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VOL. 26 NO. 4 WWW.RMNETWORK.ORG AUTUMN, 2009
NEWSLETTER OF RECONCILING MINISTRIES NETWORK
By Rachel Harvey Fall is my favorite season…and wardrobe. From the vibrant colors of mums that often grace the steps of homes and churches, to the sounds of leaves crunching beneath my feet. I love the smell of apples baking into pies and the taste of apple butter on toast. I look forward to the soft landing a pile of leaves provides and the solid seat of a hay bale on a hayride…I love it all! As I think back about my experiences of fall, I realized that even the parts I’m not so fond of hold a memory of things I love. While I remember waiting all evening at an auction to get the best price on a ﬂat of mums, I also remember the joy my brother and I had impersonating the auctioneer. The hours we spent raking leaves after school balanced out when we’d take breaks to jump in the huge piles we’d created. Now that my Nana has passed and my mom lives hundreds of miles away I treasure the hours spent peeling apples and rolling dough for pies consumed in one sitting. I had to think long and hard to ﬁnd some part of baling hay that I enjoyed, I’m not fond of sweating, lifting heavy, scratchy, awkward rectangles…but I do love community. As much as I fought the activity, baling hay was a way our family came together and the meals we shared after a long day in the barn provided a deep communion that held us together for a long time.
Continued on Page 6
I’ve Needed You
By Rev. Troy Plummer “Why didn’t I know about you? I’ve needed you.” This oft heard refrain— as folks discover Reconciling— engenders hope for the new one who has found longed-for community and challenge to those of us who seek to make sure no one is left out of Christ’s inclusive church. Word of mouth is great. It has the highest rate of engaging new persons in the life of our church and movement. The new Believe Out Loud campaign celebrates RMN’s 25 years of ministry. It both strengthens local work for inclusion in Annual Conference teams and builds the larger movement for equality. It is built on the wisdom of knowing we change when we know one another. It is organized, intentional grassroots word of mouth at its ﬁnest! Yet, there are tens of thousands of United Methodists longing to hear of God’s inclusive love for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender folk in their home church. Some will be lucky enough to hear from one of you what it means to be involved in reconciling work. Others will keep praying for that connection still unaware of this vital faith movement of inclusive United Methodists. Even as we celebrated at Justice and Joy, we knew we needed to come down from the mountaintop and keep doing the valuable one-on-one work spreading the word and to also ﬁnd new ways to reach more of those who are in need. I’m so excited our blogging and Facebook communities are thriving. Additionally, I’m looking forward with great anticipation to a new web tutorial and introductory curriculum coming out in 2010. Maybe we can make it “viral”— word of mouth keeps redeﬁning itself. Tens of thousands are still longing to hear. Who will bring the word to them? That’s you and me and all of us together…The ﬁelds are ready for the harvest.
Opening Worship at Justice & Joy. More photographs from Convo on pages 4-7.
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Spotlight: The Village Church
While over 500 members of the RMN community gathered for worship at the YMCA of the Rockies, members of The Village Church in Toledo, Ohio gathered for a simple prayer service in the parking lot of their future church. As we joined our voices in song, they raised their voices for justice, voting to join both the Reconciling Ministries Network and the Open and Afﬁrming Churches of the UCC. Why, you might ask, were they in a parking lot? The Village Church is a new church plant of the West Ohio Annual Conference. Dreaming of a community whose love extended beyond their walls, they met in the parking lot because they didn’t have the lease for their building and planted ﬂowers as a sign of their commitment to growth and appreciation for all God’s beauty. to be a new church plant rooted in the inclusion of all God’s children is not one they make alone. In the past three months, three new church plants have begun the process of becoming Reconciling congregations. The intentional decision of these churches to start from a place
RECONCILING MINISTRIES NETWORK
mobilizes United Methodists of all sexual orientations and gender identities to transform our Church and world into the full expression of Christ’s inclusive love.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Helen Andrew Rachel Birkhahn-Rommelfanger Vincent Cervantes Rev. Daniel Diss Lawrence T. Duncan Rev. Duane A. Ewers Elizabeth A. Fimbres Will E. Green Will J. Green Esther Villarreal Houser David Mauzy Rev. David Meredith Dr. Randall Miller Rev. Holland Morgan Rev. Joshua M. Noblitt Rev. John Oda Elizabeth Okayama Rev. Dr. Karen Oliveto Rosario Quiñones Rev. Dr. Bruce Robbins Sally Sparks Rev. Dr. Derrick Spiva Monica L. Swink Joy T. Watts Ralph A. Williams Christina Wright
RAISING KIDS WHO ARE CHANGING THE WORLD
For over a year, Rev. Cheri Holdridge and a team of lay people have been laying the ground work for a progressive justice focused congregation in NW Ohio. “The Village Church has been committed to the values of RMN even before The Village was a church! Inclusion is absolutely a part of our DNA” she shared. Rev. Holdridge has been a pastor in the West Ohio annual conference for 20 years; part of that time was spent with the community at Central United Methodist Church, the oldest Reconciling congregation in Ohio. The Village Church’s choice
You’re invited to the launch of the Village Church on Sunday, October 25 at 10:30am at 3992 Monroe St. and Central Ave.
