In April of 2017, the consistory of Trinity Reformed Church sought to discern what God was calling of us and how to more fully welcome all people. Through these courses and the work of Biblical scholars such as the Rev. Dr. James Brownson and Matthew Vines, Trinity began exploring how to become more welcoming to LGBTQ individuals and families. Two successive congregational surveys indicated near 100% support for this change. Over the following months, conversations were had on how this welcome and affirmation would look and be communicated.
In August of 2017, the consistory unanimously voted to amend our church bylaws to include a formal mission statement declaring our beliefs on LGBTQ people. This bylaw was voted on a second time in September of 2017 and thus formally adopted. The text of this bylaw reads:
Trinity Reformed Church, in response to God’s unconditional love for all people made known in Jesus Christ, and in our belief that all people are beloved of God and made in the image of God, do hereby commit to becoming a welcoming, affirming, and celebrating congregation of people of all ages, races, ethnicities, nationalities, genders, sexual orientations, relationship statuses, socioeconomic statuses, disabilities, and mental and physical health levels.
We believe that these things make the church diverse, beautiful, and reflective of God, and therefore affirm the beauty, value, and gifts of each and every person. As such, all people are welcome to membership and to participate fully in the life of the church. Membership is conditional only upon a person’s faith in Jesus Christ.
Centered in Christ, we commit ourselves to breaking down dividing walls and building a community where each and every person would know they are loved, affirmed, and celebrated by God.
In December of 2017, even though the previously adapted welcoming bylaw permitted it, a motion was put before the consistory to also adopt a formal policy on marriage which would explicitly permit same-sex marriages to be held here, and further to permit all clergy to officiate such ceremonies. Discussion was held that having an explicit policy would further extend hospitality and clarity for LGBTQ people. This motion was unanimously adopted.
In May of 2018, the consistory unanimously voted to hang an LGBTQ Pride Flag from the front of our building for the month of June (Pride Month), as a way to more visibly bear witness to our commitment. We are currently undergoing discussion on a more permanent display.
Finally, in July of 2018, the consistory unanimously voted to request that our congregation "roster" with Room for All, the official organization in the Reformed Church in America that recognizes Welcoming and Affirming congregations of LGBTQ people. This was done in order to more "officially" recognize our desire to become Welcoming, Affirming, and Celebrating and to help those looking for churches that have been officially vetted by an outside organization to verify those commitments.
Today, Trinity Reformed Church is a Welcoming, Affirming, and Celebrating congregation in the Reformed Church in America. LGBTQ people belong to our congregation, are welcome to baptism and communion, and serve on our consistory. We seek to continue to expand our welcome and outreach to all people.
We acknowledge that the church has caused tremendous harm and has perpetuated violence against LGBTQ people. While we cannot change the past, we actively commit to making the present and the future a more safe, just, and loving place where LGBTQ people know they belong.
If you are looking to hold a wedding here, please go to our Contact page at the top of the page and fill out the form, listing WEDDING in the subject line. We'll be in touch.
We are a Room for All congregation