The Room for All Board, in collaboration with pastors, elders, and colleagues in the ecumenical welcoming community, recently revised the process for becoming a rostered “Room for All” congregation. The following four steps and supporting information were adopted in September, 2013.
Becoming a Welcoming and Affirming Congregation is an intentional, multi-step, Spirit-led process of discussion, discernment, and community building that engages church members in an ongoing conversation about the ways in which people of all sexual identities and gender expressions are accepted into the full life of a congregation.
Step One: Discuss and Discern
The consistory, as well as the congregation, is encouraged to spend time exploring the ways in which the church works to intentionally welcome people into its full life. Through small groups, guided discussions, participation in a “Building an Inclusive Church” workshop, scriptural engagement, films, and other resources, consider how your congregation is welcoming to all and how you might become specifically and intentionally welcoming to LGBTQ people.
Step Two: Write a Statement
Write an official church welcoming statement of inclusion that specifically mentions people of all sexual identities and gender expressions or LGBTQ people. Your church’s statement may include many other groups and identities as well (race, gender, etc.), as a broad and visible sign of your commitment to the call to the inclusive ministry of all God’s children.
Step Three: Send your Statement
After the consistory has approved your welcoming statement, send a copy of the statement along with a letter to Room for All requesting to be registered as a welcoming and affirming congregation. After Room for All has received and affirmed your welcoming statement, your church will be added to an easily accessible internet map of welcoming and affirming churches.
Step Four: Make the Statement Public and Celebrate!
Make your statement public by including it in your bulletin, newsletter, and web sites. Many people are looking for a welcoming and affirming faith community.Your inclusive congregation is good news! We encourage you to celebrate this time in the life of your congregation.
*Look here for further supporting information about each step in this process.
Room for All Vision Statement
Compelled by the inclusive love of God revealed in Jesus Christ, Room for All envisions the day when people of all sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions are fully affirmed in the life and ministry of the Reformed Church in America.
Room for All Mission Statement
To support, educate and advocate for the welcome and full affirmation of people of all sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions in the Reformed Church in America.