Statement of Welcome, Affirmation and Full Participation

Welcome to our Lord’s home at St. Matthew Lutheran Church. A home should be a place where you feel safe and a place where you experience love.  It should be a place where you are encouraged to be who God created you to be and to fully share with others the gifts that God has given you.  Jesus gave his family of followers the example of loving ALL people without exception and that example is one that is honored and uplifted here.

Since ALL people are created in God’s image, we are ALL loved and valued equally by God.  God brings our lives together, and in sharing our different experiences, we gain wisdom. This enables us to better appreciate each other and spread God’s love, healing and hope to the world.

The church and its communities, including St. Matthew, have all too often marginalized and excluded people.  Jesus sets our example; therefore, we at St. Matthew Lutheran Church publicly commit ourselves to ongoing learning about inclusivity so that we can actively reach out in the Lord’s Name with humility. This means all people, including LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual/aromantic) persons, are affirmed and welcome to fully participate here.  Additionally, we dedicate ourselves to the ongoing work of antiracism and dismantling other forms of oppression and exclusion.) We are called to be filled with warmth, love, respect, and care for ALL, since ALL are precious to God.

We commit ourselves to extend Christ’s healing and unconditional acceptance, love, and service to every single person wherever we are in the world.  This includes:  people who vary in age, color, ancestry, appearance, gender identity and expression (one’s internal feeling of gender), authentic expression of self, sexual orientation (to whom one is attracted and loves), decision to be married, type of family, monetary resource, social skill, position in life, citizenship status, legal concern, community support, emotional wellbeing, mental capability and challenge, physical health and ability, political perspective, educational experience, and spiritual background. 

NO MATTER WHO YOU ARE… no matter the difficulties or needs with which you struggle, no matter the guilt or shame that you carry, no matter how much you have felt disregarded, unheard, misunderstood, or treated like an outsider elsewhere, THERE IS A HOME FOR YOU HERE where you can count on being loved and welcomed by our Lord and where we strive, with God’s help, to likewise love and value one another.

Through God’s radically inclusive love and with God’s empowering gifts, St. Matthew is open in mind and heart to others, affirming of the goodness and diversity of God’s gift of each other, and welcoming of every single person to fully participate in the life of Christian discipleship in this church home.  

Welcome home!