Friday, July 20, 2012

(Updated) ReconcilingWorks invites you to a Service of Installation for the Rev. Anita C. Hill

Cordially invites you to a

Service of Installation


The Rev. Anita C. Hill

Saturday, August 11, 2012; 2:00 pm

Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran Church

1669 Arcade St N
St Paul MN 55106-1041

Preaching: The Rev. Bradley Schmeling
Presiding: The Rev. Bonnie Wilcox
Installing: The Rev. Paul Erickson

Reception to follow, with a tour of ReconcilingWorks’ new office suite at Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran Church.

All are welcome, without exception! 

ReconcilingWorks (formerly Lutherans Concerned/North America) is pleased to announce that the Saint Paul Area Synod has issued call to The Rev. Anita C. Hill to serve as Regional Director for Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

UPDATE ON DRIVING DIRECTIONS: Because of a bridge replacement on I-35E - the section north of I-94 will be closed on the weekend of the installation. Please take a route (other than I-35E) that brings you to Hwy 36, so you can proceed south on Hwy 61 to 1169 Arcade at the intersection with Larpenteur--the corner where Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran Church is located. See you there!
ReconcilingWorks, P.O.Box 4707, St. Paul, MN 55104-0707

Thursday, July 19, 2012

ReconcilingWorks to provide education for 35,000 youth to practice peacemaking at the ELCA National Youth Gathering

ReconcilingWorks to provide education for 35,000 youth to practice peacemaking at the ELCA National Youth Gathering

For the second time, ReconcilingWorks has been officially invited to participate in the National Youth Gathering of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), to be held July 18-22 in New Orleans. ReconcilingWorks will engage youth in support of the gathering's theme: "Citizens of the saints."

With the expected participation of 35,000 teenagers and their adult chaperones, the National Youth Gathering is the largest event organized by the 4.2 million-member church and is meant to help in the faith formation of its younger members.

ReconcilingWorks staff members Tim Feiertag, Kurt Neumann, Emily Hamilton, and Travis Van Horn will represent the organization at the gathering. They will host two anti-bullying workshops and staff an interactive booth in the convention center hall, where gathering participants can learn about how faith compels believers to speak out, bringing their Lutheran voices to bear on societal problems and exercising their faith through witness, education, and action.

As part of the gathering's "Practice Peacemaking" sub-theme, ReconcilingWorks will facilitate two workshops developed and conducted by the Pacific Violence Prevention Institute, called "The Ally Inside You." These workshops will use video, facilitated discussion, and role-playing exercises to prepare participants to change from bystanders into effective allies by teaching them the skills to intervene effectively in acts of bullying and harassment that they witness. 

Travis Van Horn, serving a summer internship with ReconcilingWorks, attended the previous youth gathering as a high-school student and said he feels he can relate well to this gathering's participants.

"I want to get across that there is a place for people of all sexual orientations and gender identifications in this church," said Van Horn.

He explained that youth gatherings help young people see that their voice in the church is more powerful than they realize. This can allow them to take a leadership role in changing attitudes. "When they say something, it gets listened to a lot more than the average church-goer," he said.

Held every three years, Youth Gatherings bring together ELCA teenage members, adults, volunteers, and other Lutherans from around the world for leadership development, faith formation, service opportunities and more.

"I want young people to return to their congregations as leaders, demonstrating what they've learned and possibly igniting the whole congregation's imagination" for mission, Heidi Hagstrom, director of the gatherings, told the ELCA news service. She added that that this gathering is also about justice and love.

The Rev. Mark Hanson, ELCA presiding bishop, is one of the gathering's keynote speakers. His address to the youth will come soon after his July 7 keynote speech to the ReconcilingWorks assembly in Washington, D.C., a historic first. In that speech, Bishop Hanson commended the organization for "providing essential leadership in the ELCA's anti-bullying commitment, helping us to make sure that commitment is more than just words in a resolution, but occasion for awareness and action, repentance and healing."

ReconcilingWorks Assembly Calls On Congress to Support Their Constituents Regardless of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity or Expression and End Second-Class Citizen Status

July 9, 2012        

ReconcilingWorks Assembly Calls On Congress to Support Their Constituents Regardless of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity or Expression and End Second-Class Citizen Status

Met in its biennial assembly, ReconcilingWorks passed resolutions calling on the Congress of the United States to take up and pass legislation that relates directly to support of their constituents, their families and their right to live as all others do, in a society that no longer allows discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.

On the subject of anti-bullying, the assembly called on the Congress to pass the Safe Schools Improvement Act (H.R. 1648/S. 506) that would establish a framework whereby states and communities make schools safer for students and the Student Non-Discrimination Act (H.R. 998/S. 555) that would establish federal protections for students suffering from harassment regardless of sexual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity.

On the subject of employment, the assembly called on the Congress to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) (H.R. 1397/S. 812) that would prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.

On the subject of equality under the law and ending second-class citizenship for LGBT people, the assembly called on the Congress to pass the Respect for Marriage Act that would repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, an act that currently denies many loving, same-gender couples federal recognition of their lifelong commitment to each other through marriage.

And, on the subject of equality in immigration, the assembly called on the Congress to pass the Uniting American Families Act (H.R. 1537/S. 821) that would enable loving families to remain together by extending immigration protections to same-gendered couples.  Under current laws, a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident is permitted to sponsor his/her spouse, child, or parent, but U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents are not permitted to sponsor their same-gender partners.

In all of these cases, the assembly called upon the Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the synod bishops, clergy and other church leaders to advocate publically for the passage of these pieces of legislation.  The assembly also called on all to make ReconcilingWorks's position on these pieces of legislation known to their elected members of Congress in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. 

The participants in this 2012 assembly of ReconcilingWorks will do just that tomorrow, Tuesday, July 10, 2012, when they visit the offices of members of Congress for whom they are constituents, to tell how these subjects affect their lives as citizens.

ELCA Bishop Mark Hanson addresses ReconcilingWorks Assembly in Washington, D.C.

Historic First - Lutheran Presiding Bishop Keynotes Pro-LGBT Faith Group

ELCA Bishop Mark Hanson addresses ReconcilingWorks Assembly in Washington, D.C.

July 7, 2012

Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson of the Evangelical Church in America (ELCA) will deliver an historic keynote on July 7, 2:30 pm, to the ReconcilingWorks biennial gathering running from July 6-10 in Washington, D.C. Formerly known as Lutherans Concerned/North America, ReconcilingWorks launched its new organization name, ReconcilingWorks: Lutherans for Full Participation, on June 12th, to better reflect their ongoing ministry with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, their families and congregations throughout the denomination.

This first-ever presentation by a presiding bishop of the 4.2 million member ELCA Lutheran denomination follows a 2009 ELCA assembly decision to drop the prohibition against partnered gay or lesbian ministers. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada in 2011 also voted to permit marriage or blessing of same-gender couples.

"We are honored to have Bishop Hanson address the ReconcilingWorks Assembly," said Emily Eastwood, executive director. "Bishop Hanson is an important spiritual leader, the visible head of our church. Today as we live into our new name, ReconcilingWorks, we look forward to hearing Bishop Hanson on the subject of reconciliation and look forward to our work helping to create a church where Christ's reconciling love is embodied through full participation in the church."

When prohibitions were dropped, many ELCA congregations celebrated that they could call ministers to serve regardless of whom they love or how they express their gender. LGBT people in committed relationships have been ordained, reinstated and called to serve since the change in policy.

The ReconcilingWorks assembly is being held at Luther Place Memorial Lutheran Church, 1226 Vermont Avenue Northwest Washington, DC 20005