​ The Reconciling in Christ (RIC) Ministry Team has been working since the fall of 2018 on studying ways we, as a congregation, can become more welcoming to all people and more specifically to the LGTBQ+ (lesbian, gay, trans, bisexual, and queer) community. We have learned a lot together and are continuing to move forward in guiding our congregation in being an RIC congregation. The RIC team will continue to provide educational and discussion opportunities for the congregation. In January 2021 a welcoming statement was drafted, approved by congregation council and a survey of the congregation conducted regarding its acceptance by the membership. The draft welcoming statement was presented at the 2021 congregational meeting and members continued to be encouraged to inquire, make use of opportunities for learning and express their thoughts on this important matter.

On Monday, March 8, 2021, congregation council unanimously voted to call a special congregation meeting to be held on March 28, 2021 for the purpose of having the congregation vote to accept the welcoming statement and declare Apostles Lutheran Church to be a Reconciling in Christ congregation. Official notification of the metting was issued to the membership and all members were requested to attend this meeting which was held via Zoom immediately following the Sunday Worship Service on March 28.

On March 28, 2021, in a meeting comprised of a majority of eligible voting members of the congregation, the RIC Welcoming Statement and the decision to formally announce that Apostles Lutheran Church of Gloucester, Virginia is a Reconciling in Christ Congregation were both unanimously approved.

Thanks Be to God!

Let the journey continue.

Rainbow Bar


What others have to say.
Janet Gomez member of Apostles Lutheran Church

Pete Liljeberg, member of Apostles Lutheran Church

Pastor Adam Schulz of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Lexington, VA

Betsy Liljeberg, member of Apostles Lutheran Church

Timeline of Events
September 2018
    Congregation Council approved formation of the RIC Ministry Team
October 2018
    Formed the RIC Ministry Team with interested individuals
November 2018
    RIC Ministry Team began work on Reconciling Works Toolkit, “Building an Inclusive Church”
January 2019
    RIC Ministry Team made a presentation about RIC at the Annual Congregational Meeting
February 2019
    RIC Ministry Team started “one-on-one” conversations with the congregation
April 2019
    RIC Ministry Team completed congregational assessment survey (result - St. Cautious)
July 2019
    Pastor Sandy Wisco, retired ELCA Pastor, made a presentation on RIC during fellowship hour
November 2019
    RIC Ministry Team attended RIC training in Baltimore, Maryland
January 2020
    (1) RIC Ministry Team members made a presentation at the Annual Congregational Meeting;
    (2) added RIC prayers to prayers of intercession once a month
March-September 2020
    COVID-19 - RIC Ministry Team on hold
September 21, 2020
    RIC Ministry Team met with Aubrey Thonvold, Executive Director of Reconciling Works
October 7, 2020
    Congregation Council approved addition of a RIC webpage to Apostles website
November 29, 2020
    Discussion Group - “Consent in Building Community” (after 9:30 AM worship)
December 13, 2020
    Discussion Group - Clunky Question Panel Discussions
January 2, 2021
    RIC Welcome Statement drafted
January 15, 2021
    Draft Welcome Statement mailed to congregation
January 17, 2021
    Discussion Group - Clunky Question Panel Discussions

January 24, 2021
    Input requested from congregation on proposed Welcome Statement
January 31, 2021
    Present RIC Welcome Statement at Annual Congregation Meeting
March 8, 2021
    Congregation Council votes approval of Welcoming Statement and to call a special congregation meeting so the Apostles membership can vote on whether to declare Apostles Lutheran Church to be a RIC congregation.
March 14, 2021
    Discussion Group - RIC and Scripture
March 28, 2021
    Special Congregational Meeting on RIC
April 2021 ongoing - Monthly Discussion Groups.
    The Welcome Journey continues (it never stops!)
April 2021 ongoing - Ministry Teams envision ways to be welcoming
    (agenda item on every ministry team meeting agenda)
January 31, 2022
At the Annual Congregational Meeting, the Congregation voted to add the word "Inclusive" to the Apostles Mission Statement which now states:
Our Mission is to be a Caring Inclusive Christian Community responding to God's grace through Worship, Service, and Sharing the Gospel.


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