RMN Blog

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A wall of love

By Colleen McClain, Originally posted by First UMC of Portland Friday the email arrived: the Westboro Baptists from Topeka, Kansas, would be in Portland ready to target the Gay Christian Network Conference Saturday morning. I shuddered. Our new friend, Helen, would be... read more

A reflection on the Just Resolution of the complaint against Bishop Melvin Talbert

By Rev. Gil Caldwell Bishop Talbert is quoted as saying following the resolution of the complaint against him, “I believe embracing Biblical Obedience offers the best way…” The resolution that involved other Bishops including the one who brought... read more

Baby Theodore

Painting by He Qi “My uncle, Alex Vonnegut, taught me something very important. He said that when things were going really well we should be sure to notice it. He was talking about simple occasions, not great victories: maybe drinking lemonade on a hot afternoon... read more

Preparing for the Christ child

Until last year, the only significance that the 25 days of Christmas held for me was the opportunity to watch feel-good holiday movies on ABC Family. I grew up with stories of Santa on the shelf next to those about Jesus, and the extent of my religious observance of... read more

World AIDS Day: Why It Matters

December 1st. You know, it’s not only unfortunate that we set aside this day every year—it’s actually tragic. It’s unfortunate that there’s just one day set aside to call out as a reminder to such a devastating global disease; it’s tragic that lives continue to be... read more

I will call you by your name

Transgender Day of Remembrance is a day to memorialize trans* people who have died by anti-transgender violence, particularly in the last year. This year, so far, there are 226 people listed on the trans respect (and this list is likely incomplete). They range in age... read more

Reclaiming the Magic of the Holidays

As we move into the latter part of the year and into the holiday season, I have, in recent years, struggled to find the joy and happiness I had as a child. Frankly, I assume many, if not most of us, are in a similar spot. Naturally, as years pass we are filled with... read more

Legalism vs. Love, Round 3

Next week, in a makeshift courtroom at a hotel in Memphis, The United Methodist Church’s highest judicial body will decide Rev. Frank Schaefer’s fate. Schaefer was defrocked in December 2013 after a church trial in which the prosecutor threatened the jury with eternal... read more

Watch: God is *THIS* big!

As an advocate for the LGBTQ community and countless other marginalized groups, Desmond Tutu is one of the world’s most influential human rights advocates…and today is his birthday! As the Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, Tutu was influential in the struggle against... read more

Holding Our Stories

Suicide and self-harm isn’t a topic discussed frequently enough in the church. You might ask, “why would a young person even want to talk about the subject?” But perhaps a better question would be, “how would I respond to a young person who... read more

Be a Rainbow in Somebody’s Cloud

As Maya Angelou passed this May, many of my friends and family took to social media to honor her life. One my favorite quotes by Dr. Angelou seemed to be a favorite amongst others: Be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud. She stated once in an interview:  There’s an... read more

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors?

Tomorrow, at the invitation of the Connectional Table and the Executive Committee of the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church, RMN will join representatives from the Methodist Federation for Social Action, Love Prevails, Good News, Confessing Movement,... read more

Talking Past Each Other

As I have made my way through seminary I have found that there are many topics in the church which we discuss believing that we all share a common definition, but this could not be further from the truth.  When I hear someone speaking of sin, salvation, atonement,... read more

Why I #StandWithMaryAnn

Today in the Southwest Texas Annual Conference, Mary Ann Barclay will be going before the Board of Ordained Ministry for an interview for the process of ordination as a Deacon in The United Methodist Church. Mary Ann was first denied an interview last June at Annual... read more

Hello, my name is Alex

reprinted with permission This post has been a long time in the making. For over a year I have wondered how and when I would share with all of you my journey until now. Why am I sharing? No more secrets. Secrets bring shame and I have nothing to be ashamed of.... read more

On God and Caesar

A church that exists among the comfortable cannot be prophetic. We must put Jesus first. Abridged; originally preached at FL Annual Conference MFSA gathering 2013; full text here   Storey presenting President Nelson Mandela with a sculpture of melted guns on the... read more

Why it Matters

Written for First United Methodist Church, Oneonta, NY as they approach their 25th anniversary of their decision to become a Reconciling congregation. It was a spectacularly broken time in my life. I had just stopped drinking. I had just broken up with my boyfriend of... read more

#WeDid!: Accountable to God first

We Did: Stories of United Methodists living Biblical Obedience and marriage equality As I drove to the home where the wedding was to take place, I was a little nervous—not because I was officiating a marriage ceremony between two women, but rather because I had my... read more

Gay scoutmaster speaks out

 originally published in the Seattle Times - The Boy Scouts of America are behind the times by barring someone from serving as scoutmaster for his sexual orientation, writes guest columnist Geoffrey McGrath. Two weeks ago, Boy Scout Troop 98 and I ventured out into a... read more

#WeDid!: A gay Disney wedding

We Did: Stories of United Methodists living Biblical Obedience and marriage equality I was a local preacher in a big church in Rochester, Minnesota.  Late one afternoon a couple came into the church office asking to be married that evening.  The pastor was on vacation... read more

#WeDid!: The eyes of God

We Did: Stories of United Methodists living Biblical Obedience and marriage equality “Okay, I’ll officiate at your wedding again,” I told my lifelong friend Josephine—then added with mock seriousness, “But two’s my limit!” Josephine (called Jo by those who knew her)... read more

#WeDid!: Ethics demanded that risk

We Did: Stories of United Methodists living Biblical Obedience and marriage equality The two honorary uncles of our teenage children were Dewey and Larry. The remarkable couple, known internationally in their respective fields, became part of our family during those... read more

It is my pastoral duties…

It was my pastoral duty then and it is my pastoral duty today….. I have only officiated at a dozen Holy Unions over the years between the late 80’s and early 2000’s.  (I am so glad that we now call these services WEDDINGS.)  Many of my colleagues and several district... read more

What is your story?

This is a follow-up to Julie Wood‘s  first post about her gay son Ben who committed suicide. I have a lot of questions and many of them do have an “edge” to them.  How could anyone that identifies themself as a follower of the example of Jesus, feel he has the... read more

Coming out and changing the world

In the months preceding coming out to my closest friends and family members (most of the Traditionalist variety) I developed a series of presentations in order to describe the evolution of my thought and belief towards my orientation. Putting aside how telling that is... read more

Why marriage matters

spoken at Why Marriage Matters Colorado - It is a joy and a privilege to stand before you as a United Methodist clergywoman and as a staff person at Reconciling Ministries Network. At Reconciling Ministries, we seek to ensure that all people – regardless of who they... read more

Wesleyan Obedience

Recently I attended a Lay Speaker class at my church on UMC heritage. We learned the inspiring story of the Wesley brothers. But, we went on to learn about the spread of the Methodist movement in America and beyond. I admit I stand in awe of the sacrifices and... read more

Seminarians: The Untapped Allies

From a young age, I have always had the understanding that everyone is accepted and loved by God no matter their race, nationality, wealth, or sexuality.  The God I knew was one that loved with no bounds. The God that sent a selfless divine human to die for our sins... read more

Not our differences that divide

“It is not our differences that divide us, it is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.”                                         – Audre Lourde - I heard these words, not in a bookstore, or at a poetry/prose reading, or... read more

Dear Rev. Gil

When I wrote the story of the same sex marriage that I performed, I looked forward to the responses. Among the responses that I received, I have chosen this one as being representative of the many, many parents who have looked to the Church for ministry with and to... read more

Where’s My Voice?

When I was doing course work at the University of Georgia we had a guest lecturer come to one class to speak to us regarding the importance of diversity.  She highlighted women and Latinos as oppressed and marginalized groups, and contrasted this to those who hold... read more

My Feet Hurt!

I would have to attribute my earliest concerns for “social justice” to the many protest songs we sang around campfires in Methodist Youth Fellowship (MYF) and church camp in the 60’s, but I would probably have been voted “least likely to participate in a... read more

Preaching to a Different Choir

God has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does God require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?  – Micah 6:8 I have been a pastor at St. Francis in the Foothills UMC off and on for nine years.  I rejoined the... read more

Why I may not be able to stay

I attended a United Methodist Church service last week for the first time since before the Frank Shaefer trial. It left me with mixed feelings. The congregation is a Reconciling congregation, and the service included the “Reaffirmation of the Baptismal... read more

Bishop Tuell: How I changed my mind

Bishop Jack M. Tuell (1923-2014)  This sermon was preached at Claremont United Methodist Church in Claremont, California, celebrating the 10th anniversary of becoming a Reconciling congregation – May 18, 2003. If I were to give a one sentence answer to the... read more

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