Institute for Welcoming Resources The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

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Towards a Welcoming and Inclusive Church

About IWR

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What is the Institute for Welcoming Resources?

Denominational representatives of the Welcoming Church Movement created IWR in November 2002. The purpose of this ecumenical group is to provide the resources to facilitate a paradigm shift in multiple denominations whereby churches become welcoming and affirming of all congregants regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. IWR wants to help build church homes that are truly welcoming and nurturing, where everyone knows they're okay, just like they are. In early 2006, IWR became a program of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, through a formal merger.

IWR's vision is that of its sponsors, the welcoming church programs. The task assigned to IWR is to provide or assist in the production of resources to make possible this paradigm shift in Christianity.

It will do this by:

  • the development, production, and distribution of resources to support the welcoming church movement
  • the development and planning of conferences and training events designed to inspire, empower, and equip members and leadership in the welcoming church movement
  • the expansion of networks and the creation of coalitions within and beyond the welcoming church movement.

We build on a tradition of hope in adversity.

A growing public awareness of homosexuality began about 35 years ago. At that time, people of all sexual orientations and gender identities started to confront hatred and ignorance. As they worked towards securing a rightful place in society, the wider culture responded with swift rejection. Sadly, many communities of faith have been at the forefront of this injustice against a gentle, creative, and deeply spiritual people. For over three decades, some lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons have never given up their place in the pew and the pulpit. Discussions surrounding issues of human sexuality now dominate most gatherings of every mainstream religion. Today, obstacles standing in the way of justice are being removed, thanks to the welcoming church movement. IWR is developing resources to empower people of all sexual orientations and gender identities to work for justice in church and society. We have a vision of a new day when the sanctity of every life is assured and the gifts and ministries we bring are truly honored and affirmed.

TOGETHER WE CAN DO A NEW THING!

IWR's mission is to create resources that support the unconditional welcome of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities and their families in the church home of their choice.

Partner with us in supporting the mission and vision of the Institute for Welcoming Resources. Whether you are an individual who can lift up IWR in your prayers, or can provide needed financial support, we want to know who you are and include you in this endeavor.

Organizational Partners

Affirm United/S'affirmer Ensemble The Association of Welcoming & Affirming Baptists Brethren-Mennonite Council for LGBT Concerns Open and Affirming Ministries of the Gay, Lesbian & Affirming Disciples (GLAD) Integrity Reconciling Works
More Light Presbyterians Open and Affirming Program of the United Church of Christ Coalition for LGBT Concerns (ONA) Reconciling Ministries Network Room for All - Reformed Church in America Welcoming Community Network - Community of Christ