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Spring 2011 Katalyst

Spring 2011 Katalyst

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Published by: Reconciling Ministries Network on Jun 15, 2011
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Spring 2011 Katalyst|1
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly fromheaven there came a sound likethe rush of a violent wind, and it  lled the entire house where theywere sitting. Acts 1: 1-2
Over 20 years ago, whileserving in Texas, I wasencouraged and renewed bythe witness of ReconcilingMinistries Network (RMN) and Methodist Federation for Social Action (MFSA) as I worked for justice in my localcommunity, as well as the broader world and church.Receiving Open Hands magazine and the Social QuestionsBulletin gave me hope for the church and God’s call to usto, “do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God.”As we started an MFSA chapter, RMN folks were a part of that dream. When my home church began the reconciling process, MFSA folks offered support. Both ministries have been connected over the years offering a voice for inclusionof LGBT persons, immigration reform, peace, labor rights,advocacy for those friends living in poverty, and more. I began attending General Conference in 1996, and at everyconference since then, I feel the power of the Spirit as RMNand MFSA offer their witness together in hope!In Acts 1, all are together in one place when the HolySpirit breaks in and changes everything. A mighty windand tongues of re change a committed group of folks intoa mighty movement that forever changed the world. Thesefollowers of Jesus were empowered to go into the worldand offer grace, justice, and peace. In August, MFSA andRMN will gather together in Ohio for 
Sing a New Song 
.Though collaboration has always been present, this eventcalls us together in one place to sing a new and unied songof witness and justice for our church and the world. Thisevent marks a “Pentecost moment” for our movements aswe combine our many voices in an intentional and powerfuleffort to change the church and the world. So, make sure you join and gather in one place for this historic milestone.
 Rev. James Preston is a former RMN employee and currently serves as a District Superintendent in the Northern Illinois Annual Conference.
WWW.RMNETWORK.ORG
KATALYST
NEWSLETTER OF RECONCILING MINISTRIES NETWORK
VOL. 29 NO. 2SPRING, 2011
Together in One Place - Singing One Song!
by Rev. James Preston
The very rst RMN Convo in1988 was an eye-opener to me. Mycongregation had just declared itself to be Reconciling, and I discovereda whole community of joyful folkswho were committed to creating the“beloved kindom.” I give credit toRMN’s Convocations for teaching mewhat I needed at the time to expandmy work, rst as a straight-identiedauthor of educational books on sexuality and gender andnow as a leader of a new organization, Many Voices,dedicated to helping clergy and congregations gure outhow to extend true welcome (www.manyvoices.org). Thesharing, reection and fellowship at the Convos equippedme, strengthened me, and lifted me up. Wherever you are onthe journey, I look forward to seeing you in Ohio!
Nine Convocations and Counting
by Ann Thompson-Cook 
I said yes to preaching at
Sing a New Song 
because I am excited to be a part of an event where peoplewill come together, believingchange can happen in the church,expecting that change will happen,and then making change happen.Change in the name of God’s Love- how could I say no to that?
Who Could Say No To That?
by Jennifer Battiest Neal 
"Sing a New Song is anRMN Convocationand an MFSA Voices of Faith ALL at the same time!" 
 
