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Address Service Requested BOARD OF DIRECTORS “Editor’s Notebook” GC2008 Late in the first week, I began to hear about the
Helen F. Andrew Someone remembered the emotional shape of work that Church & Society 2 subcommittee
Rachel Birkhahn-Rommelfanger the two weeks: a family reunion celebration as was attempting to do with all the petitions on
Rev. Daniel F. Diss people gathered and witnessed, a building of Par. 161G. I thought I recognized the power of
Betty Dorr hope as some legislative committee work some holy conferencing. When I saw the result,
Lawrence T. Duncan appeared, a special time of worship on Sunday, I was sure of it, because it was a high-quality,
Rev. Duane A. Ewers and then a crash with the brutality of debate honest, and perceptive piece of work. I began to
Elizabeth Fimbres and votes some time in the second week. This have a little hope.
Will J. Green time was similar to prior General Conferences, The Sunday worship service at First UMC was a
William E. Green but had some special healing additions. high point. My soul was lifted. I even heard
Esther Villarreal Houser from the preacher how he had moved from
I was cautioned to expect nothing new as I tried
Jacob R. Lau being anti-gay to an advocate! My hope built a
to decide to venture to Fort Worth. I did not
David B. Mauzy little more.
want to experience a repeat of the Cleveland
Rev. David W. Meredith
Save a tree! Reduce expenses! Go paperless! 2000 experience. I have been told, since, that it The consideration of sexuality issues would be
Dr. Randall Miller
was indeed one of the meanest, abusive Wednesday and we began to prepare ourselves.
Rev. Holland Morgan
To receive future Katalysts electronically, email Sarah@RMnetwork.org. conferences in recent history. When you hear We learned that much work had already gone
Rev. Joshua M. Noblitt
epithets from delegates, you have to wonder on before with the Common Witness
Rev. M. Diane Nunnelee
where they went to Sunday School, and whether leadership, thinking carefully about the
Rev. John Oda
they really get anything from church. different contingencies and possible
Elizabeth Okayama
This time, my expectations were pretty low, but consequences for varieties of direct action, from
Rev. Dr. Karen P. Oliveto
I saw signs that told me to keep my eyes open. quiet thanksgiving to civil disobedience and
tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.
Reconciling movement. RMN is a non-profit corporation with 501(c)(3) status. All financial contributions are
you a hard-copy. Permission is granted to reproduce each issue as necessary to further the work of the
online at www.RMNetwork.org, or for a contribution covering production and mailing costs, we will send
The Katalyst is a quarterly publication of the Reconciling Ministries Network. You can access this newsletter

Together, we DO make a difference! I want to step out in faith by making a financial Rev. Bruce W. Robbins
First was the choice of Marcia McFee and Mark possible arrest.
Rev. Dr. Martha Scott
commitment of $__________ to the Reconciling Ministries Network. Miller for the worship/music team. I knew their On Wednesday, first there were some decisions
Phone 773.736.5526 • Fax 773.736.5475 • Email info@RMNetwork.org

Sally Sparks
Derrick Spiva styles and their talents, and knew if they were which were not surprising, and "silent witnesses"
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I will send a check. My check is enclosed.


Monica L. Swink, Board Chair given enough freedom, they would truly be a stood in protest. But when 80% supported a
I prefer to charge my pledge to my Mastercard, Visa or American Express card.
Joy T. Watts blessing to the gathering. I was not revision including sexual orientation in a
Card Name ______________________________________________________________ Ralph A. Williams disappointed. From the wonderful mix of petition against "all forms of violence" against
Christina Wright contemporary, traditional, Latin, African, people (except verbal during General
Card Number ____________________________________exp.____________________ classical and folk traditions to the sensitive Conference debate, as we were to soon
LEGAL COUNSEL
Please contact me about setting up an Automatic Monthly Bank Transfer [EFT]. choices at the end of the LGBT witness on discover), our spirits were lifted a bit.
Jennifer K. Soule
Thursday, they were top notch leaders.
RMN STAFF But the violence of language was soon to be
I prefer to send a check each month or quarter. Please send me reminders.
Meg Carey The Common Witness coalition of illustrated. The debate on Par. 161G was rough
Name ________________________________________________________________ I am Clergy. Business Manager Affirmation, RMN, and MFSA had planned a and confusing, because of either inept or
Antony Hebblethwaite lot of community-building, affirmation, and manipulative leadership of the chair, Bishop
Address __________________________________________________________________________
Communications Coordinator confidence in God's continuing presence in the Whittaker from Florida. If the chair had the
City/ State/ Zip ____________________________________________________________________ Sarah Howery justice and reconciling movements. The warmth power and responsibility to help guide the
Technical Assistant of welcome, the connections renewed, the new debate back into respectful holy conferencing, it
Home Phone/ Mobile Phone ________________________________________________________ acquaintances made -- all built a sense of
Susan Laurie, MDiv was an utter failure. One African delegate said
Email ____________________________________________________________________
Outreach Coordinator community. The activities were designed both to that homosexuality was "of Satan." God bless a
Rev. Troy Plummer nurture volunteers and to witness to delegates. mother of a gay son who
May 2008

Sign me up for RMN’s weekly email digest! Please do not list my name in RMN’s Annual Report of givers. Executive Director Continued on Page 2

