Being a Reconciled in Christ (RIC) congregation helps us to live out our mission in several ways:
What does “Reconciling In Christ” (RIC) mean?
•Advent is part of a national network of churches in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), through an organization called Reconciling Works, committed to the inclusion of LGBTQIA+ persons in worship, to racial equity, and to welcome for all.
•The Reconciling in Christ (RIC) program began in 1983 as a way in which Lutheran congregations, synods, organizations and schools could formally recognize and welcome people of all sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions. Because of the commitments one makes to become RIC, LGBTQIA+ persons have the confidence to know which congregations, organizations, synods, and schools are welcoming, safe and affirming for them.
•Since 1991 the Greater Milwaukee Synod of the ELCA (of which Advent is a part) has identified itself as an RIC synod and made a commitment to working for “equality and full inclusion of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities in ELCA.” Currently, there are approximately 900+ Lutheran organizations (congregations, synods, colleges, etc.) committed to the values of RIC.
Advent’s RIC Ministry in Action
“At Advent, we don't want to just say 'All Are Welcome' - we want to mean it. We are journeying together as a congregation to truly create a space where people of all ages, races, cultures, gender identities, sexual orientations, gender expressions, life experiences, life complexities, and questions are free to worship and be themselves” says Advent Pastor, Alexis Twito.
Our congregation flies a Pride flag in the church’s Prayer Garden as a way to show the community that we are committed to the welcome of LGBTQIA+ persons. We have also held an educational series on what it means to be welcoming and provided resources on understanding important terminology and issues in the LGBTQIA+ community. Each June we host PRIDE ROCKS, an event for youth and families which encourages artful expressions of welcome throughout the community. Advent hopes to hold more educational opportunities in the future not just for the congregation but also for the community, creating a safe space to discuss what it means to advocate for and walk with the LGBTQIA+ community.