Nativity is a Reconciling in Christ (RIC) congregation. We aspire to be an inclusive community of faith that loves and accepts people of every race & culture, age & ability, family structure & economic status, and every sexual orientation, gender identity, & gender expression. We love and accept you as you are, wherever you are in your spiritual journey.
Freed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ and called to love God and one another, we commit to serving and advocating for those who are marginalized and oppressed, striving for racial equity and wealth equality, and caring for this planet we all share. We will not do this work perfectly. We will fall short and fail at times. And so, we humbly commit, as well, to the holy work of listening, learning, repentance, and growing together. In this way, we live into our identity as followers of Jesus, constantly rising to new life by the grace of God.
Celebrating RIC Weekend!
January 28-29, 2023
In May of 2022, Nativity voted to become a Reconciling in Christ congregation, and this weekend we celebrate RIC Weekend as a congregation committed to welcoming and affirming people of all sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions.
Join the Nativity Pride Outreach Team before and after worship hours this weekend. Learn more about our continuing efforts to make Nativity the most welcoming and inclusive community for all, including plans for adult and youth outreach teams.
To ask questions or to join the Pride Outreach Team efforts, you can fill out the tear-off portion of your News to Note or email Barb Peterson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
RIC t-shirts will be available for purchase ($20) this weekend to help fund RIC signage for Nativity.
The History of RIC at Nativity
On March 16, Nativity Council approved the formation of a small group (Core Team) to begin leading Nativity through the Reconciling in Christ (RIC) Program; a program of ReconcilingWorks. The RIC Program is a way for faith communities to ensure the welcome, inclusion, celebration, and advocacy for people of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions in the Lutheran church.
The RIC Core Team
The RIC journey was an intentional and extensive process of transparency, education, dialogue, learning, and growing led by a Core Team. Meet the members of Nativity’s RIC Core Team by clicking on the video links below, and hear their experiences with the RIC initiative.
• Alex Bailey
• Rachel Becker-Warner
• Riya Chattopadhyay
• Bryan Helminiak
• Barb Peterson
• Pastor Ben Schori
• Sherri Truchinski
The RIC Process
Between January 30 – February 13, the RIC Core Team shared a congregational survey to solicit feedback around opportunities for congregational engagement in the RIC process and the community’s support for becoming a RIC congregation.
The Nativity Reconciling in Christ (RIC) Core Team presented the results of the RIC Survey with their gratitude for all who took the survey. The team was also very encouraged by the overwhelming support communicated in the results, suggesting the Core Team had done well in communicating its presence and work and in giving the community opportunities to engage in this process. The full report is available in this PDF BOOKLET.
The Core Team engaged questions shared in the survey through two forums on the interpretation of scripture regarding sexuality and gender identity and how Nativity will be different/the same after becoming an RIC Congregation. These forums were available to the full Nativity community.
The Core Team then prepared a RIC process Report and Recommendation, as well as a proposed inclusivity statement. On Tuesday, April 19, the Reconciling in Christ (RIC) Core Team presented their Report & Recommendation to Nativity Council. The Report detailed the work of the Core Team leading Nativity through its RIC Process for over the past year. The Recommendation included, among other things, a proposed new RIC Welcome Statement and a motion to become a Reconciling in Christ congregation for Council to consider.
The motion read:
Therefore, be it resolved that Nativity Lutheran Church, in commitment to racial equity and welcoming, including, celebrating, and advocating for people of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expression, become a Reconciling in Christ Congregation.
The Council accepted the Core Team’s RIC Report & Recommendation with gratitude and scheduled time to entertain the motion along with the other recommendations at its next meeting on Tuesday, May 17. As Council prepared to discern this motion and possibly vote on it as a resolution, they solicited congregational input with an invitation to contact Council President Karen Volker.
Nativity Becomes a RIC Congregation!
On Tuesday, May 17, Nativity Council passed the resolution that Nativity Lutheran Church become a Reconciling in Christ Congregation.
Nativity Council President, Karen Volker, and Vice-President, Donna Steinwand, shared this statement with the Nativity community: “The Nativity Council is pleased and proud to support our goal of becoming a Reconciling in Christ (RIC) partner. This is an important milestone in our ongoing journey to increase inclusiveness and service to those who are marginalized and oppressed. Many thanks to the RIC Core Team for their commitment to the rigorous RIC process and their dedication to discernment, communication, and growth throughout. We celebrate the ever-larger tent that we call Nativity.”
The Nativity community celebrates this important step and gratefully continues the work of welcoming, including, celebrating, and advocating for LGBTQ+ people in this faith community and in the greater church. The Nativity Pride Outreach Team now leads the effort to continue this commitment.
If you have questions about Nativity’s Pride Outreach Team or would like to get involved, please contact Barb Peterson at email@example.com. You can learn more about the RIC Program and ReconcilingWorks at reconcilingworks.org.