Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Fayetteville has been recognized by ReconcilingWorks (formerly Lutherans Concerned/North America) as the first Reconciling in Christ congregation in the state of Arkansas and the Arkansas-Oklahoma Synod.
This recognition comes after the congregation officially adopted a public statement of welcome for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. The statement reads:
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Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church joyfully and unconditionally welcomes all people of any age, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, education, culture, ability or political affiliation to walk with us in full communion of our community of faith. We affirm the worth of all people as unique individuals made in the image of God. Come as you are!
The Rev. Clint Schnekloth, pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, sees this statement as "a clear statement of who we are as a church, and illustrates our commitment to walking with all people in their journey of faith."
In celebration of Reconciling in Christ Sunday, Good Shepherd welcomes Anita Andres of ReconcilingWorks as a guest speaker during two worship services at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Jan. 31 at the church, 2925 N. Old Missouri Road. Information: 521-2113, gslcfayetteville.org.
The Reconciling in Christ recognition means the congregation will be listed on a roster of congregations, organizations and synods in the United States and Canada, which publicly welcome members of all sexual orientations and gender identities.
Aubrey Thonvold, interim executive director of ReconcilingWorks, said, "We welcome Good Shepherd to the Reconciling in Christ family. It is with love we are called to welcome all God's children in our congregations, communities and our world. We thank Good Shepherd 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."
ReconcilingWorks is a Christian ministry affirming God's love for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.
NAN Religion on 01/16/2016