The Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod and LGBTQIA+ Christians
The Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod is a Reconciling in Christ (RIC) synod.
We welcome LGBTQIA+ pastors, deacons, and lay folx into the whole life of the synod.
RIC synods have extended a public welcome to folx of all sexual orientations and gender identities. RIC synods serve as witnesses not only to LGBTQIA+ people in the area, but also to congregations within the synod and to the wider church. The Gospel is indeed for all. Yet, unfortunately, LGBTQIA+ folx continue to experience exclusion and harm from people supposedly acting in the name of Christianity. It is important LGBTQIA+ folx are specifically named as part of that “all.” Within the interdependent nature of the ELCA’s polity, it’s important that people of all sexual orientations and gender identities feel welcome in all aspects of the church’s life. While the synod cannot speak for the welcome offered by individual congregations, it can ensure that the ministries of the synod organization will be inclusive.
What is Reconciling Works?
Since 1974, ReconcilingWorks: Lutherans for Full Participation has advocated for the full welcome, inclusion, and equity of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual/aromantic (LGBTQIA+) Lutherans in all aspects of the life of their Church, congregations, and community.
In relationships built through outreach and education, ReconcilingWorks shares Christ's message, the Gospel, which is for everyone equally. We advocate for systemic change in policy and practice in church and society, working to alleviate not only the painful symptoms of oppression but also to eliminate its root causes.
We are Lutherans working with the recognition that racism, sexism, ageism, able-ism, heterosexism, homophobia, and all the other artificial distinctions that seek to raise one group into privilege and preference over another, conspire together to diminish our world and church.
Reconciliation is a fundamental value; it is what the Apostle Paul says we are all called to do. Through our Reconciling in Christ Program, ministries, resources, events and alliances, ReconcilingWorks builds community for worship, education and support; fosters welcome and acceptance in all Lutheran settings; and advocates for the ecclesial changes necessary to ensure full participation in all sacraments, inclusive liturgical resources, and ministries of the Church, inviting all people into Gospel lives of authenticity, integrity, and wholeness.
An independent, Lutheran, membership-supported organization, ReconcilingWorks is committed to strengthen all of God’s beloved for authentic, visible, faithful lives and to work for systemic change within the church and society.
We believe reconciling works, for the sake of the world.
Celebrate RIC Sunday together on January 29, 2023!
Reconciling in Christ (RIC) Sunday is an annual worship celebration created to share in the commitment our organization and partnering faith communities have in the ongoing work of welcome, inclusion, celebration, and advocacy for LGBTQIA+ people in the life of the church. While historically this day is celebrated on the final Sunday in January, many RIC partners will celebrate on their date of affirmation, or on other days meaningful to their communities rooted in this commitment to radical hospitality. Created Whole is a worship experience cultivated by Rev. A.J. Houseman (she/her) in partnership with Reconciling Works.
Resources below include Video Guided Meditation, Children's Message, and Sermon
Dr. Helen H. Davis – Co-convener
The Rev. Thomas Busteed – Co-convener
Stacey Burke – Staff Liaison
Eric Gombert – Staff Liaison