Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Lansing adopts new welcome, belief statements to promote inclusion of all individuals

An all-inclusive welcome ... The Sunday school and confirmation students at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Lansing have painted this welcoming mural made out of reclaimed doors. Pictured above, left to right, are: Austin Weipert, Isla Henkes, Adrian Weipert, Ashlyn Henkes, Pastor Laura Gentry, Laurel Scott, Emilio Rathbun and Fuji the dog. Submitted photo.

At its recent annual meeting, Our Savior's Lutheran Church congregation in Lansing supported two important additions to the church's mission statement to promote inclusion of all individuals in Lansing and surrounding communities. To that end, Our Savior’s Lutheran Church has adopted a new welcome statement and new belief statements. The impetus behind the changes centers around the thought that at a time where there is so much division in the nation Our Savior's Lutheran Church wants everyone to understand God’s inclusive grace and love.

The church's new welcome statement declares: "We welcome all because God welcomes all. Whatever your age, gender, race, ethnicity, political perspective, religious background, economic situation, citizenship, mental or physical ability, marital status, sexual orientation or gender identity - there’s a place here for you."

The congregation backs this welcome statement up with belief statements. These belief statements include:

• That all people are created in God’s image.
• This is a place of hospitality where everyone feels safe and accepted.
• Our differences are gifts to be celebrated.
• We honor and respect other religious traditions.
• Caring relationships, community building and service are our priorities.
• We are one in Jesus Christ.
• You, no matter who you are, you are welcome here.

To support LGBTQ individuals and their spouses, families and friends, Our Savior’s Lutheran Church has become a Reconciling in Christ (RIC) church. This important step recognizes a congregation which provides a church community where people of all sexual orientations and gender identities can find a safe, nurturing and affirming place in which to worship and learn. To find out more about RIC go to www.ReconcilingWorks.org.

The Sunday school and confirmation students at Our Savior's Lutheran Church have gotten involved in the ministry of welcome by painting a mural on four doors which proclaims: “God’s doors are open to all.” This mural is now displayed outside church (see photo at right).

In addition to the new welcoming statement, Our Savior’s will be offering learning opportunities on topics which include racism, LGBTQ inclusion, religious differences, gender equality and more.  These learning opportunities will include videos, guest speakers, books and articles, and safe, open dialogue exploring the wonderful differences in God's people.  Church members along with all interested community members are welcome to attend these learning opportunities.

The congregation members of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church are excited to intentionally open its doors wider as they work to build a more inclusive church. Our Savior's Lutheran Church especially welcomes those who have not found a supportive faith community or are in need of healing because of previous church experiences.

To find out more about the worship schedule, resources and learning opportunities, visit the church's website at LansingLutherans.org, follow Our Savior's Facebook page at Facebook.com/lansinglutherans or contact Pastor Laura Gentry at lansinglutherans@gmail.com.

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