RECONCILING IN CHRIST
Building up our congregationChurch Council Development. Set aside time for church leaders to focus on team building, goal setting, strategic planning and leadership. Healthy congregations have clear communication and decision-making structures. This interactive time together helps councils better understand their role as the spiritual leaders of the congregation, provides space for imagine ministry for today, and builds up the council as a team. (Best in a retreat or workshop format) Creative Tension. Wherever two or three are gathered in Jesus’ name, there will be differences of opinion, disagreement and a diversity of perceptions and experiences. Guaranteed. The question is not whether or not there is conflict in congregational life, but how we work through the inevitable conflicts that arise and use them creatively to strengthen and grow our ministries. Building on Strengths. Appreciative Inquiry was first developed in the business world to help companies grow and thrive. Rather than focus on fixing problems, appreciative inquiry builds on strengths. These principles for positive change have been applied to churches and ministries to good effect. This workshop will introduce you to the process of appreciative inquiry and teach you how to use these principles to build up your ministry.
Building up the faith of our members and communityGrief and Growth. Learn more about the grief process and how we can work through our experiences of loss in healthy ways that can lead to personal growth. Listening For God Through Contemplative Prayer. Learn and experience forms of listening prayer. Contemplative prayer can teach us to quiet the mind, calm our spirits and listen for the still small voice of God in the midst of all the noise and hectic activity that fills our daily lives. Being Lutheran in the Buckle of the Bible Belt. A conversation on what makes Lutherans distinctive and how to talk about your faith at work, with neighbors, and around town.
Building up our neighborhood, community, and world"Unpacking the Invisible Napsack. A workshop experience that helps us look at our lives in terms of race and privilege. This is an interactive conversation, not a lecture. I Am Not Your Negro or Traces of the Trade. Viewing & Conversation. Choose one of these filming dealing with race in the United States. Together we will explore the themes, deepen our own understanding, and have candid conversation about race.
The Arkansas-Oklahoma Synod is in the process of becoming a Reconciling in Christ (RIC) Synod. The RIC team will present a welcome statement at the 2023 Synod Assembly for approval. If passed, the A-OK Synod would then be recognized by Reconciling Works as a place that is working on welcoming and including people of all gender identities, sexualities, and races.
Part of the RIC Team’s work is to not just find ways that we can be inclusive at the synod level, but to also help congregations be more welcoming to all of God’s people in their own churches and ministries. If your congregation is interested in becoming RIC, or at least exploring the process, please check out Reconciling Works website, especially their information about the RIC process and the “Building an Inclusive Church” document. Also let Bishop Becca know so the A-OK RIC team can support you in your process.
Reconciling Works has a fantastic selection of resources on their website. Our RIC Team has also found some great resources to help you and your congregation learn more about the LGBTQIA+ community and how you can be more inclusive and welcoming in your ministry and personal life.
Here are a few of our favorites: