Winter 2011 • Katalyst|1
Matt and Fred dreaded family visits at Christmas time.Nancy, Matt’s mom, had said condemning things and eventried to disinvite them from family gatherings. While Nancymerely tolerated them, their Grandma refused to excludeMatt and Fred. Even though they expected the worst, theywent anyway. Three weeks later, while Matt was out of town, Fred came home to an unexpected voicemail. “Hi,Fred, it’s Nancy. I was worried you might be lonely or mightforget to eat. Take care of yourself while Matt’s away.”Matt says his mother’s heart was strangely warmed, butdoes not know what sparked this initial acceptance. Thispowerful transformation happened silently throughout thevisit; in between the cranberry sauce and the embarrassingchildhood stories, love began to put down roots. Nancy sawher son and his husband in a new way not because of anargument, but because they told stories about their daily life.We know that the power of transformative relationshipsis not limited to families. When we truly listen, in-lawsbecome beloved parents, strangers become treasured friends,and opponents become respected colleagues. Our storieswitness to God’s real love for every single person.Thousands of United Methodists have already beentransformed by your stories, and in this fourth year of Called to Witness, we Believe Out Loud Together (BOLT).We believe in God’s creative love. We believe In Jesus’command to love God and neighbor, and we believe God istransforming our church through stories each and every day.Are you ready to be an ambassador of reconciliation bysharing your story? Will you say yes to God, and to your brothers and sisters who are waiting (even if they do not yetknow it) to hear your story and be transformed?Learn to tell your story and take the next step for inclusionat a BOLT training this spring. Visit www.rmnwitness.org/calendar to nd a training near you and get started!Recently, 36 of our bishopssigned onto a statement advocatingthe elimination of ¶ 304.3 from
The Book of Discipline (2008)
.I received that news with greatjoy but also a tinge of pragmaticregard. I have been the victimof bigotry and oppression for solong that I have ceased to expectany law or repeal of law to be ableto eradicate racism, sexism, homophobia, and so on. Theseare matters that require both work of agents of God and thesanctifying move of the Holy Spirit.I entered this work of active agitation against our currentdespicable polity that asks its clergy and members to live alife of hypocrisy because – simply put – I love the Lord. Asa queer Black United Methodist clergywoman, I understoodthe risks but it is not the rst time I have understood mycalling as a responsibility to do “risk taking ministry.” Nor is it the rst time my sense of call has been challenged on thebasis of who I am. I received a call to ministry during the late70s. Men stood in my face shaking their nger at me tellingme I was going to hell because, “God never called a womanto preach. “ When I joined the United Methodist Church in1991, my Pentecostal friends told me I was going to hellbecause, “Those Methodists aren’t saved.” And through itall, I have had churches that would not receive me because Iam Black and according to some, “They just aren’t ready for Black folks yet.” Through all this, I have deed bigotry andsought to make our church and world a better place because,again, I love the Lord.Now, as our children look to us for direction our youngadults grow weary of the insanity of our laws and our members hope for a more relevant and inclusive ministry.I invite you to take courage, join the movement with RMN,and, as always, continue to pray for our Church.
NEWSLETTER OF RECONCILING MINISTRIES NETWORK
VOL. 28 NO. 1 WINTER, 2011
A Calling to “Risk Taking Ministry”
by Rev. Dr. Pamela Lightsey, RMN Board Member
Transformed by Love
By Audrey Krumbach
Reconciling Process Webinars
This free on-line series provides resources for your Reconciling journey and connects you with teamsfrom churches, classes and campus ministries in theReconciling process.Register today by email@example.com or 773-736-5526
Starts April 3rd!