You Are Welcome At Wplc!
Welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you. – Romans 15:7
We take Apostle Paul’s reminder (printed above) seriously. As such, our congregation welcomes, affirms, and includes all people. We welcome you as an individual and all that makes you who you are, including: your gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, marital status, race, culture, ethnicity, country of birth, socioeconomic or employment status, physical abilities, political party, immigration status, home address, medical or psychological history, family status, and religious/spiritual background. You are accepted and affirmed just as you are–with all your differences and gifts. In our continued effort to live out this welcome, we are committed to the work of anti-racism, social and economic justice, and environmental care. We stand against oppression in all its forms–internally, interpersonally, and structurally. We are honored to worship with you–welcome!
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Affirmations of Welcome
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!
A “Reconciling in Christ” Congregation
As a community of the people of God, we are called to minister to all people in
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 no longer Jew or Greek; there is no longer slave or free; there is no longer male and female, for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28 NRSVue)
Christ has made us one. We acknowledge this reconciliation extends to people of all sexual orientations, gender expressions, gender identities, races, and to all who suffer from oppression.
Because LGBTQIA+ persons and their families are often scorned by society and alienated from the Church, and because we recognize the role the Church has played in contributing to systems of racism and oppression, we wish to make known our caring concern.
We affirm that people of all sexual orientations, gender expressions, gender identities, races, cultures, and ethnicities:
- share the worth that comes from being unique individuals created by God;
- are welcome at Wicker Park Lutheran Church;
- are welcome to become members of this congregation upon making a common, public Affirmation of Faith; and
- are encouraged to share in the sacraments, life passages (including marriage), and general life in this congregation (including lay and rostered leadership).
As a congregation we commit to actively create racial equity and deconstruct the systems of racist and gendered oppression within our walls and outside our doors.
Updated language approved by the Congregation Council on December 13, 2022 (originally adopted on January 12, 2006). The “Reconciling in Christ” (RIC) designation is granted by ReconcilingWorks. Learn more about RIC here.
An “Immigrant welcoming Congregation”
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.