Sign me up as a new Reconciling United Methodist! This is a new address or a correction. Katalyst • Spring 2008 www.RMNetwork.org Page 1
FROM BEN ROE, CONTINUED FROM PAGE ONE
stood to counter that with the words, "When you say that my by only 84 people, but because of the number voting (or not
R ESOURCES F OR T HE J OURNEY
son is from Satan; I must disagree. My son is from my womb." voting) it was still 45% in favor of new language and 55%
But the damage was done. holding onto ignorance and lies. As the proclamation said the
I was left wondering how in the world one engages "holy next day, LGBT people were once again sacrificed on an altar of Reconciling Voices: RMN’s New DVD!
conferencing" when one side thinks the other is "of the devil." "unity." Supporters stood singing "Jesus Loves Me." This excellent professional resource is a great new tool! Put the pieces together and use it as a four-part
How can any respect be shown? How bad does parliamentary Deep sobbing was heard at the gathering that followed. There Sunday School series or take what you need for your ministry.
procedure have to be before someone notices and cries "foul!" was also rage. There was lots of grief and sadness. There was This DVD includes:
even a little ridicule of the detractors. And there was rational *Reconciling Voices *Reconciling Journeys *Testimony of a Young United Methodist *Bishops Speak Up
Holy conferencing, which had done so much to craft a truly new
planning of the possibility of a meaningful protest witness. Reconciling Voices is a great discussion starter helping to both name the harm of exclusion and claim the hope of
approach to 161G, went right out the window when the
Again, some careful planning and drafting of a statement inclusion. Reconciling Journeys expands the discussion to engage congregations. Testimony of a Young United
minority report was presented, with the Rev. Eddie Fox, the
prepared for just this kind of outcome had been done and was Methodist recounts first hand the experience of being denied membership. Bishops Speak Up inspires with words
presenter, spending a significant amount of time telling us what
accepted by those gathered. from Bishops Mel Talbert, Susan Morrison, John Schol, Minerva Carcaño, Sally Dyck, and Richard Wilke.
his pedigree in world Methodism was. I wondered as I heard
($5.00 each)
him speak, when did language about the "incompatibility of A witness was planned for Thursday morning. It was a quiet,
homosexuality" become "essential holy scripture"? I thought the respectful witness as we silently walked into place forming a
essentials were more like "Love God with all your heart, mind, giant cross on the floor around the central communion table.
soul, and strength and your neighbor as yourself." Or "There is The choice of "Were You There" as a song seemed inspired as
AVAILABLE FROM COKESBURY:
nothing that can separate us from the love of God in Christ many were feeling the pain of a Good Friday experience. A
Jesus our Lord." Or "In Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, strong, clear, young woman's voice delivered the proclamation, The Tie That Binds Staying at the Table
slave nor free, male nor female, for we are all one in Christ at first declarative, then defiant as a series of promises were read Connecting with God, the Church, and the World The Gift of Unity for United Methodists
Publisher: Abingdon Press ISBN-13: 9780687652082 Publisher: Abingdon Press ISBN-13: 9780687645060
Jesus." Or even "For God so loved the world that he gave his that pointed to "A Future With Hope" for churches who
Author: UM Bishop Richard B Wilke Edited by: UM Bishop Scott J. Jones
only begotten son that whosoever believes in him may have honored the "One Family Tree."
everlasting life." Delegates helped cover the central table in scraps of Good "Blest be the tie that binds . . ." Unity is a gift of God that involves us staying at the table to find
Whether or not the words of this hymn are familiar to you, the common ground in "the extreme center." Tackling divisive issues
Rev. Fox pleaded for us not to "confuse" those persons who Friday black muslin. A wonderful gift was given from retired
notion behind them--and this book--is one of connectedness and community. such as homosexuality, race and gender, and authority of Scripture, Jones shows the
believe that "homosexuality" is a sin. Please, he seemed to be Bishop Mel Talbert in the form of a forceful, prophetic speech Richard wilke observes that at the same time the formal, organized church has logical contours of the conversation by locating them in larger questions of doctrine
saying, let's not confuse anyone with the facts -- of biblical inviting the conference to reconsider its harmful decisions. And faced monumental change, spiritual inquiry has been sweeping the country. and ecclesiology. He outlines the logic of our current position and explains why it is
interpretation, science, theology, or Christian experience in the then it was over. Mark and Marcia chose a quiet rendition of Grounding his discussion in biblical background and Weslayan roots, Wilke defensible, while at the same time suggesting a logic for change.
21st century! "Jesus, Remember Me" as the first song after the end of the attempts to rouse the church to follow the command of Jesus to "Go...and make Responders include: Amy DeLong, Susan J. Laurie, William J. Abraham, Lonnie D.
disciples." In his chapter on Conflict, he engages the question of inclusion for Brooks, Mary Brooke Casad, Sudarshana Devadhar, Sally Dyck, James A Harnish,
He asked the witness.
lesbian and gay people in the church saying, "we are going to have to love our way Carolyn E. Johnson, Bill McAlilly, Patricia L. Miller, John R. Schol, Joe M.
assembly not It was a healing time for many as we felt like we had stated our through on this matter." Whittemore, Gerald "Jay" Williams, William H. Willimon, and David K. Yemba.
to "harm the position in a powerful way...
connection"
across the The debriefing following the witness was also healing, as many Three Simple Rules Talking about Homosexuality
world--please, shared surprises of those who stood unexpectedly. Over 1,000 A Wesleyan Way of Living A Congregational Resource
he seemed to participated. Bishops joined 12 disciples who refrained from Publisher: Abingdon Press ISBN-13: 9780687649662 Publisher: Pilgrim Press ISBN-13: 9780829816136
arrest to table with one another. Author: UM Bishop Rueben P. Job Authors: Karen P. Oliveto, Kelly D. Turney, Traci C. West
be saying,
let's ignore the Kirk, Ben and Laura The grief lifted some on Friday as a joyous wedding ceremony In Three Simple Rules, Rueben Job offers an interpretation of The first title in the Holy Conversations series, this is a study
hurt of a people excluded, just hurt the LGBT people. was held for Sue Laurie and Julie Bruno, who celebrated 25 John Wesley's General Rules for today's readers. For individual resource for theological reflection on homosexuality. It serves as
years "with God" as they put it. The black mourning cloth was reading or group study, this insightful work calls us to mutual respect, unity and a a tool for people in churches who feel they are surrounded by painful, confusing
I've heard this same stuff for 30 years. No one seems to learn, at deeper daily relationship with God. This simple but challenging look at three
replaced with the color of rainbows and we looked forward to debates in the church about homosexuality and want to discover how the Christian
least no one who's willing to speak up in these church meetings- commands, "do no harm, do good, stay in love with God," calls us to mutual respect, tradition can be a constructive--rather than divisive--resource. The book provides a
-or is it that some actively try to ignore these voices? We have "A Future With Hope." unity, and a deeper relationship with God. challenging and creative process for clergy and lay people to reflect upon their own
responded better to a few years of global warming warnings than In 2012, we will have been in official exile for 40 years. Can God Christian beliefs and personal experiences through dialogue and study.
to many years of faithful witness of LGBT Christians. “It's a fresh language that speaks especially to long-time Christians and United Designed to include five two-hour sessions, Talking about Homosexuality uses the
bring us all over into a promised land?
Methodists." ~Sally Dyck, Resident Bishop, Minnesota Area categories of the Wesleyan quadrilateral to structure this process: scripture,
The vote to keep the "incompatibility" language was separated
Ben Roe Denver, Colorado, USA tradition, experience, and reason.

