K ATA LY S T

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Helen F. Andrew Rachel Birkhahn-Rommelfanger Rev. Daniel F. Diss Betty Dorr Lawrence T. Duncan Rev. Duane A. Ewers Elizabeth Fimbres Will J. Green William E. Green Esther Villarreal Houser Jacob R. Lau David B. Mauzy Rev. David W. Meredith Dr. Randall Miller Rev. Holland Morgan Rev. Joshua M. Noblitt Rev. M. Diane Nunnelee Rev. John Oda Elizabeth Okayama Rev. Dr. Karen P. Oliveto Rev. Bruce W. Robbins Rev. Dr. Martha Scott Sally Sparks Derrick Spiva Monica L. Swink, Board Chair Joy T. Watts Ralph A. Williams Christina Wright LEGAL COUNSEL Jennifer K. Soule RMN STAFF Meg Carey Business Manager Antony Hebblethwaite Communications Coordinator Sarah Howery Technical Assistant Susan Laurie, MDiv Outreach Coordinator Rev. Troy Plummer Executive Director Katalyst • Spring 2008

“Editor’s Notebook” GC2008
Someone remembered the emotional shape of the two weeks: a family reunion celebration as people gathered and witnessed, a building of hope as some legislative committee work appeared, a special time of worship on Sunday, and then a crash with the brutality of debate and votes some time in the second week. This time was similar to prior General Conferences, but had some special healing additions. I was cautioned to expect nothing new as I tried to decide to venture to Fort Worth. I did not want to experience a repeat of the Cleveland 2000 experience. I have been told, since, that it was indeed one of the meanest, abusive conferences in recent history. When you hear epithets from delegates, you have to wonder where they went to Sunday School, and whether they really get anything from church. This time, my expectations were pretty low, but I saw signs that told me to keep my eyes open. First was the choice of Marcia McFee and Mark Miller for the worship/music team. I knew their styles and their talents, and knew if they were given enough freedom, they would truly be a blessing to the gathering. I was not disappointed. From the wonderful mix of contemporary, traditional, Latin, African, classical and folk traditions to the sensitive choices at the end of the LGBT witness on Thursday, they were top notch leaders. The Common Witness coalition of Affirmation, RMN, and MFSA had planned a lot of community-building, affirmation, and confidence in God's continuing presence in the justice and reconciling movements. The warmth of welcome, the connections renewed, the new acquaintances made -- all built a sense of community. The activities were designed both to nurture volunteers and to witness to delegates.
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Late in the first week, I began to hear about the work that Church & Society 2 subcommittee was attempting to do with all the petitions on Par. 161G. I thought I recognized the power of some holy conferencing. When I saw the result, I was sure of it, because it was a high-quality, honest, and perceptive piece of work. I began to have a little hope. The Sunday worship service at First UMC was a high point. My soul was lifted. I even heard from the preacher how he had moved from being anti-gay to an advocate! My hope built a little more. The consideration of sexuality issues would be Wednesday and we began to prepare ourselves. We learned that much work had already gone on before with the Common Witness leadership, thinking carefully about the different contingencies and possible consequences for varieties of direct action, from quiet thanksgiving to civil disobedience and possible arrest. On Wednesday, first there were some decisions which were not surprising, and "silent witnesses" stood in protest. But when 80% supported a revision including sexual orientation in a petition against "all forms of violence" against people (except verbal during General Conference debate, as we were to soon discover), our spirits were lifted a bit. But the violence of language was soon to be illustrated. The debate on Par. 161G was rough and confusing, because of either inept or manipulative leadership of the chair, Bishop Whittaker from Florida. If the chair had the power and responsibility to help guide the debate back into respectful holy conferencing, it was an utter failure. One African delegate said that homosexuality was "of Satan." God bless a mother of a gay son who
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FROM BEN ROE, CONTINUED FROM PAGE ONE
