Hearts Across the Heartland
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During the 2022 Synod Assembly, the Central States Synod designated Hearts Across the Heartland (a grassroots organization of LGBTQIA+ affirming members, pastors, and congregations of the synod) as a ministry partner and LGBTQIA+ social justice team for the CSS. This group was formed in 2019 by Kansas City ELCA members and congregations organizing around having a presence at KC Pride and has become a bi-monthly zoom fellowship of those interested in creating a more inclusive church.
Hearts Across the Hearland is currently co-led by Rev. Meagan McLaughlin (St. Louis and Central Missouri) and Rev. Andrew C. Patty (Kansas City and Kansas) assisting congregations in their areas.
The synod has directed Hearts Across the Heartland to:
develop educational materials on LGBTQIA+ issues and concerns that are being faced in our society for congregations and rostered leaders
create resources and practices to make our synod meetings and spaces more welcoming for LGBTQIA+ persons.
add sexual identity and gender expression to our current diversity training of rostered leaders.
partner with Kansas Interfaith Action, Missouri Faith Voices, and other community groups to raise awareness and advocate for the rights of LGBTQIA+ persons.
Learn more about using inclusive and accurate pronouns with this Pronoun Fact Sheet.
Make your congregation and meetings more inclusive using these suggested best practices.