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TOP 20 FUN THINGS ABOUT GENERAL CONFERENCE One Family Tree Mission Trip
It was great to be a volunteer at General Conference. We know that to change the world dependent upon general conference decisions. This resulted
DEFINING SUCCESS IN A LONG HAUL MISSION
requires lots of praying and activity. Here are a few memories we are thankful for: in the remarkable floor witness with connection to 19 of our
In January of 2007, RMN distributed a resource on bishops and over 1000 participants on the floor, in
20. Chopping vegetables to feed the 316 section - The John 3:16 defining success that we would use to assess General delegations and in the stands.
4000. Whosoever section ☺ Conference. Three categories of Advancement, Resistance,
and Building-Consolidation are used to help clarify markers Building/ Consolidation
19. New friends within RMN and the 8. Wondering where Mark Miller of success. RMN took every opportunity, even in moments of
Common Witness. bought his shirts.
adversity, to tell our story, to reinvigorate current supporters,
Advancement
18. Singing "Itty Bitty Seed" - one 7. Karaoke at MoSAIC coffeehouse and to invite
more time! (We really are better with musicals.) RMN and partners successfully developed and carried out newcomers to join
an action agenda based on clearly-articulated strategic goals in principled acts
17. Arts and crafts projects: oil, trees, 6. Rainbow stoles as neckties, and broadly-shared principles of inclusiveness. A strongly of solidarity.
candy... ☺ armbands, headbands, gags and interwoven team of RMN and MFSA legislative folk did
perfect bowties! Prior to General
16. Noise disruptions at 10:32 (Get amazing work.
Conference, over
it?) 5. Young people leading us out of old Prior to general conference, coordinators reached out to 500 volunteers
ways. delegates to build relationships. Delegate legislative briefings were trained to
15. Old friends within RMN and the
Common Witness. 4. Anointing United Methodists for were held each morning. A good crew of moderate and share their stories
the healing of the nations progressive delegates became officers of legislative sections. with delegates
14. Male volunteers in sarongs...fierce! And many legislative sections, resourced by our team, through a Called To
3. I went to General Conference and produced supportive majority reports with holy conversation. Rev. Troy Plummer and Bishop Sally Dyck
13. Not needing my "Get out of jail Witness training in
a Wedding Broke Out! at a UM press conference
free" card. Some specific successes include electing a moderate judicial 22 key annual
2. Sunday afternoon - Reconciling council; passing anti-homophobia, anti-heterosexism conferences. Participants report an overwhelming sense of
12. Drumming lessons helpful, but
Worship - One Family Tree in living legislation with resources; amending the world restructuring empowerment.
not necessary.
color, song, prayer, preaching & proposals to increase space for the Spirit to move; achieving a With our base at First Christian Church, the Common
11. Y'all means Y'all! communion 2/3rds vote for Constitutional change to "all" in Witness coalition was interwoven more deeply in an
10. Soup and sandwich at Betty’s Inclusiveness; adding "loving caregivers" to the definition of expanded variety of areas.
1. United Methodists of all sexual
Kitchen family; strengthening inclusive language on "transfers of UM
orientations and gender identities For the first time, RMN managed an official blogsite,
membership"; and limiting the funding ban from rejecting or
9. Legislative leaders that sat in the making disciples of Jesus Christ for www.generalconference2008.org. You can still find great
condemning lesbian and gay members and friends.
the transformation of the world! information there as it continues to tell our stories. At one
Also we garnered 45% of the world-wide vote to remove the point, daily hits went over 10,000. And beyond the web, we
"incompatibility clause", missing the opportunity to adopt the placed 21 news stories in over 40 outlets.
WELCOME OUR NEW COMMUNITIES! inspired majority report. In the closest vote, 49% of delegates
voted to strengthen open membership resulting in keeping
Our theologically grounded One Family Tree mission and
witness is well recorded in the cover article by Ben Roe. Our
the original language that was deliberately misinterpreted in
overall capacity building in advocacy work through the
CONGREGATIONS: COMMUNITIES: Judicial Council decision #1032.
recruitment, training, and coordination of an exceptionally
Buena Vista UMC [FN 3-26-08] 2311 Buena Vista Avenue, Alameda, CA FEAST: United Campus Christian Ministry [FN 3-26-08] 900 High Street Resistance skilled group of leaders and volunteers will serve us well in
94501 Santa Cruz, CA 95060 www.uccmsantacruz.org creating a future with hope for all of God's children.
Eugene First United Methodist Church [FN 5-8-08] 1376 Olive Street The Open and Affirming Group [FN 3-12-08] First UMC 219 E Fourth St
RMN launched effective efforts to derail oppressive policies
Eugene, OR 97401 http://www.eugenefumc.org/ Bloomington, IN 47402 www.firstchurchbloomington.org by pointing out inconsistencies in judgments and the ill
effects associated with the opposition's tactics.
Excelsior UMC [FN 5-8-08] 881 Third Avenue, Excelsior, MN 55331 United Methodist Campus Ministry, Columbia University [FN 5-8-08] 263
http://www.excelsiorumc.org/ W. 86th New York, NY 10024 http://www.spsanyc.org Prior to General Conference, RMN sent resources
Hoquiam United Methodist Church [FN 5-8-08] 520 5th St Hoquiam, Wesley Fellowship, UC Boulder [FN 5-8-08] The Wesley Foundation @ including a DVD to all of the delegates in three separate
WA 98550-3524 http://www.hoquiamumc.org Wesley Chapel 1290 Folsom St. Boulder, CO 80302 mailings from the voices of parents, young adults, and those
Tabernacle United Methodist Church [FN 3-12-08] 83 Main Street The Word, World, and Worship Class [FN 5-8-08] denied membership. Many negative petitions and resolutions
Binghamton, NY 13905 http://www.gbgm-umc.org/tabchurch/ First UMC 410 East University Avenue Georgetown, TX 78626 were blocked in committee, specifically, the efforts to add
http://www.fumcgt.org/ss_adult.htm discrimination against trans persons. RMN also prepared an
anti-silencing strategy to a threat that did not emerge, along
Welcome to our newest communities! Read more about them in the saved
Flashnets (FN) in the News section of the RMN website. with actions ranging from prayer vigils to civil disobedience

Page 10 www.RMNetwork.org Katalyst • Spring 2008 Katalyst • Spring 2008 www.RMNetwork.org Page 3
One Family Tree Mission Trip One Family Tree Mission Trip
We had a full sanctuary for our Reconciling worship General Conference was opportunity -- we made our
service on Sunday of General Conference. A familiar case with grace and style. Now we will take it to every You are invited to witness and celebrate “It struck me as wonderful. I wish I was there!”
hymn was sung with much Spirit and harmony - place that needs the good news. It is Annual the marriage of The wedding came as a surprise to some, but our commitment to
one another has not been a secret. We were pleased that our love
"The Church's One Foundation is Jesus Christ our Lord; Conference season, then Jurisdictional Conference Susan Laurie
for each other could be blessed within our longtime context of
season, and always local church season. and
we are his new creation by water and the Word."* Reconciling church family. We also were blessed by the presence
Ours the Journey -- God of rainbow, fiery pillar, leading Julie Bruno of several of our siblings.
As mission people we get pushed to contemplate our where the eagles soar. We, thy people, ours the journey now
Long ago we had thought a church wedding as something we had
foundations, our "solid rock", from where our hope and ever, now and ever, now and evermore.
germinates and finds nurture for growth. When met Shaping Sanctuary, page 358 Friday, May 2, 2008 to “do without”. With laws forbidding our friends from
Fort Worth, Texas officiating and laws exiling us outside church sanctuaries, we had
with adversity that seems opposite the Christian
message of love of neighbor, the challenge looms large Yours in the struggle,
never planned a ceremony. However, these ceremonies for LGBT
On this day we will recognize people are taking place frequently—in many places—with United
-- can we exhibit a confidence in God's grace that will
Methodist couples pledging their love and fidelity before family
sustain a journey that is so treacherous? God's continued blessing
and friends. We hope our wedding will break the silliness of
RMN mission trips rely heavily on theological of our shared life in the
church officials pretending that the laws have stopped the sacred
foundations and so produce rich witnesses. With presence of our celebrations of loving couples. Creative hearts plan beautiful
One Family Tree we asserted our place within the * UM Hymnal #546 version. family and church. worship services.We began inside the convention center to
Body of Christ and poured out anointing oil to offer declare it “Holy Ground” with our singing, to be warmly greeted
both healing of the past and vision for the future. by Jorge Lockward and to read our Declaration of Intention
within the General Conference walls. Then came pure joy as we
RMN's foundation is also profoundly grassroots
sang our way outside to “This Little Light of Mine.” The outdoor
oriented. The volunteers to General Conference gave
setting seemed ideal. We sang, we prayed, we said, “I will” and
sacrificially of their time, resources and energy. Yet In lieu of gifts, donations may be made to: UMCOR
shared communion. All those present blessed the marriage in
they understand that the eyewitness accounts that #120004 - Soybean Production to Feed the Hungry unison.
they took home will become increasingly valuable as (Africa) or Reconciling Ministries Network. We are thankful to so many people and want to mention those
they share the experiences. I remember speaking with
Save the Date!
who participated: Joan Bruno, Scott Laurie, Larry Duncan, Julie
volunteers who were shocked by some of the events Todd, Jorge Lockward, Jayson Dobney, Jenn Peterson, Faith Buss,
and debates. I would reply, "This is what we are up Audrey Krumbach, Dick Tholin and Will Green. We also wish to