Pastor Cheri Holdridge villageohio.org
LEGAL COUNSEL of inclusion calls our church to live out the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is exciting news for both our community and church! Welcome Village Church! We celebrate your courage to live authentically and welcome you into the family of which you were always a member. Check out The Village Church at their website www.villageohio.org or ﬁnd them on Facebook!!!
Meg Carey Business Manager Rev. Carl Davis Director of Development Antony Hebblethwaite Communication/Technology Manager Stephanie Harris Admin & Donor Relations Associate Rachel Harvey Associate Executive Director Audrey Krumbach, M.Div. Field Organizer Rev. Troy Plummer Executive Director
New Reconciling Communities
Congregations Saint Paul UMC of Everett, WA Trinity UMC of Lafayette, IN St. Nicholas UMC of Hull, MA UMC of the Terrytowns, Terrytown, NY Chestnut UMC and New Light Community of Portland, ME
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Urban Village Church of Chicago, IL The Village Church of Toledo, OH Community Lebanon-Sweet Home Reconciling Group, Southern District of the Oregon-Idaho AC
Called to Witness 3: Believe Out Loud
This year, Reconciling United Methodists will Believe Out Loud in a national grassroots campaign to grow the movement for full inclusion of all persons through stories, teams and gatherings. More than 41% of United Methodist clergy and lay leaders personally feel that transgender, homosexual, and queer persons should be fully welcomed but do not publically support the movement for full inclusion. Therefore, this year’s Called to Witness campaign is a grassroots effort to invite our silent supporters to Believe Out Loud by organizing in teams to plan small gatherings or parties. In order to equip RUMs for this work, Annual Conference Teams (ACTs) will plan where national trainers from RMN will offer skills for team building, strategic organizing and storytelling. This training was particularly designed to offer something for both new and experienced Reconciling United Methodists. Because we are training in 50 Annual Conferences, we are hoping to involve 1000 Reconciling United Methodists in Annual Conference teams. These people will become BOLD Teams, and each team will host a gathering, for a total of 250 across the connection! At each BOLD Gathering, silently supportive United Methodists will be invited to become Believe Out Loud Disciples who Commit to the Reconciling movement, Pledge $10 per month to the movement, and Share their reconciling story to two other people. Visit the campaign website at www.rmnwitness.org.
Believe Out Loud Disciples are people who: Commit – Sign a Reconciling United Methodist (RUM) card. Share – Tell their story to at least two other people and ask them to join the movement. Pledge – Donate a monthly contribution to the Reconciling Ministries Network.
The National Believe Out Loud Training Team at Justice & Joy.
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Welcome: 1. Registration, 2. B Stanovsky shares Rocky Mou Past to Future: 4. Founders: B Bowman, 5. Celebrating Sue Believe Out Loud. Sound of Music: 7. MOSAIC: y 9. Rev. Malcolm Himschoot: t Worship: 10. Dr. Marcia McFe Drew Phoenix, 13. Rev. Dr. E Plenaries: 14-15. Religion & R Birkhahn-Rommelfanger, 16. riage Equality: Roland String
Board bring greetings, 3. Bishop untain gifts. eth Richardson & Mark Laurie’s Ministry, 6. Launch of
young adults, 8. Mountain music, trans justice. ee, 11. Bishop Hagiya, 12. Rev. Eunice Iliya. Race Rocks: Erin Hawkins & BJ Circles of Privilege, 17. Margfellow & Evan Wolfson.
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“Transitions” Continued from Page 1
Justice & Joy Awards
The Cup of Justice Award is given for taking bold action to invoke justice where injustice, oppression and exclusion exist. Recipient: Baltimore-Washington Area Reconciling United Methodists (B-WARM). Photo 1. Among their many efforts, B-WARM organized a sit down meeting with their bishop and Conference Board of Church and Society to emphasize how Conference publications and information channels can neglect and marginalize ministries to the LGBT community. This group will not accept anything less than full participation and active involvement in shaping their Conference’s mission and identity from the center of the church. The Voice in the Wilderness Award is for taking risks, despite isolation in a wilderness, to proclaim the rightness of inclusion for all people in the church, and for standing against injustice despite that lack of support. Recipient: Rev. David Weekley. Photo 2. Over 30 years ago, David began his transition from female to male and has served his entire career in his identity as a male. Now he is coming out—to his bishop, district superintendent, church, and the world. David has been active in the Reconciling Movement throughout his career. The Hilton Award is given to those parents of LGBTQ children who through outstanding compassionate witness and work give signiﬁcant support to other parents and increased hope for a more inclusive denomination. Recipient: Beverly Cole. Photo 3. Recipient: Bob and Betty Dorr. Photo 4. Recipient: Gary Pennington (Received by Carolyn Pennington). Photo 5. For more information about the Justice and Joy Awards, visit the Flashnets for 8/18/2009 and 9/7/2009. 5 4
When I was a teenager, I did not appreciate these experiences but over time developing the skill of seeing beyond, as described in The Giver by Lois Lowry has helped me treasure these moments. The book takes us to a society where one person holds the collective memory of both pain and joy of not only the community, but the whole world. At twelve years old, Jonas is selected to be the next Receiver of Memory. He has exhibited the qualities needed, intelligence, integrity, courage, wisdom and the capacity to see beyond. Jonas has a budding sense of an ability to see color in a world where everyone literally sees grey. In a society of sameness Jonas explores and questions the gift of his inherited difference. His experience calls the giver (the person holding the memories) to decide if the community is ready to share both the joy and pain of the world or if it should remain limited to one person. Both fall and our commitment to work for an inclusive church call us to see beyond. Both offer us the choice to honestly look at the things we love and to see visions beyond what’s before us. As we journey together we’ll cultivate a deeper sense of community. As we challenge the church to see and move beyond the exclusionary practices that inhibit the kin-dom of God from being whole, we too must look within our movement to make sure each voice is heard. I believe our church and world are ready for a new shared memory, an offering of both our joy and pain. I look forward to seeing, moving and living beyond with you.
