Congratulations! Your congregation has wrestled, dialogued, studied and prayed about your public witness regarding welcoming and affirming LGBT persons. Your consistory has voted to sign the “Affirmations of Room for All Churches.” You are now listed on the national database of welcoming and affirming churches, you have a certificate from Room for All. There has likely been a feeling of well-deserved celebration and renewal.
What’s next? Perhaps some months have passed, and you’re wondering whether your faithfully-arrived-at decision has changed anything in your congregation’s worship, education or outreach ministries. To some extent, that answer depends on you! We encourage pastors and team leaders to consider how you’re living out your identity as a “Room for All Church.”
What Does Welcome Mean? serves as inspiration for many of the ways your community can live their welcome. This list is neither linear nor a comprehensive checklist. Some suggestions will remind us to notice how we disregard BIPOC individuals and people with disabilities as well. If not all of these items are currently a part of your congregational life, consider them as room to grow.
To help you, we have created a downloadable brochure that may spark some ideas. No doubt you’re already doing lots of these things, and will have your own creative and vibrant best practices. Please share them with us! And may God bless you in your ministry of inclusion!