Labor Day 2009


against," and I would feel the emergence of even Sue & Julie
thank MoSAIC for the wedding shower and the Parents for the
serve
stronger allies with increased resolve. communion wedding reception. It was really a lovely, lovely day.
I believe we turned some corners at GC 08. The word at their
"all" seemed to break free from its diminished Our 10th Convocation!
Wedding. Julie and Sue
hypocritical past and become "ALL". Other words
Our 25th Anniversary!
http://www.rmnetwork.org/gc2008.asp
crippled as tools for stall tactics -- "dialogue" and
"unity" -- were replaced with "Holy Conferencing"
which walked a precarious path, but may have @ Declaration of Intention
retained integrity as it was noted that conflict is part
Estes Park, CO
Sue and I celebrate with you our covenant of love and We continue to be the church to and for each other.
of the dynamic. partnership. We continue to be the instruments of God's light and love.
God has been a part of our relationship for over 25 years ago. Light overcomes the darkness.
Mission trips change us. Some of us feel like we have
YMCA of the Rockies
Our faith grounds us and our church family grounds us. Today we say clearly - as a couple, as a family, as a church - that
been through a refining fire.
Reconciling is our church family. God says YES!
I believe that our foundations of Jesus Christ, The United Methodist Church has been and continues to be This is our day to say to each other and to you - God is with us!
theological reflection and grassroots discipleship and both blessing and burden to us. God is our light and our love.
community are sufficient to percolate our hope and
When the church turns her back on us, withholds blessings We say YES to each other and affirm our love.
trust into the future.
from us, We say yes to you, our families and our church family.
Does God withhold blessing? NO With the church or despite the church, our lights will shine!
Does God stop loving us? NO

Page 4 www.RMNetwork.org Katalyst • Spring 2008 Katalyst • Spring 2008 www.RMNetwork.org Page 9
One Family Tree Mission Trip One Family Tree Mission Trip

We stand in solidarity with all those who are not here, who are not in our Our One Family Tree mission trip effectively organized across a variety of continents, theologies, and practices.
Plenary Floor Proclamation
congregations. and faithfully witnessed for full participation for lesbian, First Christian Church, downtown Fort Worth,
We have heard Jesus say - to all persons without exception - "follow me." gay, bisexual, and transgender persons in our United opened its doors -- offering hospitality to our
We stand with those who've been forced out and who've never come in,
We are part of God's living body in today's world, but our United Methodist Church. Common Witness Coalition. We started with family at
who already affirm one another as beloved children of God, regardless
Methodist Church refuses to accept what God has done, refuses to the Parent’s Awards Lunch, hearing of the harm caused
of sexual orientation or gender identity. From beginning to end, the meaning of family was at the
keep covenant with its own words in the baptismal promise, refuses
forefront of to one pastor and family for not shunning their gay
to honor God's call to professional ministry, refuses to do no harm, We stand with holy boldness to welcome LGBT laity and clergy into our
churches and pulpits, NOW; to keep baptismal promises for all, all our child, and of the commitment of both the Taylor family
refuses to open its hearts, minds, and doors.
NOW; to affirm calls to ministries for all people, NOW; to bless actions. and of Bishop Chamberlain for his daughter-—who
The unchurched notice. They notice the church cruelly scapegoating
covenant relationships in our churches by our clergy, NOW; to assure
Sometimes happens to be lesbian.
lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people on the altar of so-
membership for all, NOW; to provide hospitality for all, NOW.
called unity. it is hard to Rev. Bill Taylor
With this beginning, we participated in
Join us. Stand now. Build our future with hope and trust in God.
The young notice. They notice the church denying, refusing, threatening, stay at the daily actions: handing our “leaves for
removing, closeting the lgbt people who faithfully serve the church. Proclamation - Witness - General Conference 2008, Ft. Worth, table when healing”—-two-sided business card size
TX. Drafted by the Witness Team of Reconciling Ministries
The world notices. family handouts for inclusion, anointing and
Network, Rev. David W. Meredith, Convener.
We notice. members prayer stations, and acorns as a seed for
God notices. use words of future hope. Every
Our HQ: First Christian Church
harm against mission trip makes a
The United Methodist baptismal liturgy calls all of us to accept the My name is Melvin Talbert. I am one of your bishops. In this
freedom and power God gives us to resist evil, injustice, and General Conference we have been reminded that in 1939 this LGBTQ persons and when other family difference, while
oppression in whatever forms they present themselves. church took an action that separated my sisters and brothers into members don’t speak up against that harm. multiple mission
It is our duty - our baptismal covenant - to stand against the sin of the a separate jurisdiction. That action was wrong. That action was Staying centered during spiritual violence must trips are required to
church, to stand for God's freedom and power, to affirm God's entire a sin against God. Thank God we have moved through and be intentional. As you experience these create enduring
body of Christ that is the church. discontinued that segregated structure. But my sisters and photographs from our mission trip, please remember relationships and
Bishop Ray
We are God's children, here … NOW. brothers, here we are again. In the name of Jesus Christ, we have the multiple purposes: to speak up for the silenced, to Chamberlain change.
Today we boldly declare by standing here that our church's doors and taken an action that is wrong. At least for the Central be visible for the absent, to do so faithfully in ways Each trip, you hope
our ministries will radically obey the Gospel, that we defy bigotry and Jurisdiction we remained within a structure and we worked out to challenge and to engage United Methodists your own heart is
ignorance, that the anti-gay policies and practices of The United the relationships. But for these sisters and brothers we have chosen moved closer in
Methodist Church are wrong. to leave them out rather than invite them in to work out our
alignment with God’s will for us in Jesus-—at this time for
By human means we cannot stand but by the grace of God we can. relationships in the name of Christ. I can do no other than to
this peculiar Wesleyan family of United Methodists.
say what's on my heart. General Conference, General Conference,
By standing we reject the idea that homosexuality is a sin. From our commissioning song “this little seed it too small,
This is wrong. I invite you to reconsider.
By standing we affirm that sexuality is a good gift of God. it will never grow; but it grew O Lord, yes it grew!”
By standing we affirm our intent to spread God's love and grace. ~ Bishop Melvin Talbert ~ GC NEWSLETTER: WEDNESDAY, APRIL 23
By standing we bless and celebrate families, all families.
United Methodist Parent
We do not stand alone. Honored
Parents of LGBTQ persons “The leaves of the trees are for the healing of the
View the Video of our Witness on the Plenary floor here:
held a press conference
today, and honored a long-
nations.” Revelation 22:2b
http://www.generalconference2008.org/2008/05/witness-on-the.html time UM member and
parent of a lesbian daughter,
Helen King, with the Hilton
Award, named in honor of
parents Bruce and Ginny
Hilton. Speakers included
Rev. Bill Taylor, a UM minister
forced to take a leave after refusing to reject his gay
son, and Bishop Ray Chamberlain, Southeastern
Jurisdiction.

Page 8 www.RMNetwork.org Katalyst • Spring 2008 Katalyst • Spring 2008 www.RMNetwork.org Page 5
One Family Tree Mission Trip One Family Tree Mission Trip

Week One raised hope with Week Two allowed


inspiring events of the Parents, Young parliamentary procedure
Adults and reconciling worship, and the to crush carefully crafted
intentional holy conversation witnessed majority reports that
in the legislative sections creating supported full inclusion,
powerful majority reports. leading to Good Friday for
our Church.
Young Adults lead with drums, rally, prayer action and worship.
Reconciling Worship, First UMC Fort Worth.
Rev. Guest preaching, Bishop Jung celebrating.
Tears and anguish as delegates keep “incompatibility” and refuse to strengthen open membership.

Daily Anointing
View the Video of our Witness on the Plenary floor here:
http://www.generalconference2008.org/2008/05/witness-on-the.html

Walking through the wounded...

Transgender leaders Sean, Tina, and Diane.