2|Katalyst Spring 2011
Reconciling Ministry at University UMC, Austin, TX
University United MethodistChurch (UUMC) in Austin, TX hasa long history of supporting social justice and the inclusion of all peoplein the church’s life and ministry. Our Reconciling team joins the UUMCChurch and Society Council, whichcoordinates advocacy for racialreconciliation and environmentalawareness. They engage in politicalaction, and support Austin Interfaith,iACT, and the Methodist Federationfor Social Action (MFSA). Afliatingwith RMN represents only our mostrecent public witness to full inclusion.Our decade-long Reconciling process began with small-groupactivism and witness. One by one, morethan a dozen Sunday School classes,United Methodist Women Circles,and Homerooms afliated with RMNto show their solidarity with LGBTQI persons. As these afliating groupsgrew, so did interest in a church-wide public statement. In August 2010, theChurch Council formed a ReconcilingCommittee to facilitate events whichincluded an eight-week class entitled“The United Methodist Church andthe ‘H’ Word,” a roundtable forumconsisting of various presentations,lms, a Bible study led by L. MichaelWhite, and open discussion forums.At a February 2011 conferencecalled by the church, 94% of theUUMC members present voted toafliate with RMN and speak up for the full inclusion of LGBTQI persons.We publicly proclaim that God’sgrace is freely given to all and that itempowers all to receive the servicesof Christian ministry provided bythe church. We recognize the work that remains, both inside and outsideour walls, to reconcile with thosemarginalized and oppressed by thechurch. We are committed to the visionof a world in which the sacred worth of all people is honored.We call for the removal of “incompatibility” language because itis not supported by Scripture, Tradition,Experience, or Reason. Because Jesuscalls us to practice the reconciling loveof God in every relationship, we havea responsibility to welcome everyone.Everyone.
New Reconciling Communities
Congregations
River Falls UMC of River Falls, WIUniversity UMC of Austin, TXSaint Mark UMC of Atlanta, GAGrace UMC of Hopkinton, MAGood Samaritan UMC of Cupertino, CA North Olmsted UMC of North Olmsted, OHGrace UMC of Billings, MT
Communities:
DREAM (Daring to Reconcile and Embrace All in MS)in the Mississippi ACSojourners Sunday School Class at St. John’s UMC of Memphis, TNCircle 360 of UMW at First UMC of Austin, TXFaith Conversations Class at First UMC of Boerne, TXGenesis Apprentice Class at Trinity UMC of Salina, KSBread-and-Butter Pickles Class at Trinity UMC of Salina, KS
RECONCILING MINISTRIES NETWORK
mobilizes United Methodists of all sexual orientations and genderidentities to transform our Churchand world into the full expressionof Christ’s inclusive love.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Brian AdkinsHelen AndrewRev. Bonnie BeckonschristRachel Birkhahn-Rommelfanger Vincent CervantesRev. Dr. Daniel DissJayson Kerr DobneyGiselle LawnRev. Dr. Pamela R. LightseyMadelyn MarshRev. David MeredithRev. Joshua M. NoblittRev. John OdaRev. Dr. Karen OlivetoRev. Dr. Bruce RobbinsRev. Dr. Derrick SpivaMonica L. SwinkBishop Melvin G. TalbertJoy T. Watts
RMN STAFF
Meg Carey
 Business Manager
James Dalton
Communication/Technology Coord.
Rachel Harvey, deaconess
 Associate Executive Director
 Audrey Krumbach, M.Div.
National Organizer
Rev. Troy Plummer
Executive Director
Ted Jackson
Interim Administrative Assistant
 By Sally Furgeson and Bruce Kellison
 
Spring 2011 Katalyst|3
 
 Join United Methodists united in love to find family, createcommunity, break bread, sharestories and mobilize for mission!
AUGUST 25-28, 2011
Sawmill Creek ResortHuron, Ohio
More details and registration at:
 www.sans2011.org 
 Jennifer BattiestNeal -
(preacher)
former missionary & leader inOklahoma IndianMissionary Conference
Rev. Carol Hill
(youth leader)
associate pastor & District YouthCoordinator inNorthern Illinois
Mark A. Miller
(worship leader)
sacred musicfaculty at Drew &  Yale TheologicalSchools
Rev. John Oda
(co-host)
chair of Board of Directors of Reconciling Ministries Network 
Rev. Dr. AltheaSpencer-Miller
(Bible study leader)
asst. professor of New Testament atDrew TheologicalSchool
Bishop C. JosephSprague
(speaker)
retired bishop & theologian/activist
Tara Thronson
(co-host)
co-president of Methodist Federa-tion for Social Action
Rev. Tanya LinnBennett
(worship leader)
director of Chapel& Religious Life atDrew University 
M. GarlindaBurton
(preacher)
General Secretary of General Com-mission on Status& Role of Women
Sean Delmore
(preacher)
coordinator of MIT’s Rainbow Lounge & staff of College AvenueUMC
Rev. Amy DeLong 
(preacher)
elder in WisconsinConference and director of KairosCo-Motion
Bishop YvetteFlunder
(speaker)
founder & pastor of City of Refuge UCCin San Francisco
Kate Clark 
(children’s leader)
educator & nonviolence trainerin Wisconsin
Bishop Judith Craig 
(speaker)
retired bishop &  visiting professor atMethodist Theologi-cal School of Ohio

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