RECONCILING IN CHRIST
A Resolution on Becoming a Reconciling in Christ Synod
Whereas the 2021 Arkansas Oklahoma Synod Assembly approved a resolution directing the Discipleship Team of the Synod Council to study the possibility of becoming a Reconciling in Christ Synod, and
Whereas the Discipleship Team created a task force to study this issue and come back with recommendations regarding this issue, and
Whereas this task force has met prayerfully over the past two years and has engaged the members of the Synod via group meetings across Arkansas, Oklahoma and the panhandle of Texas,
Be it resolved that the Arkansas Oklahoma Synod become a Reconciling in Christ Synod, affirming its welcome to all, and
Be it further resolved that the following be adopted as the welcome statement for the Synod, directing its activities and ministries:
The Arkansas Oklahoma Synod of the ELCA affirms that all people are beloved children of God, made in God’s image. Through the grace of God, we are a Reconciling in Christ (RIC) Synod. We welcome and affirm people of all sexual orientations, genders, abilities, disabilities, races, ethnic identities, economic statuses, and backgrounds, to join in the life of our synod community.
We welcome all because God welcomes all, and we recognize that our differences are gifts to our communal life. We commit ourselves to ongoing education, honest reflection, discussion, and action on issues of sexuality, gender, racial equity, ethnicity, and other issues that can create division where we seek community.
We understand the congregations in our synod are in different places on this journey. Starting where each congregation is, we encourage all congregations to engage in similar conversations, including discussion of becoming Reconciling in Christ Congregations. We ask God’s Holy Spirit to guide us in living out this ministry of reconciliation with our siblings in Christ.
Be it further resolved that the Arkansas-Oklahoma Synod create a Reconciling In Christ Team to aid congregations in understanding and having these discussions.