The Shrouded Table

Page 6 www.RMNetwork.org Katalyst •Spring 2008 Katalyst • Spring 2008 www.RMNetwork.org Page 7
One Family Tree Mission Trip One Family Tree Mission Trip

Week One raised hope with Week Two allowed


inspiring events of the Parents, Young parliamentary procedure
Adults and reconciling worship, and the to crush carefully crafted
intentional holy conversation witnessed majority reports that
in the legislative sections creating supported full inclusion,
powerful majority reports. leading to Good Friday for
our Church.
Young Adults lead with drums, rally, prayer action and worship.
Reconciling Worship, First UMC Fort Worth.
Rev. Guest preaching, Bishop Jung celebrating.
Tears and anguish as delegates keep “incompatibility” and refuse to strengthen open membership.

Daily Anointing
View the Video of our Witness on the Plenary floor here:
http://www.generalconference2008.org/2008/05/witness-on-the.html

Walking through the wounded...

Transgender leaders Sean, Tina, and Diane.

The Shrouded Table

Page 6 www.RMNetwork.org Katalyst •Spring 2008 Katalyst • Spring 2008 www.RMNetwork.org Page 7
One Family Tree Mission Trip One Family Tree Mission Trip

We stand in solidarity with all those who are not here, who are not in our Our One Family Tree mission trip effectively organized across a variety of continents, theologies, and practices.
Plenary Floor Proclamation
congregations. and faithfully witnessed for full participation for lesbian, First Christian Church, downtown Fort Worth,
We have heard Jesus say - to all persons without exception - "follow me." gay, bisexual, and transgender persons in our United opened its doors -- offering hospitality to our
We stand with those who've been forced out and who've never come in,
We are part of God's living body in today's world, but our United Methodist Church. Common Witness Coalition. We started with family at
who already affirm one another as beloved children of God, regardless
Methodist Church refuses to accept what God has done, refuses to the Parent’s Awards Lunch, hearing of the harm caused
of sexual orientation or gender identity. From beginning to end, the meaning of family was at the
keep covenant with its own words in the baptismal promise, refuses
forefront of to one pastor and family for not shunning their gay
to honor God's call to professional ministry, refuses to do no harm, We stand with holy boldness to welcome LGBT laity and clergy into our
churches and pulpits, NOW; to keep baptismal promises for all, all our child, and of the commitment of both the Taylor family
refuses to open its hearts, minds, and doors.
NOW; to affirm calls to ministries for all people, NOW; to bless actions. and of Bishop Chamberlain for his daughter-—who
The unchurched notice. They notice the church cruelly scapegoating
covenant relationships in our churches by our clergy, NOW; to assure
Sometimes happens to be lesbian.
lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people on the altar of so-
membership for all, NOW; to provide hospitality for all, NOW.
called unity. it is hard to Rev. Bill Taylor
With this beginning, we participated in
Join us. Stand now. Build our future with hope and trust in God.
The young notice. They notice the church denying, refusing, threatening, stay at the daily actions: handing our “leaves for
removing, closeting the lgbt people who faithfully serve the church. Proclamation - Witness - General Conference 2008, Ft. Worth, table when healing”—-two-sided business card size
TX. Drafted by the Witness Team of Reconciling Ministries
The world notices. family handouts for inclusion, anointing and
Network, Rev. David W. Meredith, Convener.
We notice. members prayer stations, and acorns as a seed for
God notices. use words of future hope. Every
Our HQ: First Christian Church
harm against mission trip makes a
The United Methodist baptismal liturgy calls all of us to accept the My name is Melvin Talbert. I am one of your bishops. In this
freedom and power God gives us to resist evil, injustice, and General Conference we have been reminded that in 1939 this LGBTQ persons and when other family difference, while
oppression in whatever forms they present themselves. church took an action that separated my sisters and brothers into members don’t speak up against that harm. multiple mission
It is our duty - our baptismal covenant - to stand against the sin of the a separate jurisdiction. That action was wrong. That action was Staying centered during spiritual violence must trips are required to
church, to stand for God's freedom and power, to affirm God's entire a sin against God. Thank God we have moved through and be intentional. As you experience these create enduring
body of Christ that is the church. discontinued that segregated structure. But my sisters and photographs from our mission trip, please remember relationships and
Bishop Ray
We are God's children, here … NOW. brothers, here we are again. In the name of Jesus Christ, we have the multiple purposes: to speak up for the silenced, to Chamberlain change.
Today we boldly declare by standing here that our church's doors and taken an action that is wrong. At least for the Central be visible for the absent, to do so faithfully in ways Each trip, you hope
our ministries will radically obey the Gospel, that we defy bigotry and Jurisdiction we remained within a structure and we worked out to challenge and to engage United Methodists your own heart is
ignorance, that the anti-gay policies and practices of The United the relationships. But for these sisters and brothers we have chosen moved closer in
Methodist Church are wrong. to leave them out rather than invite them in to work out our
alignment with God’s will for us in Jesus-—at this time for
By human means we cannot stand but by the grace of God we can. relationships in the name of Christ. I can do no other than to
this peculiar Wesleyan family of United Methodists.
say what's on my heart. General Conference, General Conference,
By standing we reject the idea that homosexuality is a sin. From our commissioning song “this little seed it too small,
This is wrong. I invite you to reconsider.
By standing we affirm that sexuality is a good gift of God. it will never grow; but it grew O Lord, yes it grew!”
By standing we affirm our intent to spread God's love and grace. ~ Bishop Melvin Talbert ~ GC NEWSLETTER: WEDNESDAY, APRIL 23
By standing we bless and celebrate families, all families.
United Methodist Parent
We do not stand alone. Honored
Parents of LGBTQ persons “The leaves of the trees are for the healing of the
View the Video of our Witness on the Plenary floor here:
held a press conference
today, and honored a long-
nations.” Revelation 22:2b
http://www.generalconference2008.org/2008/05/witness-on-the.html time UM member and
parent of a lesbian daughter,
Helen King, with the Hilton
Award, named in honor of
parents Bruce and Ginny
Hilton. Speakers included
Rev. Bill Taylor, a UM minister
forced to take a leave after refusing to reject his gay
son, and Bishop Ray Chamberlain, Southeastern
Jurisdiction.

