The Diversity Task Force on Sexual Orientation and Gender Expression is an official entity of the Southeast Michigan Synod.  It is comprised of people from diverse sexual and gender orientations both lay and rostered, and works on issues within the church surrounding gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex people. Additionally, the Task Force offers educational opportunities/resources to ELCA congregations and individuals seeking to explore questions of sexuality and gender.

Our Mission Statement: The Diversity Task Force on Sexual Orientation and Gender Expression is committed to justice and full inclusion of all God’s people within our congregations, the Southeast Michigan Synod, and the ELCA through education, support, advocacy, and faith!

Our Task Force accomplishes its work through a variety of initiatives:

  • Engaged participant at the annual Southeast Michigan Synod Assembly where we educate through table displays, workshops, and personal conversations.
  • Trusted presence at synodical and ELCA events such as the annual December Michigan Youth Gathering with the North/West Lower Michigan Synod and the 2015 ELCA Youth Gathering in Detroit.
  • Informed educational presentations for congregations seeking speakers or a panel to share knowledge, resources, and faith journeys as LGBTQ Lutherans or as allies.
  • Secured and confidential e-mail distribution list where members and friends are kept apprised of our activities and other topical news impacting the LGBTQ faith community. (One may be added to the Diversity Task Force distribution list by contacting Chair Wendy Wellman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Rob Montry at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..)

The following provides a timeline of past Diversity Task Force accomplishments: Diversity Task Force Timeline. One major focus of the Task Force in recent years has been the active support and promotion of the Reconciling in Christ (RIC) welcoming program sponsored by ReconcilingWorks: Lutherans for Full Participation (formerly Lutherans Concerned/North America). 

The RIC program is for congregations, synods, colleges, seminaries, and other Lutheran organizations who seek to publicly welcome lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people with an “Affirmation of Welcome” or “Welcome Statement.” 

Our Task Force in tandem with ReconcilingWorks provides information, resources, and proactive support to congregations who are exploring the importance of welcoming people of all sexual orientations and gender identities/expressions into the radiant light of Christ's unconditional love where they may find safety, respect, and the warm embrace of a loving faith community.  The RIC roster now exceeds 700 Lutheran settings in North America, including the Southeast Michigan Synod and 11 of our congregations/campus ministries.

Convening once a month on weekday evenings between September and May (excluding December), meeting locations alternate between churches in Ann Arbor and metropolitan Detroit.  The agenda is preceded by light dinner and devotions.  With a membership in excess of one hundred, a typical meeting may draw twelve to fifteen as individuals attend based upon availability.  Reflecting the diversity of the group, a variety of congregations and localities are represented from throughout the synod.  The Diversity Task Force on Sexual Orientation and Gender Expression invites new members, friends, and allies to join us for fellowship as we work for justice and inclusivity in our congregations, synod, ELCA, and society.  For further information, please contact Chair Wendy Wellman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Rob Montry at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..