Immanuel Lutheran Church is committed to seeing Christ in everyone. We are rooted and united in Christ. We grow by acknowledging and embracing our differences. We celebrate our human family’s diversity of sexuality, gender identity, marital status, race, ethnicity, age, faith story, economic status, physical and mental ability, education, and the many other identities that make our community beautiful.

All people are invited to grow with us toward greater love, understanding, and mutual respect – seeing Christ in everyone. 

As a Reconciling in Christ Congregation we are committed to

1) Clear welcome statement for people of all sexual and gender orientations and racial equity.
2) Open to calling a rostered leader who is LGBTQIA+ and/or a person of color.
3) Allow sanctuary and community space to be used for LGBTQIA+ weddings and blessings.
4) Make a financial contribution to the national RIC program. 

 Adopted January 29, 2023


Immanuel Lutheran Church is on a journey of grace-filled conversation, study, and prayer to specifically welcome people of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions. We started in 2019.

Upcoming Activities

 Missoula PRIDE parade. Saturday, June 17 at 11:00 am Join the Immanuel RIC team and other Lutherans marching in the parade alongside our banner with the RIC logo that states “You Are Loved” and our church’s name. Location: meet at 3rd/Higgins (Parade Staging Area).  

We embrace “Seeing Christ in Everyone”


Many LGBTQIA+ people have learned by experience that they are not truly welcome in church, even in churches that state, “All are welcome here!” A general statement of welcome is often heard as meaning “everybody but me,” so it can take a special effort to communicate an authentic welcome to LGBTQIA+ people. The RIC program seeks to make known places where people of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions are truly welcomed.

Team Members

Susannah Murphy, Jean Larson, Loni Nielson-Kattell, Kevin Papp, Linda Redfern, Pastor Molly Sasser-Goehner

Immanuel RIC Education

Lutherans Talk about…

In just the past 20 years, the culture has changed in perspective, practices, laws and language in how we live together as people of varying sexual orientations and gender identities. You may view these changes as welcome and wonderful, confusing or even alarming. This 3-part educational series will study scripture, Lutheran interpretation, and cultural practices regarding marriage, ordination, and welcoming and including people of varying sexual orientations and gender identities in the church.  

Reconciling in Christ Education

The Reconciling in Christ Team offered a month’s worth in 2022 of information, stories, and conversation to help Immanuel friends understand how and why we are working towards an all-inclusive and particular welcome to church for LGBTQIAplus siblings in Christ, and for other groups who have not always felt welcome in worship.   All are welcome!

Pediatrician, Pastor Transgender Panel

Dr. Kathy Rogers, retired pediatrician and life-long Lutheran, shares her experience working with the families and LGBTQ+ children and youth from a Pediatrician’s perspective. Pastor Greg and Carol Karlsgodt share the story of their transgender grandson and their own evolving perspective. June 2023

Immanuel Recognized by the Montana Synod

In April, 2023, Immanuel was recognized by the Montana Synod for the work they have done on becoming an RIC congregation.  Click the link below to learn more. 

RIC Article Montana Synod 4-12-23





Resource Links


Transforming: The Bible and the Lives of Transgender Christiansby Austen Hartke
Shameless by Nadia Boltz-Weber
You-ology- A Puberty Guide for Every Bodyby Katheryn Lowe, Melisa Holmes, and Patricia Hutchison

An Ally’s guide to Terminology

What words are most supportive to describe LGBTQIA + people and relationships? How to I speak without malice about those whose opinions differ from my own?  What do the words and terms mean?

ELCA Social Statement on Human Sexuality

The statement provides guidance on key matters, such as marriage, family, same-gender relationships, protection of children and youth, sexuality and the self, sexual intimacy and cohabitation.  This social statement was adopted by the 2009 ELCA Churchwide Assembly.


2009 ELCA video 

Here is a 15-minute video produced by ELCA member (Vally of Christ, Frenchtown) Jon Aaseng on the church’s 2009 decision to welcome LGBTQIA+ people with full and open hearts.  Montana Synod pastors are interviewed, including John Lund, Jean Larson, Carl Rohr, and former bishop Jessica Crist.  It’s a fine overview of how and why the ELCA has come to our current commitment of welcome.


Reconciling Scripture for Lutherans – On Sexuality and Gender Identity

A short commentary on eight of the so-called “clobber passages” used to exclude LGBTQIA+ people from the body of Christ, alongside eight Bible passages that offer inclusive and expansive understandings of the nature of God’s welcome. Book for purchase. You may request a copy from Pastor Molly.  See also the Immanuel Bible Studies recorded below. 


Youth and Family

Did you know that the average lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual person comes out at the age of 16? This means that there is a high chance that we will have an LGBTQIA+ youth in our congregation.