Page 8 www.RMNetwork.org Katalyst • Spring 2008 Katalyst • Spring 2008 www.RMNetwork.org Page 5
One Family Tree Mission Trip One Family Tree Mission Trip
We had a full sanctuary for our Reconciling worship General Conference was opportunity -- we made our
service on Sunday of General Conference. A familiar case with grace and style. Now we will take it to every You are invited to witness and celebrate “It struck me as wonderful. I wish I was there!”
hymn was sung with much Spirit and harmony - place that needs the good news. It is Annual the marriage of The wedding came as a surprise to some, but our commitment to
one another has not been a secret. We were pleased that our love
"The Church's One Foundation is Jesus Christ our Lord; Conference season, then Jurisdictional Conference Susan Laurie
for each other could be blessed within our longtime context of
season, and always local church season. and
we are his new creation by water and the Word."* Reconciling church family. We also were blessed by the presence
Ours the Journey -- God of rainbow, fiery pillar, leading Julie Bruno of several of our siblings.
As mission people we get pushed to contemplate our where the eagles soar. We, thy people, ours the journey now
Long ago we had thought a church wedding as something we had
foundations, our "solid rock", from where our hope and ever, now and ever, now and evermore.
germinates and finds nurture for growth. When met Shaping Sanctuary, page 358 Friday, May 2, 2008 to “do without”. With laws forbidding our friends from
Fort Worth, Texas officiating and laws exiling us outside church sanctuaries, we had
with adversity that seems opposite the Christian
message of love of neighbor, the challenge looms large Yours in the struggle,
never planned a ceremony. However, these ceremonies for LGBT
On this day we will recognize people are taking place frequently—in many places—with United
-- can we exhibit a confidence in God's grace that will
Methodist couples pledging their love and fidelity before family
sustain a journey that is so treacherous? God's continued blessing
and friends. We hope our wedding will break the silliness of
RMN mission trips rely heavily on theological of our shared life in the
church officials pretending that the laws have stopped the sacred
foundations and so produce rich witnesses. With presence of our celebrations of loving couples. Creative hearts plan beautiful
One Family Tree we asserted our place within the * UM Hymnal #546 version. family and church. worship services.We began inside the convention center to
Body of Christ and poured out anointing oil to offer declare it “Holy Ground” with our singing, to be warmly greeted
both healing of the past and vision for the future. by Jorge Lockward and to read our Declaration of Intention
within the General Conference walls. Then came pure joy as we
RMN's foundation is also profoundly grassroots
sang our way outside to “This Little Light of Mine.” The outdoor
oriented. The volunteers to General Conference gave
setting seemed ideal. We sang, we prayed, we said, “I will” and
sacrificially of their time, resources and energy. Yet In lieu of gifts, donations may be made to: UMCOR
shared communion. All those present blessed the marriage in
they understand that the eyewitness accounts that #120004 - Soybean Production to Feed the Hungry unison.
they took home will become increasingly valuable as (Africa) or Reconciling Ministries Network. We are thankful to so many people and want to mention those
they share the experiences. I remember speaking with
Save the Date!
who participated: Joan Bruno, Scott Laurie, Larry Duncan, Julie
volunteers who were shocked by some of the events Todd, Jorge Lockward, Jayson Dobney, Jenn Peterson, Faith Buss,
and debates. I would reply, "This is what we are up Audrey Krumbach, Dick Tholin and Will Green. We also wish to

Labor Day 2009


against," and I would feel the emergence of even Sue & Julie
thank MoSAIC for the wedding shower and the Parents for the
serve
stronger allies with increased resolve. communion wedding reception. It was really a lovely, lovely day.
I believe we turned some corners at GC 08. The word at their
"all" seemed to break free from its diminished Our 10th Convocation!
Wedding. Julie and Sue
hypocritical past and become "ALL". Other words
Our 25th Anniversary!
http://www.rmnetwork.org/gc2008.asp
crippled as tools for stall tactics -- "dialogue" and
"unity" -- were replaced with "Holy Conferencing"
which walked a precarious path, but may have @ Declaration of Intention
retained integrity as it was noted that conflict is part
Estes Park, CO
Sue and I celebrate with you our covenant of love and We continue to be the church to and for each other.
of the dynamic. partnership. We continue to be the instruments of God's light and love.
God has been a part of our relationship for over 25 years ago. Light overcomes the darkness.
Mission trips change us. Some of us feel like we have
YMCA of the Rockies
Our faith grounds us and our church family grounds us. Today we say clearly - as a couple, as a family, as a church - that
been through a refining fire.
Reconciling is our church family. God says YES!
I believe that our foundations of Jesus Christ, The United Methodist Church has been and continues to be This is our day to say to each other and to you - God is with us!
theological reflection and grassroots discipleship and both blessing and burden to us. God is our light and our love.
community are sufficient to percolate our hope and
When the church turns her back on us, withholds blessings We say YES to each other and affirm our love.
trust into the future.
from us, We say yes to you, our families and our church family.
Does God withhold blessing? NO With the church or despite the church, our lights will shine!
Does God stop loving us? NO

Page 4 www.RMNetwork.org Katalyst • Spring 2008 Katalyst • Spring 2008 www.RMNetwork.org Page 9
TOP 20 FUN THINGS ABOUT GENERAL CONFERENCE One Family Tree Mission Trip
It was great to be a volunteer at General Conference. We know that to change the world dependent upon general conference decisions. This resulted
DEFINING SUCCESS IN A LONG HAUL MISSION
requires lots of praying and activity. Here are a few memories we are thankful for: in the remarkable floor witness with connection to 19 of our
In January of 2007, RMN distributed a resource on bishops and over 1000 participants on the floor, in
20. Chopping vegetables to feed the 316 section - The John 3:16 defining success that we would use to assess General delegations and in the stands.
4000. Whosoever section ☺ Conference. Three categories of Advancement, Resistance,
and Building-Consolidation are used to help clarify markers Building/ Consolidation
19. New friends within RMN and the 8. Wondering where Mark Miller of success. RMN took every opportunity, even in moments of
Common Witness. bought his shirts.
adversity, to tell our story, to reinvigorate current supporters,
Advancement
18. Singing "Itty Bitty Seed" - one 7. Karaoke at MoSAIC coffeehouse and to invite
more time! (We really are better with musicals.) RMN and partners successfully developed and carried out newcomers to join
an action agenda based on clearly-articulated strategic goals in principled acts
17. Arts and crafts projects: oil, trees, 6. Rainbow stoles as neckties, and broadly-shared principles of inclusiveness. A strongly of solidarity.
candy... ☺ armbands, headbands, gags and interwoven team of RMN and MFSA legislative folk did
perfect bowties! Prior to General
16. Noise disruptions at 10:32 (Get amazing work.
Conference, over
it?) 5. Young people leading us out of old Prior to general conference, coordinators reached out to 500 volunteers
ways. delegates to build relationships. Delegate legislative briefings were trained to
15. Old friends within RMN and the
Common Witness. 4. Anointing United Methodists for were held each morning. A good crew of moderate and share their stories
the healing of the nations progressive delegates became officers of legislative sections. with delegates
14. Male volunteers in sarongs...fierce! And many legislative sections, resourced by our team, through a Called To
3. I went to General Conference and produced supportive majority reports with holy conversation. Rev. Troy Plummer and Bishop Sally Dyck
13. Not needing my "Get out of jail Witness training in
a Wedding Broke Out! at a UM press conference
free" card. Some specific successes include electing a moderate judicial 22 key annual
2. Sunday afternoon - Reconciling council; passing anti-homophobia, anti-heterosexism conferences. Participants report an overwhelming sense of
12. Drumming lessons helpful, but
Worship - One Family Tree in living legislation with resources; amending the world restructuring empowerment.
not necessary.
color, song, prayer, preaching & proposals to increase space for the Spirit to move; achieving a With our base at First Christian Church, the Common
11. Y'all means Y'all! communion 2/3rds vote for Constitutional change to "all" in Witness coalition was interwoven more deeply in an
10. Soup and sandwich at Betty’s Inclusiveness; adding "loving caregivers" to the definition of expanded variety of areas.
1. United Methodists of all sexual
Kitchen family; strengthening inclusive language on "transfers of UM
orientations and gender identities For the first time, RMN managed an official blogsite,
membership"; and limiting the funding ban from rejecting or
9. Legislative leaders that sat in the making disciples of Jesus Christ for www.generalconference2008.org. You can still find great
condemning lesbian and gay members and friends.
the transformation of the world! information there as it continues to tell our stories. At one
Also we garnered 45% of the world-wide vote to remove the point, daily hits went over 10,000. And beyond the web, we
"incompatibility clause", missing the opportunity to adopt the placed 21 news stories in over 40 outlets.
WELCOME OUR NEW COMMUNITIES! inspired majority report. In the closest vote, 49% of delegates
voted to strengthen open membership resulting in keeping
Our theologically grounded One Family Tree mission and
witness is well recorded in the cover article by Ben Roe. Our
the original language that was deliberately misinterpreted in
overall capacity building in advocacy work through the
CONGREGATIONS: COMMUNITIES: Judicial Council decision #1032.
recruitment, training, and coordination of an exceptionally
Buena Vista UMC [FN 3-26-08] 2311 Buena Vista Avenue, Alameda, CA FEAST: United Campus Christian Ministry [FN 3-26-08] 900 High Street Resistance skilled group of leaders and volunteers will serve us well in
94501 Santa Cruz, CA 95060 www.uccmsantacruz.org creating a future with hope for all of God's children.
Eugene First United Methodist Church [FN 5-8-08] 1376 Olive Street The Open and Affirming Group [FN 3-12-08] First UMC 219 E Fourth St
RMN launched effective efforts to derail oppressive policies
Eugene, OR 97401 http://www.eugenefumc.org/ Bloomington, IN 47402 www.firstchurchbloomington.org by pointing out inconsistencies in judgments and the ill
effects associated with the opposition's tactics.
Excelsior UMC [FN 5-8-08] 881 Third Avenue, Excelsior, MN 55331 United Methodist Campus Ministry, Columbia University [FN 5-8-08] 263
http://www.excelsiorumc.org/ W. 86th New York, NY 10024 http://www.spsanyc.org Prior to General Conference, RMN sent resources
Hoquiam United Methodist Church [FN 5-8-08] 520 5th St Hoquiam, Wesley Fellowship, UC Boulder [FN 5-8-08] The Wesley Foundation @ including a DVD to all of the delegates in three separate
WA 98550-3524 http://www.hoquiamumc.org Wesley Chapel 1290 Folsom St. Boulder, CO 80302 mailings from the voices of parents, young adults, and those
Tabernacle United Methodist Church [FN 3-12-08] 83 Main Street The Word, World, and Worship Class [FN 5-8-08] denied membership. Many negative petitions and resolutions
Binghamton, NY 13905 http://www.gbgm-umc.org/tabchurch/ First UMC 410 East University Avenue Georgetown, TX 78626 were blocked in committee, specifically, the efforts to add
http://www.fumcgt.org/ss_adult.htm discrimination against trans persons. RMN also prepared an
anti-silencing strategy to a threat that did not emerge, along
Welcome to our newest communities! Read more about them in the saved
Flashnets (FN) in the News section of the RMN website. with actions ranging from prayer vigils to civil disobedience

