Wednesday, June 27, 2012

St. Stephen Lutheran Church

It's Reconciling in Christ season, no doubt about it! Today we're proud to introduce St. Stephen Lutheran Church in Gladstone, OR.

courtesy of
If you'd like to visit, they hold a traditional worship service on Sunday at 9:00am and a praise service at 11:15am. You'd be most welcome at either.

St. Stephen Lutheran Church is also the home of St. Stephen Preschool, whose mission is, "... to provide a Christian foundation for young children in a loving, stimulating environment and to nurture all aspects of a child’s growth and development: spiritual, social, intellectual, emotional and physical.  It also assists the parents in teaching the “life skills” of responsibility, cooperation, respect for others, self-reliance and problem solving."

A warm welcome to all at St. Stephen Lutheran Church, and our thanks for the ministries you do.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Welcome, Atonement!

As we roll along toward ReconcilingWorks 2012, it's nice to be able to take a minute to focus on the Reconciling in Christ process. Today we welcome Atonement Lutheran Church in Asbury Park, New Jersey.

courtesy of
Atonement supports an interfaith ministry, runs a food pantry, and hosts the Arthur Reines Concert Series. Visit their website to find out more! Thank you so much, Atonement, for the welcoming ministries you offer. We are blessed to have you with us.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Lutherans Concerned/North America becomes ReconcilingWorks

Indeed, reconciling does work! That's one of the reasons ReconcilingWorks is the new name for Lutherans Concerned/North America. On June 12, 2012, we officially became ReconcilingWorks in order to better reflect the mission, values and goals of our organization, our movement, of Lutheranism, and Christianity.

The name that served us so well from our founding has become increasingly less descriptive of the ministry we have developed across time from the courageous beginning of the founders in 1974, through the beginnings of the RIC program in 1983, on to the addition of faith-based community organizing and training, leading to policy change and the response to the emerging issues of today.

ReconcilingWorks as a name describes us on several levels. First, reconciling really does work. Secondly, like waterworks or millworks, reconciliation is what we do.
We are reconciling Lutherans, working for full participation of everyone, as the logo connotes reading from top to bottom instead of left to right.

For more on the name change, see

Monday, June 11, 2012

Why one parent supports marriage equality for all couples

Steve Marquardt at the Southwestern Minnesota
Synod Assembly on June 9, 2012.

See below for comments from Steve Marquardt, who spoke on Resolution 12.02 “Expressing Grave Concern Regarding the Proposed Marriage Amendment to the Minnesota State Constitution” at the Southwest Minnesota Synod Assembly of the ELCA on June 9, 2012.

Reverend Chair, my name is Steve Marquardt from United Lutheran Church of Lake Lillian, and I speak in favor of the resolution.

My wife Judy and I have enjoyed an extremely happy marriage for 43 years. We have been Lutherans throughout our entire married life. In my extended family there are two lesbian women and one gay man--all of whom are in committed relationships with persons they love. One of these women is our daughter, Sarah.

In our family life, Judy and I and our daughter Sarah created loving relationships. Sarah was instructed and confirmed in an ELCA church.  Her mother and I wouldn’t have had a clue as to how to raise a lesbian daughter. We didn’t knowingly know any at that time.  But Sarah is who she is. 

How did this happen? Judy and I did not work toward that result. We conclude that her heart-felt orientation must be God’s work, because Sarah is a child of God, and (in the words of a beloved hymn) “God imparts to human hearts the blessings of his heaven.”

Sarah displays God’s blessings in her generosity, her community involvement, and in her Quaker meeting. Unlike her parents--who today are at their first Lutheran conference ever--Sarah has attended several state and national conferences of the Religious Society of Friends. She also keeps a “God” sticker displayed on her dashboard, to keep her always aware of her soul’s anchor.

We think Sarah is a first-class Christian, but in the eyes of Minnesota family law, she and Melinda are second-class citizens, despite their marriage ceremony four years ago in St. Paul, outside the law, followed by a second marriage ceremony three years ago in Iowa, where same-gender marriage is legal. Sarah and Melinda like marriage so much that they have done it twice. Judy and I have done it only once.

The four of us are Minnesotans for MORE Marriage--for more people expressing more love, more commitment, more support, more protection, more trust, and more fidelity--sharing this wonderful institution, and enjoying equal protection under the law against the many legal barriers that today hinder the happiness of families like ours. Same-gender marriage will not diminish our marriage.  Instead, it will increase our total family happiness.

For these reasons and many more, we are for resolution 12.02 and we oppose the proposed constitutional amendment.  We urge voting members of our Synod to support Resolution 12.02.

Steve Marquardt
Lake Lillian, MN

Monday, June 4, 2012

Lutherans United for All Families (Minnesota) Swag Now Available!

Attention, Minnesota Lutherans of all shapes and sizes! Show your opposition to the constitutional amendment on November 6th's ballot that would limit the freedom to marry, with "Lutherans United for All Families" merchandise. Get yours before the Pride Festival on June 23rd!
Go here for Lutherans United for All Families swag!