In 1989, Bethel Lutheran Church took a stand: we joined the Reconciled in Christ program (now called Reconciling in Christ) and made an explicit and intentional statement that we welcome persons of all sexual orientations and gender identities. This decision, by an overwhelming majority vote of the Bethel congregation, followed a year of discussion, Bible study, and education on the subject of sexual orientation. At the time Bethel was the only Lutheran church in Missouri taking this stand. (There are now six: three in the St. Louis area and three in Kansas City.)
Over the intervening 26 years, Bethel has publicized this welcome on our bulletins, our front sign, our website (and the RIC website as well), and various other ways. On several occasions members of Bethel have marched in the annual Pride parade, and for three years (2010 – 2012) Bethel sponsored a booth at the annual PrideFest. (Pride is an organization that works to foster an understanding of and equality for the LGBTQIA+ community in the general population.)
Bethel is committed to sharing the love of God with all of God’s creation, and to being a place of welcome and safety for all.