Page 10 www.RMNetwork.org Katalyst • Spring 2008 Katalyst • Spring 2008 www.RMNetwork.org Page 3
FROM BEN ROE, CONTINUED FROM PAGE ONE
stood to counter that with the words, "When you say that my by only 84 people, but because of the number voting (or not
R ESOURCES F OR T HE J OURNEY
son is from Satan; I must disagree. My son is from my womb." voting) it was still 45% in favor of new language and 55%
But the damage was done. holding onto ignorance and lies. As the proclamation said the
I was left wondering how in the world one engages "holy next day, LGBT people were once again sacrificed on an altar of Reconciling Voices: RMN’s New DVD!
conferencing" when one side thinks the other is "of the devil." "unity." Supporters stood singing "Jesus Loves Me." This excellent professional resource is a great new tool! Put the pieces together and use it as a four-part
How can any respect be shown? How bad does parliamentary Deep sobbing was heard at the gathering that followed. There Sunday School series or take what you need for your ministry.
procedure have to be before someone notices and cries "foul!" was also rage. There was lots of grief and sadness. There was This DVD includes:
even a little ridicule of the detractors. And there was rational *Reconciling Voices *Reconciling Journeys *Testimony of a Young United Methodist *Bishops Speak Up
Holy conferencing, which had done so much to craft a truly new
planning of the possibility of a meaningful protest witness. Reconciling Voices is a great discussion starter helping to both name the harm of exclusion and claim the hope of
approach to 161G, went right out the window when the
Again, some careful planning and drafting of a statement inclusion. Reconciling Journeys expands the discussion to engage congregations. Testimony of a Young United
minority report was presented, with the Rev. Eddie Fox, the
prepared for just this kind of outcome had been done and was Methodist recounts first hand the experience of being denied membership. Bishops Speak Up inspires with words
presenter, spending a significant amount of time telling us what
accepted by those gathered. from Bishops Mel Talbert, Susan Morrison, John Schol, Minerva Carcaño, Sally Dyck, and Richard Wilke.
his pedigree in world Methodism was. I wondered as I heard
($5.00 each)
him speak, when did language about the "incompatibility of A witness was planned for Thursday morning. It was a quiet,
homosexuality" become "essential holy scripture"? I thought the respectful witness as we silently walked into place forming a
essentials were more like "Love God with all your heart, mind, giant cross on the floor around the central communion table.
soul, and strength and your neighbor as yourself." Or "There is The choice of "Were You There" as a song seemed inspired as
AVAILABLE FROM COKESBURY:
nothing that can separate us from the love of God in Christ many were feeling the pain of a Good Friday experience. A
Jesus our Lord." Or "In Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, strong, clear, young woman's voice delivered the proclamation, The Tie That Binds Staying at the Table
slave nor free, male nor female, for we are all one in Christ at first declarative, then defiant as a series of promises were read Connecting with God, the Church, and the World The Gift of Unity for United Methodists
Publisher: Abingdon Press ISBN-13: 9780687652082 Publisher: Abingdon Press ISBN-13: 9780687645060
Jesus." Or even "For God so loved the world that he gave his that pointed to "A Future With Hope" for churches who
Author: UM Bishop Richard B Wilke Edited by: UM Bishop Scott J. Jones
only begotten son that whosoever believes in him may have honored the "One Family Tree."
everlasting life." Delegates helped cover the central table in scraps of Good "Blest be the tie that binds . . ." Unity is a gift of God that involves us staying at the table to find
Whether or not the words of this hymn are familiar to you, the common ground in "the extreme center." Tackling divisive issues
Rev. Fox pleaded for us not to "confuse" those persons who Friday black muslin. A wonderful gift was given from retired
notion behind them--and this book--is one of connectedness and community. such as homosexuality, race and gender, and authority of Scripture, Jones shows the
believe that "homosexuality" is a sin. Please, he seemed to be Bishop Mel Talbert in the form of a forceful, prophetic speech Richard wilke observes that at the same time the formal, organized church has logical contours of the conversation by locating them in larger questions of doctrine
saying, let's not confuse anyone with the facts -- of biblical inviting the conference to reconsider its harmful decisions. And faced monumental change, spiritual inquiry has been sweeping the country. and ecclesiology. He outlines the logic of our current position and explains why it is
interpretation, science, theology, or Christian experience in the then it was over. Mark and Marcia chose a quiet rendition of Grounding his discussion in biblical background and Weslayan roots, Wilke defensible, while at the same time suggesting a logic for change.
21st century! "Jesus, Remember Me" as the first song after the end of the attempts to rouse the church to follow the command of Jesus to "Go...and make Responders include: Amy DeLong, Susan J. Laurie, William J. Abraham, Lonnie D.
disciples." In his chapter on Conflict, he engages the question of inclusion for Brooks, Mary Brooke Casad, Sudarshana Devadhar, Sally Dyck, James A Harnish,
He asked the witness.
lesbian and gay people in the church saying, "we are going to have to love our way Carolyn E. Johnson, Bill McAlilly, Patricia L. Miller, John R. Schol, Joe M.
assembly not It was a healing time for many as we felt like we had stated our through on this matter." Whittemore, Gerald "Jay" Williams, William H. Willimon, and David K. Yemba.
to "harm the position in a powerful way...
connection"
across the The debriefing following the witness was also healing, as many Three Simple Rules Talking about Homosexuality
world--please, shared surprises of those who stood unexpectedly. Over 1,000 A Wesleyan Way of Living A Congregational Resource
he seemed to participated. Bishops joined 12 disciples who refrained from Publisher: Abingdon Press ISBN-13: 9780687649662 Publisher: Pilgrim Press ISBN-13: 9780829816136
arrest to table with one another. Author: UM Bishop Rueben P. Job Authors: Karen P. Oliveto, Kelly D. Turney, Traci C. West
be saying,
let's ignore the Kirk, Ben and Laura The grief lifted some on Friday as a joyous wedding ceremony In Three Simple Rules, Rueben Job offers an interpretation of The first title in the Holy Conversations series, this is a study
hurt of a people excluded, just hurt the LGBT people. was held for Sue Laurie and Julie Bruno, who celebrated 25 John Wesley's General Rules for today's readers. For individual resource for theological reflection on homosexuality. It serves as
years "with God" as they put it. The black mourning cloth was reading or group study, this insightful work calls us to mutual respect, unity and a a tool for people in churches who feel they are surrounded by painful, confusing
I've heard this same stuff for 30 years. No one seems to learn, at deeper daily relationship with God. This simple but challenging look at three
replaced with the color of rainbows and we looked forward to debates in the church about homosexuality and want to discover how the Christian
least no one who's willing to speak up in these church meetings- commands, "do no harm, do good, stay in love with God," calls us to mutual respect, tradition can be a constructive--rather than divisive--resource. The book provides a
-or is it that some actively try to ignore these voices? We have "A Future With Hope." unity, and a deeper relationship with God. challenging and creative process for clergy and lay people to reflect upon their own
responded better to a few years of global warming warnings than In 2012, we will have been in official exile for 40 years. Can God Christian beliefs and personal experiences through dialogue and study.
to many years of faithful witness of LGBT Christians. “It's a fresh language that speaks especially to long-time Christians and United Designed to include five two-hour sessions, Talking about Homosexuality uses the
bring us all over into a promised land?
Methodists." ~Sally Dyck, Resident Bishop, Minnesota Area categories of the Wesleyan quadrilateral to structure this process: scripture,
The vote to keep the "incompatibility" language was separated
Ben Roe Denver, Colorado, USA tradition, experience, and reason.