stood to counter that with the words, "When you say that my son is from Satan; I must disagree. My son is from my womb." But the damage was done. I was left wondering how in the world one engages "holy conferencing" when one side thinks the other is "of the devil." How can any respect be shown? How bad does parliamentary procedure have to be before someone notices and cries "foul!" Holy conferencing, which had done so much to craft a truly new approach to 161G, went right out the window when the minority report was presented, with the Rev. Eddie Fox, the presenter, spending a significant amount of time telling us what his pedigree in world Methodism was. I wondered as I heard him speak, when did language about the "incompatibility of homosexuality" become "essential holy scripture"? I thought the essentials were more like "Love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength and your neighbor as yourself." Or "There is nothing that can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." Or "In Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for we are all one in Christ Jesus." Or even "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believes in him may have everlasting life." Rev. Fox pleaded for us not to "confuse" those persons who believe that "homosexuality" is a sin. Please, he seemed to be saying, let's not confuse anyone with the facts -- of biblical interpretation, science, theology, or Christian experience in the 21st century! He asked the assembly not to "harm the connection" across the world--please, he seemed to be saying, Kirk, Ben and Laura let's ignore the hurt of a people excluded, just hurt the LGBT people. I've heard this same stuff for 30 years. No one seems to learn, at least no one who's willing to speak up in these church meetings-or is it that some actively try to ignore these voices? We have responded better to a few years of global warming warnings than to many years of faithful witness of LGBT Christians. The vote to keep the "incompatibility" language was separated
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by only 84 people, but because of the number voting (or not voting) it was still 45% in favor of new language and 55% holding onto ignorance and lies. As the proclamation said the next day, LGBT people were once again sacrificed on an altar of "unity." Supporters stood singing "Jesus Loves Me." Deep sobbing was heard at the gathering that followed. There was also rage. There was lots of grief and sadness. There was even a little ridicule of the detractors. And there was rational planning of the possibility of a meaningful protest witness. Again, some careful planning and drafting of a statement prepared for just this kind of outcome had been done and was accepted by those gathered. A witness was planned for Thursday morning. It was a quiet, respectful witness as we silently walked into place forming a giant cross on the floor around the central communion table. The choice of "Were You There" as a song seemed inspired as many were feeling the pain of a Good Friday experience. A strong, clear, young woman's voice delivered the proclamation, at first declarative, then defiant as a series of promises were read that pointed to "A Future With Hope" for churches who honored the "One Family Tree." Delegates helped cover the central table in scraps of Good Friday black muslin. A wonderful gift was given from retired Bishop Mel Talbert in the form of a forceful, prophetic speech inviting the conference to reconsider its harmful decisions. And then it was over. Mark and Marcia chose a quiet rendition of "Jesus, Remember Me" as the first song after the end of the witness. It was a healing time for many as we felt like we had stated our position in a powerful way... The debriefing following the witness was also healing, as many shared surprises of those who stood unexpectedly. Over 1,000 participated. Bishops joined 12 disciples who refrained from arrest to table with one another. The grief lifted some on Friday as a joyous wedding ceremony was held for Sue Laurie and Julie Bruno, who celebrated 25 years "with God" as they put it. The black mourning cloth was replaced with the color of rainbows and we looked forward to "A Future With Hope." In 2012, we will have been in official exile for 40 years. Can God bring us all over into a promised land?

Ben Roe Denver, Colorado, USA
Katalyst • Spring 2008

One Family Tree Mission Trip
DEFINING SUCCESS IN A LONG HAUL MISSION
In January of 2007, RMN distributed a resource on defining success that we would use to assess General Conference. Three categories of Advancement, Resistance, and Building-Consolidation are used to help clarify markers of success. dependent upon general conference decisions. This resulted in the remarkable floor witness with connection to 19 of our bishops and over 1000 participants on the floor, in delegations and in the stands.

