What does it mean to be “Welcoming and Affirming”?
Many RCA congregations are on a journey in regard to publicly identifying themselves as an LGBTQ-inclusive church. Some have adopted a Welcoming and Affirming Statement; others are simply known in their communities by word of mouth, and still others are just beginning to ask these questions, including the most common one, “Where do we start?”
Why does this matter? Doesn’t “All are Welcome at Our Church” incorporate everyone? Unfortunately, no. Those of us who are LGBTQ, along with our families and allies, experience any number of spoken or nonverbal signals that communicate conditions for welcome. Added to the already-existing history of exclusion that exists in the religious community as a whole, this ambiguity can make it very risky for LGBTQ Christians or seekers to visit any church; LGBTQ youth or children of same-sex couples are especially vulnerable.
The good news is that more and more RCA churches have prayerfully, intentionally explored expanding their climate of hospitality toward LGBTQ members and visitors, resulting in votes, changes in bylaws, or public statements. Such steps are cause for celebration! These churches want to make their welcome known in their communities and in the RCA, and Room for All is here to help. The red link below lists the names and locations of all those RCA congregations that have asked to be known as a fully open and affirming Room for All congregation!
In addition, many RCA clergy people are seeking ways to publicly identify as fully open and affirming of LGBTQ people. Some of these clergy serve in Room for All “rostered” congregations; some of these clergy serve in congregations still on the journey!
The blue link below lists the ever-growing network of RCA ordained ministers who have chosen to identify as supporters of RfA’s mission and vision.