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LGBTQ+ Inclusion Task Force Leader: Beth Donahoe
Task Force Members:
Seeley Lester (Youth Representative)
Pastor Lara Forbes
Doug Johnson, Director of Youth and Family Ministries
Meetings: as scheduled
The LGBTQ+ Inclusion Task Force has been formed to explore how we as a congregation should respond to issues of human sexuality, identity and inclusion of what is commonly known as the LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Plus) community.
This task force will provide information and support for our congregation as we move through the process of discerning whether or not to become a designated “Reconciling in Christ” congregation.
Our first congregation forum, led by Pastor Rick Pribbernow (Chaplain/Director of Open Door Ministries), was held September 27, via Zoom. This session introduced the ELCA’s program of Reconciling in Christ and provided a broad overview of the process to become a Reconciled in Christ congregation. Additionally, the forum covered a brief history and insight into the LGBTQ+ community and the long battle for civil rights and examined Biblical and theological perspectives on the subject. Thank you to all who attended.
Helpful WebsitesReconciling Works
Reconciling Works: Lutherans for Full Participation is a national organizationOpen Door Ministries
Open Door Ministries is our local synod ministry. Phone: 206-628-0946
DocumentsOur Congregation is Already Welcoming
One Coin Found: How God’s Love Stretches to the Margins, by Emmy Kegler and Rachel Held Evans
A Place at the Table, by Mel White
Stranger at the Gate: To be Gay and Christian in America, by Mel White
Important Dates Coming Up
October 11, 2020: National Coming Out Day
November 20, 2020: Transgender Day of Remembrance
December 1, 2020: World AIDS Day
Many of you will recall the process our congregation went through as we prepared to call a new pastor. Using focus groups, surveys and interviews, we ascertained the concerns and aspirations for Saint Andrew’s. Our congregation agreed that our mission is “Growing in Christ to Love and Serve All People.”
In light of our mission, some members have questioned how we should respond to issues of human sexuality, identity and inclusion of what is commonly known as the LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Plus) community. To help us, the Congregation Council designated a task force to provide information and support for our congregation.
The task force is aware that some members are ready to welcome this discussion; others have significant concerns and many have questions. We need forums for the congregation to examine differing perspectives and listen honestly to one another. To facilitate this, we have asked Pastor Rick Pribbernow to guide us. He is the Chaplain/Director of Open Door Ministries, a Lutheran ministry of consultation and pastoral care for sexual orientation and gender identity in our synod. Our first forum was held September 27, 2020, via Zoom.
We plan to resume this conversation in 2021 when we can meet again in person to have additional forums. In the meantime, check back for materials and suggested links to learn more.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel welcome and safe in contacting Beth Donahoe or any of the task force members. If desired, your communications will be held in strict confidence and your comments will not be associated with your name. Pastor Lara and Doug Johnson, Director of Youth and Family Ministries, are serving as advisors to our group and are also available.