Is The UMC a big tent or a circus?
by Partrick Scriven
During its 2012 session, the Pacific Northwest Conference voted overwhelmingly to support the marriage equality bill that was before voters in Washington state on election day. Bishop Grant J. Hagiya embodied the will of the conference by offering his voice to the Washington United for Marriage campaign; speaking with clarity about the importance of religious freedom. With the approval of Referendum 74, United Methodist clergy and congregations have two distinct questions to wrestle with… Read more>>
Job opening to lead RMN
Help send Troy off with a memory book
Help say goodbye to Troy and Walter… Share your memories, stories, notes, pictures, and scanned handwritten notes for a special goodbye book project RMN’s Board is preparing for Troy. Email 3 words that describe Troy along with pictures and memories to: goodbyeTroy@rmnetwork.org. Send pictures in a high resolution .jpg format. Deadline is November 19! Contact David Meredith or Giselle Lawn with questions.
4 new Reconciling Congregations
Church of the Reconciler (Birmingham, Alabama)
From the beginning, we were clear that practicing radical hospitality meant welcoming the LGBTQ community, that speaking truth to power would mean being open and honest about our position, and that we would be called upon to help lead our community as we confronted the fears, questions, and prejudices that the Church has traditionally exhibited toward the LGBTQ community.
Our life together affirms that “God shows no partiality” (Acts 10:34). Our congregation is diverse, and we celebrate that diversity. We challenge members to follow Jesus in multicultural, interracial community; maintain a committment to be inclusive, welcoming all people regardless of age, gender, race, economic status, ethnic background, mental or physical ability, sexual orientation, or gender identity. God’s work is the work of removing the injustices of the past that divide and limit all of us. Church of the Reconciler’s special task is equipping layity for the ministry of reconciliation so that we may be “sent into the world as Jesus was sent” (John 20:21).
Parker Memorial United Methodist Church (New Orleans, Louisiana)
We have been openly welcoming LGBTQ friends for a while, but have just had the awakening this year that it is time to make a formal, public proclamation of our welcoming stance. One of our members who leads our spiritual formation classes helped us see that “some of us are supporters from the sideline during civil rights transformations and some of us get on the bus!” Our people decided they are ready to “get on the bus.”
Parker Memorial United Methodist Church is a faith collective that welcomes all persons to celebrate in the love of God and their birthright as children of god. The Parker Reconciling Ministries believe in full inclusion and states that “all means all”, including people of all sexual orientations, gender identities, race, ethnicity, age, faith history, economic status, marital status, physical and mental ability, and education. The Parker community works for equal rights for all humans and the natural world. We believe that the diversity of our community makes our faith stronger, our spirituality deeper, and our service more helpful.
Glenview United Methodist Church (Glenview, Illinois)
Our decision to become a Reconciling Congregation was the culmination of a two and a half year process of education, discernment, and discussion which included holy conversation, Bible study, films, guest speakers, and Q&A opportunities with the pastors and lay leaders. We are proud to be a Reconciling Congregation!
Following the loving example of Jesus Christ, we affirm the inherent worth and dignity of every person as a beloved child of God. We welcome into the life and ministry of Glenview United Methodist Church all persons of every age, ability, race, gender identity, ethnicity, nationality, marital status, sexual orientation, family configuration, or socioeconomic or employment status.
2 Corinthians 5:17-18 (CEB) So then, if anyone is in Christ, that person is part of the new creation. The old things have gone away, and look, new things have arrived! All of these new things are from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and who gave us the ministry of reconciliation.
Hapeville First United Methodist Church is a welcoming, inclusive congregation called to the ministry of reconciliation – that is bringing others into the church and into a saving relationship with God. We embrace as a gift the richness found in the diversity of our church, our community and the world. We recognize and celebrate the diversity of the Family of God in age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, faith history, economic status, marital status, physical and mental ability and education. We affirm that all people are created in the image of God and as beloved children of God, are all worthy of God’s love and grace. Hapeville First UMC welcomes the full inclusion of all people into the life and ministries of our church and invites all people to join us in our faith journey toward greater love, understanding and mutual respect.
Transgender Day of Remembrance online vigil
by Rev. Sean Parker Dennison, Unitarian Universalist in McHenry, IL
Every year at the end of November, communities across the globe come together to commemorate the International Transgender Day of Remembrance—a day dedicated to honoring trans* people who have lost their lives to acts of violence over the past year. This year, Standing on the Side of Love and the Church of the Larger Fellowship will host an online vigil that can be attended by anyone with a computer and internet access. Together, we will mourn those are no longer with us, while also offering hope, beauty, and a celebration of the living.
Please join us for the online Transgender Day of Remembrance vigil on Monday, November 19 at 8:00pm ET. Click here to RSVP and spread the word.
The Transgender Day of Remembrance is a day of mixed feelings for me: deep grief at the loss of so many beautiful trans* people and the sadness of knowing that the vast majority of those injured and killed for being themselves are poor trans* women of color. It is such a stark reminder of the ways that race, class, transphobia, and other oppressions multiply the danger exponentially.At the same time, each Day of Remembrance I feel sad that the day set aside as a “transgender holiday” is a day of counting and naming our dead. I long for a day of Transgender Pride—a celebration of the lives of trans* people and their lives. At this year’s vigil, we will try to do both: to solemnly honor our dead while also recognizing the gifts that trans* people bring to our communities and the world. We hope you will join us.
No matter who you are or where you live, you can honor the Transgender Day of Remembrance by joining our online vigil.
Already planning a Day of Remembrance vigil in your community? You can find our TDOR resource page here.
*Trans is an all-inclusive, umbrella term that refers to all of the non-normative identities within the gender identity spectrum. Check out this article to learn more.