At their annual congregational meeting, members of St. Philip unanimously adopted a 'Statement of Welcome,' affirming the core of their identity as a welcoming community:
God loves you as you are - your race, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, age, socio-economic and employment status, physical and mental ability, political affiliation, and religious background - and so do we. You are welcome here!
By adopting such a statement, they have been officially welcomed onto the roster of "Reconciling in Christ" congregations. Lutheran communities that publicly welcome lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people by having a statement affirming this welcome by specifically saying either, "LGBT" or "people of all sexual orientations and gender identities" in their statement, are accepted onto the Reconciling in Christ (RIC) list which now includes around 700 settings.
Aubrey Thonvold, Executive Director of ReconcilingWorks, said "We welcome St. Philip to the Reconciling in Christ family. It is with love we are called to welcome all God's children into our congregations, communities, and our world. We thank St. Philip for being an active member working for reconciliation and growth within the church so people of all sexual orientations and gender identities can share a lived experience of love, welcome, and family."
As one might note, St. Philip's welcoming statement includes a broad range of identities and we are committed to being a place for all God's children. This includes our most recent co-sponsorship of a refugee family from Syria. We desire to be a place where all can know of God's love.
We have also recently installed hearing assistance equipment for our sound system and an electric door opener on our front door as part of our desire to fully include all children of God.