Building/ Consolidation
RMN took every opportunity, even in moments of adversity, to tell our story, to reinvigorate current supporters, and to invite newcomers to join in principled acts of solidarity. Prior to General Conference, over 500 volunteers were trained to share their stories with delegates through a Called To Rev. Troy Plummer and Bishop Sally Dyck Witness training in at a UM press conference 22 key annual conferences. Participants report an overwhelming sense of empowerment. With our base at First Christian Church, the Common Witness coalition was interwoven more deeply in an expanded variety of areas. For the first time, RMN managed an official blogsite, www.generalconference2008.org. You can still find great information there as it continues to tell our stories. At one point, daily hits went over 10,000. And beyond the web, we placed 21 news stories in over 40 outlets. Our theologically grounded One Family Tree mission and witness is well recorded in the cover article by Ben Roe. Our overall capacity building in advocacy work through the recruitment, training, and coordination of an exceptionally skilled group of leaders and volunteers will serve us well in creating a future with hope for all of God's children.

Advancement
RMN and partners successfully developed and carried out an action agenda based on clearly-articulated strategic goals and broadly-shared principles of inclusiveness. A strongly interwoven team of RMN and MFSA legislative folk did amazing work. Prior to general conference, coordinators reached out to delegates to build relationships. Delegate legislative briefings were held each morning. A good crew of moderate and progressive delegates became officers of legislative sections. And many legislative sections, resourced by our team, produced supportive majority reports with holy conversation. Some specific successes include electing a moderate judicial council; passing anti-homophobia, anti-heterosexism legislation with resources; amending the world restructuring proposals to increase space for the Spirit to move; achieving a 2/3rds vote for Constitutional change to "all" in Inclusiveness; adding "loving caregivers" to the definition of family; strengthening inclusive language on "transfers of UM membership"; and limiting the funding ban from rejecting or condemning lesbian and gay members and friends. Also we garnered 45% of the world-wide vote to remove the "incompatibility clause", missing the opportunity to adopt the inspired majority report. In the closest vote, 49% of delegates voted to strengthen open membership resulting in keeping the original language that was deliberately misinterpreted in Judicial Council decision #1032.

Resistance
RMN launched effective efforts to derail oppressive policies by pointing out inconsistencies in judgments and the ill effects associated with the opposition's tactics. Prior to General Conference, RMN sent resources including a DVD to all of the delegates in three separate mailings from the voices of parents, young adults, and those denied membership. Many negative petitions and resolutions were blocked in committee, specifically, the efforts to add discrimination against trans persons. RMN also prepared an anti-silencing strategy to a threat that did not emerge, along with actions ranging from prayer vigils to civil disobedience
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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 hymn was sung with much Spirit and harmony place that needs the good news. It is Annual "The Church's One Foundation is Jesus Christ our Lord; Conference season, then Jurisdictional Conference season, and always local church season. we are his new creation by water and the Word."* Ours the Journey -- God of rainbow, fiery pillar, leading As mission people we get pushed to contemplate our where the eagles soar. We, thy people, ours the journey now 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 with adversity that seems opposite the Christian message of love of neighbor, the challenge looms large Yours in the struggle, -- can we exhibit a confidence in God's grace that will sustain a journey that is so treacherous? RMN mission trips rely heavily on theological foundations and so produce rich witnesses. With One Family Tree we asserted our place within the * UM Hymnal #546 version. Body of Christ and poured out anointing oil to offer both healing of the past and vision for the future. RMN's foundation is also profoundly grassroots oriented. The volunteers to General Conference gave sacrificially of their time, resources and energy. Yet they understand that the eyewitness accounts that they took home will become increasingly valuable as they share the experiences. I remember speaking with volunteers who were shocked by some of the events and debates. I would reply, "This is what we are up against," and I would feel the emergence of even stronger allies with increased resolve. I believe we turned some corners at GC 08. The word "all" seemed to break free from its diminished hypocritical past and become "ALL". Other words crippled as tools for stall tactics -- "dialogue" and "unity" -- were replaced with "Holy Conferencing" which walked a precarious path, but may have retained integrity as it was noted that conflict is part of the dynamic. Mission trips change us. Some of us feel like we have been through a refining fire. I believe that our foundations of Jesus Christ, theological reflection and grassroots discipleship and community are sufficient to percolate our hope and trust into the future.

