Understanding Our RIC Identity: Embracing Diversity and Inclusivity at Perry Highway Lutheran Church
As a community, Perry Highway Lutheran Church proudly identifies as a Reconciling in Christ (RIC) congregation. This title signifies our commitment to actively welcoming and including people of all identities, abilities, and life experiences. But what does being an RIC congregation truly mean, and how does it shape our beliefs and actions?
RIC: A Definition
Reconciling in Christ is a program for Lutheran congregations that have pledged to actively welcome people of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions. As a RIC congregation, we affirm that every individual is a beloved child of God, deserving of love, dignity, and acceptance.
Inclusivity: Beyond Labels
Being a RIC congregation involves more than a declaration of inclusivity—it’s a call to action. It urges us to learn, listen, and grow continuously. It means standing against discrimination and working tirelessly to make our community a haven for all individuals.
Embracing All Abilities
Inclusion is not limited to sexual orientation and gender identity. It extends to individuals across all walks of life, including those who are neurodivergent, individuals living with disabilities, and our aging community members who might face mobility challenges or other health issues.
We believe every individual brings unique value to our congregation regardless of ability. Our community’s strength lies in our diversity, and we strive to foster an environment where everyone feels seen, valued, and cared for.
Adapting Our Environment
We understand that inclusion requires adapting our environment to be more accessible and accommodating. From providing wheelchair ramps and hearing aids to incorporating visual aids during services, we are committed to making our worship services and community events accessible to all.
We believe in the importance of understanding and accepting neurodiversity. Whether it’s autism, ADHD, or any other neurodivergent condition, we honor these individuals’ unique perspectives and contributions to our community. We aim to foster an environment where neurodivergent individuals can fully participate and thrive.
Inclusivity in Aging
As a community, we honor the wisdom and experiences that come with age. We’re dedicated to supporting our older members through every stage of their aging process. Whether accommodating diminishing mobility, facilitating engagement in church activities, or simply providing a listening ear, we are here to assist and uplift our older community members.
Invitation to Join Us
We invite each congregation member to join us as we commit to inclusivity. Whether participating in events, sharing resources, engaging in discussions, or simply being more welcoming and understanding, every effort brings us closer to genuinely embodying Christ’s love for all.
In conclusion, being a RIC congregation is not just a title—it manifests our mission to emulate Jesus’s unconditional love and acceptance. It’s a continuous journey, and we’re grateful to travel this path together. As we strive for a church and world where everyone is welcomed, valued, and loved just as they are, remember: the doors of Perry Highway Lutheran Church are always open, just as God’s love is always open to all.