welcome | affirmation | RIC
ReconcilingWorks is a ministry working within the Lutheran realm. On their website they state "We are Lutherans working with the recognition that racism, sexism, ageism, able-ism, heterosexism, homophobia, and all the other artificial distinctions that seek to raise one group into privilege and preference over another, conspire together to diminish our world and church."
Churches that are formal members of the Reconciling in Christ (RIC) network of churches are publicly stating that they seek to include LGBTQ+ persons in full participation of church life, and at all levels of leadership.
Every church that is RIC has a Statement of Welcome regarding their decision to be co-workers with RIC.
Echoes is an official member of RIC, and this is our statement:
Over and over again in Scripture, Jesus went out of his way to spend time with those whom the religious and cultural society had considered outsiders. He offered dignity, compassion, and inclusion. In doing so Jesus, as God in human form, revealed that God is concerned for and welcomes all persons.
The church has the responsibility to emulate this specific pattern of Jesus. As such, Echoes strives to be a safe, spiritual community for all persons, regardless of ethnicity, socioeconomic status, body shape, physical capabilities, emotional maturity, or education levels. Because Echoes is open to all, we choose specifically to invite anyone who has not felt welcomed by the church, including, but not limited to, LGBTQ+ persons, as well as gender-queer and those with varying gender expressions or identities, to attend and to participate. With this value of inclusiveness, we hope to be a hospitable community, following in the ways of Jesus, making Bellingham a better place to live for all.