Save the Date!

Labor Day 2009
Our 10th Convocation! Our 25th Anniversary! @

YMCA of the Rockies

Estes Park, CO

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Katalyst • Spring 2008

One Family Tree Mission Trip
Our One Family Tree mission trip effectively organized and faithfully witnessed for full participation for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons in our United Methodist Church. From beginning to end, the meaning of family was at the forefront of all our actions. Sometimes it is hard to stay at the table when family members use words of Our HQ: First Christian Church harm against LGBTQ persons and when other family members don’t speak up against that harm. Staying centered during spiritual violence must be intentional. As you experience these photographs from our mission trip, please remember the multiple purposes: to speak up for the silenced, to be visible for the absent, to do so faithfully in ways to challenge and to engage United Methodists across a variety of continents, theologies, and practices. First Christian Church, downtown Fort Worth, opened its doors -- offering hospitality to our Common Witness Coalition. We started with family at the Parent’s Awards Lunch, hearing of the harm caused to one pastor and family for not shunning their gay child, and of the commitment of both the Taylor family and of Bishop Chamberlain for his daughter-—who happens to be lesbian.
Rev. Bill Taylor

Bishop Ray Chamberlain

With this beginning, we participated in daily actions: handing our “leaves for healing”—-two-sided business card size handouts for inclusion, anointing and prayer stations, and acorns as a seed for future hope. Every mission trip makes a difference, while multiple mission trips are required to create enduring relationships and change.

Each trip, you hope your own heart is moved closer in alignment with God’s will for us in Jesus-—at this time for this peculiar Wesleyan family of United Methodists. From our commissioning song “this little seed it too small, it will never grow; but it grew O Lord, yes it grew!”

GC NEWSLETTER: WEDNESDAY, APRIL 23
United Methodist Parent Honored Parents of LGBTQ persons held a press conference today, and honored a longtime 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.

“The leaves of the trees are for the healing of the nations.” Revelation 22:2b

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One Family Tree Mission Trip
Week One raised hope with inspiring events of the Parents, Young Adults and reconciling worship, and the intentional holy conversation witnessed in the legislative sections creating powerful majority reports.
Young Adults lead with drums, rally, prayer action and worship. Reconciling Worship, First UMC Fort Worth. Rev. Guest preaching, Bishop Jung celebrating.

Daily Anointing

Transgender leaders Sean, Tina, an

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One Family Tree Mission Trip
Week Two allowed parliamentary procedure to crush carefully crafted majority reports that supported full inclusion, leading to Good Friday for our Church.

Tears and anguish as delegates keep “incompatibility” and refuse to strengthen open membership.

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...

nd Diane.

The Shrouded Table

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One Family Tree Mission Trip
Plenary Floor Proclamation
We have heard Jesus say - to all persons without exception - "follow me." We stand in solidarity with all those who are not here, who are not in our congregations.

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 who already affirm one another as beloved children of God, regardless Methodist Church refuses to accept what God has done, refuses to of sexual orientation or gender identity. keep covenant with its own words in the baptismal promise, refuses 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, refuses to open its hearts, minds, and doors. NOW; to affirm calls to ministries for all people, NOW; to bless The unchurched notice. They notice the church cruelly scapegoating covenant relationships in our churches by our clergy, NOW; to assure lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people on the altar of somembership for all, NOW; to provide hospitality for all, NOW. called unity. Join us. Stand now. Build our future with hope and trust in God. The young notice. They notice the church denying, refusing, threatening, removing, closeting the lgbt people who faithfully serve the church. Proclamation - Witness - General Conference 2008, Ft. Worth, TX. Drafted by the Witness Team of Reconciling Ministries The world notices. Network, Rev. David W. Meredith, Convener. We notice. God notices. 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 oppression in whatever forms they present themselves. church took an action that separated my sisters and brothers into It is our duty - our baptismal covenant - to stand against the sin of the a separate jurisdiction. That action was wrong. That action was 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 body of Christ that is the church. discontinued that segregated structure. But my sisters and brothers, here we are again. In the name of Jesus Christ, we have We are God's children, here … NOW. Today we boldly declare by standing here that our church's doors and taken an action that is wrong. At least for the Central our ministries will radically obey the Gospel, that we defy bigotry and Jurisdiction we remained within a structure and we worked out ignorance, that the anti-gay policies and practices of The United the relationships. But for these sisters and brothers we have chosen to leave them out rather than invite them in to work out our Methodist Church are wrong. relationships in the name of Christ. I can do no other than to By human means we cannot stand but by the grace of God we can. say what's on my heart. General Conference, General Conference, By standing we reject the idea that homosexuality is a sin. This is wrong. I invite you to reconsider. By standing we affirm that sexuality is a good gift of God. By standing we affirm our intent to spread God's love and grace. By standing we bless and celebrate families, all families. We do not stand alone.
~

