaw@comcast.net. Please RSVP by October 9 so we can plan accordingly for lunch. Send RSVPs to mollyaw@comcast.net or call 717-439-8135.