Welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you. – Romans 15:7
Our congregation welcomes, affirms, and includes all people. No matter your religious past, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, race, country of birth, socioeconomic or employment status, physical ability, political party, immigration status, home address, medical or psychological history—you are welcome! We look forward to getting to know you.
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When some people of faith say “all are welcome,” it doesn’t actually mean everyone. We’re not one of those churches, and we’re sorry that has been the case. So that we’re abundantly clear, we’ve made some important public “welcome statements” to show our support to individuals who sometimes feel like the welcome does not apply. Here’s the thing, when WPLC says “all are welcome,” we mean everyone!
As a community of the people of God, we are called to minister to all people in our world. We are called to reconciliation and wholeness and are challenged by the Gospel to be agents of healing within our society.
We affirm with the apostle Paul that in Christ “there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female” (Galatians 3:28)
Christ has made us one. We acknowledge this reconciliation extends to people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.
Because gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer persons and their families are often scorned by society and alienated from the Church, we wish to make known our caring concern.
It is for this purpose that we affirm the following:
- that people of all sexual orientations and gender identities share the worth that comes from being unique individuals created by God; that all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identities, are welcome at Wicker Park Lutheran Church;
- that people of all sexual orientations and gender identities are welcome to become members of this congregation upon making a common, public Affirmation of Faith; and
- that as participants in this congregation, people of all sexual orientations and gender identities are encouraged to share in the sacramental and general life of this congregation.
Adopted by the Congregation Council on January 12, 2006 (updated August 29, 2019)
In the spirit of continuing to fulfill our purpose of responding to human need, working for justice and peace, and to witness to the reconciling Word of God in Christ reaching out to all people, this congregation declares itself an “Immigrant Welcoming Congregation.” In so doing, we commit ourselves to care for refugees, asylum seekers, and undocumented immigrants (also called, “newcomers without legal documents”), as defined by the ELCA’s Social Message on Immigration from 1998, by:
- welcoming all people into full participation in this congregation, regardless of immigration status or place of birth,
- providing resources to asylum seekers, undocumented immigrants, and refugees, excluding physically providing “sanctuary” housing at our 1500 N. Hoyne Ave. building,
- offering the congregation opportunities to support local Sanctuary Congregations, including those who can provide physical space for asylum seekers and undocumented immigrants,
- advocating for refugees, asylum seekers, and undocumented immigrants on a local, state, national, and global level,
- working to better understand the complexity of immigration and refugee status,
- educating others and partnering with other organizations to fulfill these commitments.
Adopted by the Congregation Meeting on June 4, 2017. Full resolution here.