By the Gulf Coast Synod LGBTQIA Coalition
“If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you.”
At the 2022 Gulf Coast Synod Assembly meeting in Galveston, the Assembly approved a resolution that authorized the following:
- To enter a year-long process of discerning becoming a Reconciling in Christ (RIC) synod. This process will be guided by the Gulf Coast Synod LGBTQIA Coalition which will include regional educational forums and consultations with synod staff, council and conference deans; and
- To direct the LGBTQIA Coalition to develop a proposed synod Welcome Statement. The proposed Welcome Statement will be presented to the 2023 Synod Assembly to vote on whether to become a Reconciling in Christ synod.
In October, January, and February, the LGBTQIA Coalition held three regional RIC forums in New Orleans, La Grange, and Houston, with more than 200 participants from across most of the synod’s congregations. Resources have also been provided through the synod website for those who did not participate in one of the forums.
After the third forum, the Coalition developed a Frequently Asked Questions, and a task team was formed to develop the first draft of a Welcome Statement. This draft Welcome Statement has been reviewed by Synod Council and is currently being vetted by the synod’s Mesa Latina and Bishop’s Advisor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Once this is completed, it will be made available for public review.
The week of 2023 Synod Assembly, there will be a webinar for Assembly voting members and registered visitors to ask questions and learn more prior to Assembly.
During Assembly, there will be a time when the LGBTQIA will report to Assembly and present the Welcome Statement for deliberation and a vote. If the Assembly passes the Welcome Statement, it will mean that the Gulf Coast Synod becomes RIC. If it does not pass, the means the Gulf Coast Synod does not become RIC.