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2012 - Spring Katalyst

2012 - Spring Katalyst

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Published by: Reconciling Ministries Network on Jun 27, 2012
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- - Katalyst- - Page 1Spring
Grace or No Grace: Between Two Worlds
by Rev. Troy Plummer, Executive Director of Reconciling Ministries Network 
As we let the tabernacle rom theAltar or All celebration, I joined aprotection line between hostileWestboro anti-gay extremists andour tabernacle participants. Itdid not eel all that diferent romwhat was going on inside theGeneral Conerence. One delegateemotionally sought to distance themselves rom theWestboro extremists. The delegate approached us at theplenary entrance saying, “I’m conservative and I support thecurrent
Book of Discipline
but I’m not like that. I’m so sorry.Yet, both were just as ugly—whether cloaked inlegislation,
Robert’s Rules of Order 
, holy conversationsor just outright oul language and name calling—the results are the same, harm to the body o Christ,harm to the world. And that is ugly. The extremistslet ater 30 minutes o violence. The delegates letour more years o daily violence against gay persons.Antigay policies remain. We were short 38 votes ora “crumb” that recognized disagreement over thecompatibility o the practice o homosexuality. The LoveYour Neighbor legislative team adapted to strategicallyuse the 40% minority to slow the system, to resourceteams or Judicial Council bries, and to reach out tonewly alienated moderate conservatives. But thereis more to the story; some core shared values wereattacked. As I wrestle or understanding, these stand out:
A Call to Biblical Obedience
by Rev. Lois McCullen Parr 
“When Moses conronted Pharaoh,sharing God’s word, saying ‘let mypeople go,’ Pharaoh hardened hisheart,” said Bishop Melvin Talbert atthe LYN Tabernacle. “In the case o this general church it has hardened itsheart to GLBT people.“I stand beore you here this aternoon and I declare thatGod has already settled this matter: all human beings arecreated in the image o God. There are no exceptions, noexclusions. We belong to the amily o God. “At the same time, I declare to you that the derogatorylanguage and restrictive laws in the
Book of Discipline
areimmoral, and unjust and no longer deserve our loyaltyand obedience.” The LYN Tabernacle crowd rose to its eet, applauding andshouting “Amen!” and “Yes!” on this last day o GeneralConerence, as the planned noontime event eatured Talbert in an event to support United Methodist clergywho have signed a pledge to marriage equality or allcouples. Talbert said that the “time has come or those o us whoare aithul to the Gospel o Jesus Christ to do what isrequired o us.” The Retired Bishop went on to remind theLYN crowd o the old story o Jesus’ teaching to love Godand neighbor, according to the Gospel o Luke.As Jesus said to the young lawyer, “You have answeredrightly: do this and live,” Talbert said to the gatheredCoalition: “My brothers and sisters I declare to you thatsame Gospel imperative: do this and live. In light o theactions taken by the General Conerence, the time hascome to act and to invite others to join what I’m calling anact o Biblical obedience. ““I call on the clergy who have signed the pledge to standrm in their resolve to perorm marriages among same-sex couples,” he said.
(To read the entire article, visit http://www.rmnblog.org/ 2012/05/a-call-to-biblical-obedience.html.)(Continued on Page 7)
- - Katalyst- - Page 2SpringOn the 40th anniversary o the policythat states that “homosexualityis incompatible with Christianteaching,” the number o UnitedMethodist communities to publicallystate their welcome o people o all sexual orientations and genderidentities passed an importantmilestone. Reconciling communities, those who havemade an explicit welcome o lesbian, gay, bisexual, andtransgender people, now number over 500.Both Madras United Methodist Church o Madras, Oregon,and Aldersgate United Methodist Church o Chapel Hill,NC approved statements that specically name a welcomeo people o all sexual orientations and gender identities,and with the approval o their statements the milestonewas o cially reached.“Reaching 500 Reconciling Communities during bothGeneral Conerence and the 40th anniversary o the‘incompatible’ language is a signicant sign,” said RachelHarvey, Associate Executive Director o ReconcilingMinistries Network. “Clearly, there is growing desireamong United Methodists to provide ministry to allo God’s children. We continue to pray that The UnitedMethodist Church will recognize that the harmul policieso exclusion that have burdened the church or 40 yearsneed to be eliminated.”As soon as the 500 milestone was reached, it was exceeded.Even while General Conerence continued, morereconciling statements came in. To date, 509 groups havestrengthened the Reconciling Ministries Network throughtheir witness or a ully inclusive church.
 To learn more about theReconciling process andhow to engage yourcongregation, contact RMN’sAssociate Executive DirectorRachel Harvey, Deaconess, atrachel@rmnetwork.org.
New Reconciling Congregations, Communities, and Campus MinistriesReconciling Communities Top 500 on 40th Anniversary o “Incompatibility” Policy
Pasadena First UMC in Pasadena, CAEl Dorado Country Federated Church in Placerville, CABethany o Fox Valley UMC in Aurora, ILGrace UMC in Lake Bluf, ILGenesis UMC in Grand Rapids, MIChrist UMC in Rochester, MNWesley Foundation o The University o MNAldersgate UMC in Chapel Hill, NCBranches Adult SS Class at Biltmore UMC in Asheville, NCReconciling Ministry Group at Central UMC in Asheville, NCSt. John’s UMC in Dover, NHReconciling Community o the Greater NJ ConerenceReconciling Community o Sparta UMC in Sparta, NJNew Day UMC in Bronx, NYStone Village Church in Columbus, OHOpen Minds SS Class at First UMC in Tahlequah, OK Madras UMC in Madras, OR The Way SS Class at Martin UMC in Bedord, TXReuge Bible Study at Denton Wesley Foundation in Denton, TXWesley UMC in Washington, DC
Bishop Melvin G. Talbert, joined by active and retired Bishops Roy Sano, Sally Dyck, Mary AnnSwenson, Judy Craig, Sharon Rader, Susan Hassinger, Violet Fisher, John Schol, Grant Hagiya,Warner Brown, Don Ott, Elias Galvan, Jack Tuell, and Robert Hoshibata, addresses the crowd at“Altar For All,” a celebration o clergy who vow to minister to all couples, regardless o gender. Tyler Sit and and ellow members o MOSAIC, RMN’s group o young adults, take the Convention Center by surprise with aash mob perormance o “You Can’t Stop the Beat.”A UMNS photo by Kathleen Barry.Rev. Amy DeLong speaks at the Love YourNeighbor Tabernacle.“I reuse as an out lesbian clergyperson in The UnitedMethodist Church to walk the path o discrimination withoutsaying, ‘This is unjust.’” - Rev. Dr. Pamela Lightsey.A UMNS photo by Paul jefrey.

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