Page 2 www.RMNetwork.org Katalyst • Spring 2008 Katalyst • Spring 2008 www.RMNetwork.org Page 11
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Address Service Requested BOARD OF DIRECTORS “Editor’s Notebook” GC2008 Late in the first week, I began to hear about the
Helen F. Andrew Someone remembered the emotional shape of work that Church & Society 2 subcommittee
Rachel Birkhahn-Rommelfanger the two weeks: a family reunion celebration as was attempting to do with all the petitions on
Rev. Daniel F. Diss people gathered and witnessed, a building of Par. 161G. I thought I recognized the power of
Betty Dorr hope as some legislative committee work some holy conferencing. When I saw the result,
Lawrence T. Duncan appeared, a special time of worship on Sunday, I was sure of it, because it was a high-quality,
Rev. Duane A. Ewers and then a crash with the brutality of debate honest, and perceptive piece of work. I began to
Elizabeth Fimbres and votes some time in the second week. This have a little hope.
Will J. Green time was similar to prior General Conferences, The Sunday worship service at First UMC was a
William E. Green but had some special healing additions. high point. My soul was lifted. I even heard
Esther Villarreal Houser from the preacher how he had moved from
I was cautioned to expect nothing new as I tried
Jacob R. Lau being anti-gay to an advocate! My hope built a
to decide to venture to Fort Worth. I did not
David B. Mauzy little more.
want to experience a repeat of the Cleveland
Rev. David W. Meredith
Save a tree! Reduce expenses! Go paperless! 2000 experience. I have been told, since, that it The consideration of sexuality issues would be
Dr. Randall Miller
was indeed one of the meanest, abusive Wednesday and we began to prepare ourselves.
Rev. Holland Morgan
To receive future Katalysts electronically, email Sarah@RMnetwork.org. conferences in recent history. When you hear We learned that much work had already gone
Rev. Joshua M. Noblitt
epithets from delegates, you have to wonder on before with the Common Witness
Rev. M. Diane Nunnelee
where they went to Sunday School, and whether leadership, thinking carefully about the
Rev. John Oda
they really get anything from church. different contingencies and possible
Elizabeth Okayama
This time, my expectations were pretty low, but consequences for varieties of direct action, from
Rev. Dr. Karen P. Oliveto
I saw signs that told me to keep my eyes open. quiet thanksgiving to civil disobedience and
tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.
Reconciling movement. RMN is a non-profit corporation with 501(c)(3) status. All financial contributions are
you a hard-copy. Permission is granted to reproduce each issue as necessary to further the work of the
online at www.RMNetwork.org, or for a contribution covering production and mailing costs, we will send
The Katalyst is a quarterly publication of the Reconciling Ministries Network. You can access this newsletter

Together, we DO make a difference! I want to step out in faith by making a financial Rev. Bruce W. Robbins
First was the choice of Marcia McFee and Mark possible arrest.
Rev. Dr. Martha Scott
commitment of $__________ to the Reconciling Ministries Network. Miller for the worship/music team. I knew their On Wednesday, first there were some decisions
Phone 773.736.5526 • Fax 773.736.5475 • Email info@RMNetwork.org

Sally Sparks
Derrick Spiva styles and their talents, and knew if they were which were not surprising, and "silent witnesses"
RMN • 3801 North Keeler Avenue • Chicago, IL 60641-3007

I will send a check. My check is enclosed.


Monica L. Swink, Board Chair given enough freedom, they would truly be a stood in protest. But when 80% supported a
I prefer to charge my pledge to my Mastercard, Visa or American Express card.
Joy T. Watts blessing to the gathering. I was not revision including sexual orientation in a
Card Name ______________________________________________________________ Ralph A. Williams disappointed. From the wonderful mix of petition against "all forms of violence" against
Christina Wright contemporary, traditional, Latin, African, people (except verbal during General
Card Number ____________________________________exp.____________________ classical and folk traditions to the sensitive Conference debate, as we were to soon
LEGAL COUNSEL
Please contact me about setting up an Automatic Monthly Bank Transfer [EFT]. choices at the end of the LGBT witness on discover), our spirits were lifted a bit.
Jennifer K. Soule
Thursday, they were top notch leaders.
RMN STAFF But the violence of language was soon to be
I prefer to send a check each month or quarter. Please send me reminders.
Meg Carey The Common Witness coalition of illustrated. The debate on Par. 161G was rough
Name ________________________________________________________________ I am Clergy. Business Manager Affirmation, RMN, and MFSA had planned a and confusing, because of either inept or
Antony Hebblethwaite lot of community-building, affirmation, and manipulative leadership of the chair, Bishop
Address __________________________________________________________________________
Communications Coordinator confidence in God's continuing presence in the Whittaker from Florida. If the chair had the
City/ State/ Zip ____________________________________________________________________ Sarah Howery justice and reconciling movements. The warmth power and responsibility to help guide the
Technical Assistant of welcome, the connections renewed, the new debate back into respectful holy conferencing, it
Home Phone/ Mobile Phone ________________________________________________________ acquaintances made -- all built a sense of
Susan Laurie, MDiv was an utter failure. One African delegate said
Email ____________________________________________________________________
Outreach Coordinator community. The activities were designed both to that homosexuality was "of Satan." God bless a
Rev. Troy Plummer nurture volunteers and to witness to delegates. mother of a gay son who
May 2008

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