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“For m e, for and you can ensure that your to a wi signing my n ll whic ame resources continue to be used to h conta charita Most of us have prayed those words ins bl do God’s work on earth, leaving prayer e gift is a for a since we were small children. In our . Havin m of g a wil a legacy of justice and hope for portan sures t prayer they are followed by the rehe smo t to me beca l is imthe future, by making a bequest to ot us to my l quest “on earth as it is in heaven.” oved o h transfer of e it enRMN. ne my ass have g e iven m s and the ca As we have grown into adultuses th ts y life m giving at A bequest can take on a number eaning is the u .L hood saying this prayer we have lt withou of forms including: a speciﬁc dollar t expec imate form o egacy f givin ting so learned that doing God’s will on thingg me in amount, a percentage of the estate, or and de return. My w thing –anyearth is our responsibility and ed’ and ill is m the gift of a speciﬁc asset. While many that’s y last ‘a it reﬂe privilege. God’s realm comes to why I ct ct people think that legacy giving is only made s RMN D s my wishes earth through our own actions. ure onor Fr and va for a select few, the truth is that every ank Sta lues.”
Thy Will Be Done
By Rev. Carl Davis
We each have a part to play in transforming our church and world into the full expression of Christ’s inclusive love, we each have a part in doing God’s will.
bequest to RMN has a positive impact that can never be erased.
One way we do this is through our own will and estate planning. Having a will is important for people of all ages, income levels and stages of life. No one is too young or too poor to beneﬁt from a good will. Through legacy giving you can ensure that your loved ones are cared
Visit our web site www.rmnetwork.org and click on the planned giving link for more information or call Carl Davis, Director of Development at (773) 736-5526 to request a copy of RMN’s estate planning brochure and learn about ways you can support RMN through planned giving.
Child Playing at Justice & Joy.
Justice & Joy Final Communion.
“Gifts in honor of...”
In Honor of Mark Hanson Carla M. Moore Amory Peck, Fred Brewington, Jim Lane Violet and Bill Taylor 60th Anniversary Darci Vetter Ann Thompson Cook Honored by Sherry Dorman Carl E. Moore Deborah Maria Norma Graves Nebraska Statewide Rums OI Rums
“Gifts in memory of...”
First UMC of Oneonta NY and William Nunn remember Bill Bouton Dr. Robert J. Hawthorne remembers Bishop Melvin E. Wheatley Weslie E. Buss remembers Clyde Gates
In Honor of Sue Laurie: Andrew Family, Bowles Family, Faith Buss, Alice Cromwell, Crowder Family, Dorr Family, Larry L. Fox, Joan M. Gillis, Lewis Family, Olson Family, Carolyn D. Pennington, Simons Family, Watts Family
Autumn 2009 • Katalyst | 7
RMN Convocation DVD Order Form
DVDs will be mailed as soon as they are available. Please contact the Reconciling Ministries Network if you have any questions.
Name: __________________________________________ Email: __________________________________________ Address: ________________________________________ City/State/Zip: __________________________________ Phone: __________________________________________
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Price $10.00 $10.00 $10.00 $10.00 $10.00 $10.00 $10.00 $50.00
Address Service Requested
Description #1 Worship Fri. evening & Sat. morning–Vince Cervantes & Drew Phoenix preachers #2 Worship Sun. & Mon. morning–Eunice Iliya & Grant Hagiya
#3 Bible Studies with Elaine Heath
#4 Intersections Plenary with Erin Hawkins & Barbara Isaacs #5 Marriage Equality Plenary with Evan Wolfson & Roland Stringfellow #6 Global Connections Plenary with Daniel Arichea, Araceli Ezzatti & Eunice Iliya
#7 Silver Anniversary Celebration & Awards
#8 Complete Set Shipping TOTAL $ 7.00
3801 North Keeler Avenue, Third Floor Chicago, IL 60641-3007
Reconciling Ministries Network
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Reconciling Ministries Network
For Office Use:
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