Bishop Melvin Talbert ~

http://www.generalconference2008.org/2008/05/witness-on-the.html

View the Video of our Witness on the Plenary floor here:

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One Family Tree Mission Trip
You are invited to witness and celebrate the marriage of

“It struck me as wonderful. I wish I was there!”
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 for each other could be blessed within our longtime context of Reconciling church family. We also were blessed by the presence of several of our siblings. Long ago we had thought a church wedding as something we had to “do without”. With laws forbidding our friends from officiating and laws exiling us outside church sanctuaries, we had never planned a ceremony. However, these ceremonies for LGBT people are taking place frequently—in many places—with United Methodist couples pledging their love and fidelity before family and friends. We hope our wedding will break the silliness of church officials pretending that the laws have stopped the sacred celebrations of loving couples. Creative hearts plan beautiful worship services.We began inside the convention center to declare it “Holy Ground” with our singing, to be warmly greeted by Jorge Lockward and to read our Declaration of Intention within the General Conference walls. Then came pure joy as we sang our way outside to “This Little Light of Mine.” The outdoor setting seemed ideal. We sang, we prayed, we said, “I will” and shared communion. All those present blessed the marriage in unison. We are thankful to so many people and want to mention those who participated: Joan Bruno, Scott Laurie, Larry Duncan, Julie Todd, Jorge Lockward, Jayson Dobney, Jenn Peterson, Faith Buss, Audrey Krumbach, Dick Tholin and Will Green. We also wish to thank MoSAIC for the wedding shower and the Parents for the wedding reception. It was really a lovely, lovely day.

Susan Laurie
and

Julie Bruno
Friday, May 2, 2008 Fort Worth, Texas On this day we will recognize God's continued blessing of our shared life in the presence of our family and church.

In lieu of gifts, donations may be made to: UMCOR #120004 - Soybean Production to Feed the Hungry (Africa) or Reconciling Ministries Network.

Sue & Julie serve communion at their Wedding.

Julie and Sue
http://www.rmnetwork.org/gc2008.asp

Declaration of Intention
Sue and I celebrate with you our covenant of love and partnership. God has been a part of our relationship for over 25 years ago. Our faith grounds us and our church family grounds us. Reconciling is our church family. The United Methodist Church has been and continues to be both blessing and burden to us. When the church turns her back on us, withholds blessings from us, Does God withhold blessing? Does God stop loving us? Katalyst • Spring 2008 NO NO www.RMNetwork.org Page 9 We continue to be the church to and for each other. We continue to be the instruments of God's light and love. Light overcomes the darkness. Today we say clearly - as a couple, as a family, as a church - that God says YES! This is our day to say to each other and to you - God is with us! God is our light and our love. We say YES to each other and affirm our love. We say yes to you, our families and our church family. With the church or despite the church, our lights will shine!

