The Room for All board has identified four steps to become a “Room for All” church. Here are specific suggestions for moving through each step:
The Room for All website is a resource for beginning your congregational discussion. Here you will find individual stories, books and article selections, as well as other resources. There are also liturgies for inclusive worship and hymns available. There are many books that provide excellent conversation starters for small group discussion. Some of these are listed on the Room for All website.
The most important thing that you can do is to have the conversation so that there are no surprises when you become a welcoming and affirming congregation and no hurt or anger directed at any LGBTQ people who might visit or want to join your church.
Being a welcoming and affirming church implies that all people, irrespective of sexual identity or gender expression, are equally valued and are afforded equal consideration in all aspects of the life and ministry of the church.
Once again, you will find the Room for All website instructive and informative as you consider the language which best fits your individual church body. We have also included some sample statements with this form and on our website. While writing your statement, it is helpful to remember that hospitality is covenantal work. As a body, and as individuals that belong to that body and to the body of Christ, you are covenanting to welcome all in your midst. Hospitality is fundamental to our life as Christians and to our Christian identity (Matthew 25:34-36, Hebrews 13:2, I Peter 4:9, Lev. 19:34).
Reading and affirming your welcome statement is a way for the Room for All Board to celebrate with you as you take this important and intentional step in the life of your congregation. It is also part of the Board’s ongoing commitment to work with you and to be a supportive presence.
You are encouraged to celebrate in some special way! You might have a special coffee hour or pot luck dinner. You might invite new people to share their story of what it was like to walk into the church on their first Sunday. You might invite a member of the Room for All board to come and speak. You could proudly display your “Welcoming and Affirming” certificate.
In some special way, take time to honor this step – even if it doesn’t seem like a big step; even if people say, “we have always been welcoming.” Every time we are given the opportunity to consider ways of being intentionally more open and hospitable to one group of people, we grow more aware and kinder in our response to all people.