Christ the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church is a spiritual community that celebrates the gifts of God that empower us to engage in the struggles of life, to care for each other, and to serve Christ where we work and live. Christ the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church commits to being a Reconciling In Christ congregation. We welcome the participation of people of all ages, ethnic background, sexual orientation, gender identity, education, physical ability, mental health, nationality, and socio-economic status—all who want to join us in serving the world with gratitude, reflecting the unconditional love of God. Our unity is in Christ.
The Rainbow Fish
Have you seen our Rainbow Fish? What does it mean? You probably recognize the use of the fish symbol — a symbol for Christianity since the days of the early church. In recent times, the fish symbol is often found on churches, businesses, and even ads and cars. The rainbow, another Christian symbol, was given to Noah from God with a promise and reminder that the world would never again be destroyed as it was in the flood.
Since the late 21st century, the rainbow has been used to symbolize diversity, and was chosen as a symbol for the Rainbow Coalition in the struggle for civil rights. In the late 70’s, the gay and lesbian community also adopted it as a symbol of diversity, and you see the “gay flag” on everything from homes and businesses to cars and ads. It’s a symbol that sends the message that people are valued for their differences, and that everyone is welcome.
Both of these symbols hold meaning for many people in our community. Two long-time members of CGS merged these two symbols and started using it as a sign that LGBTQ+ people were welcome in this community of faith. That's because:
CGS is a Reconciling in Christ congregation
CGS openly welcomes lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, trans, intersex, asexual, demisexual (and any identity in the rainbow community) people to fully participate in the church. For over 30 years, CGS has identified itself as a “Reconciled in Christ” (RIC) congregation. RIC is a designation created by Reconciling Works to identify those congregations that openly welcome LGBTQIA+ persons. It's a way of being clear about what we mean when we say "all are welcome" in the Body of Christ.
The rainbow heart that you sometimes see is a symbol of Reconciling Works. They're the organization of Lutherans that gives out the RIC designation. They help all kinds of Lutheran worshiping communities to do the hard work of welcoming those who are often marginalized in Lutheran faith communities and we're grateful for their work!