TOP 20 FUN THINGS ABOUT GENERAL CONFERENCE
It was great to be a volunteer at General Conference. We know that to change the world requires lots of praying and activity. Here are a few memories we are thankful for:
20. Chopping vegetables to feed the 4000. 19. New friends within RMN and the Common Witness. 18. Singing "Itty Bitty Seed" - one more time! 17. Arts and crafts projects: oil, trees, candy... ☺ 16. Noise disruptions at 10:32 (Get it?) 15. Old friends within RMN and the Common Witness. 14. Male volunteers in sarongs...fierce! 13. Not needing my "Get out of jail free" card. 12. Drumming lessons helpful, but not necessary. 11. Y'all means Y'all! 10. Soup and sandwich at Betty’s Kitchen 9. Legislative leaders that sat in the 316 section - The John 3:16 Whosoever section ☺ 8. Wondering where Mark Miller bought his shirts. 7. Karaoke at MoSAIC coffeehouse (We really are better with musicals.) 6. Rainbow stoles as neckties, armbands, headbands, gags and perfect bowties! 5. Young people leading us out of old ways. 4. Anointing United Methodists for the healing of the nations 3. I went to General Conference and a Wedding Broke Out! 2. Sunday afternoon - Reconciling Worship - One Family Tree in living color, song, prayer, preaching & communion 1. United Methodists of all sexual orientations and gender identities making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world!

WELCOME OUR NEW COMMUNITIES!
CONGREGATIONS:
Buena Vista UMC [FN 3-26-08] 2311 Buena Vista Avenue, Alameda, CA 94501 Eugene First United Methodist Church [FN 5-8-08] 1376 Olive Street Eugene, OR 97401 http://www.eugenefumc.org/ Excelsior UMC [FN 5-8-08] 881 Third Avenue, Excelsior, MN 55331 http://www.excelsiorumc.org/ Hoquiam United Methodist Church [FN 5-8-08] 520 5th St Hoquiam, WA 98550-3524 http://www.hoquiamumc.org Tabernacle United Methodist Church [FN 3-12-08] 83 Main Street Binghamton, NY 13905 http://www.gbgm-umc.org/tabchurch/

COMMUNITIES:
FEAST: United Campus Christian Ministry [FN 3-26-08] 900 High Street Santa Cruz, CA 95060 www.uccmsantacruz.org The Open and Affirming Group [FN 3-12-08] First UMC 219 E Fourth St Bloomington, IN 47402 www.firstchurchbloomington.org United Methodist Campus Ministry, Columbia University [FN 5-8-08] 263 W. 86th New York, NY 10024 http://www.spsanyc.org Wesley Fellowship, UC Boulder [FN 5-8-08] The Wesley Foundation @ Wesley Chapel 1290 Folsom St. Boulder, CO 80302 The Word, World, and Worship Class [FN 5-8-08] First UMC 410 East University Avenue Georgetown, TX 78626 http://www.fumcgt.org/ss_adult.htm Welcome to our newest communities! Read more about them in the saved Flashnets (FN) in the News section of the RMN website.

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R ESOURCES F OR T HE J OURNEY
Reconciling Voices: RMN’s New DVD!
This excellent professional resource is a great new tool! Put the pieces together and use it as a four-part Sunday School series or take what you need for your ministry. This DVD includes: *Reconciling Voices *Reconciling Journeys *Testimony of a Young United Methodist *Bishops Speak Up Reconciling Voices is a great discussion starter helping to both name the harm of exclusion and claim the hope of inclusion. Reconciling Journeys expands the discussion to engage congregations. Testimony of a Young United Methodist recounts first hand the experience of being denied membership. Bishops Speak Up inspires with words from Bishops Mel Talbert, Susan Morrison, John Schol, Minerva Carcaño, Sally Dyck, and Richard Wilke. ($5.00 each)

AVAILABLE FROM COKESBURY:
The Tie That Binds
Connecting with God, the Church, and the World
Publisher: Abingdon Press ISBN-13: 9780687652082 Author: UM Bishop Richard B Wilke "Blest be the tie that binds . . ." Whether or not the words of this hymn are familiar to you, the notion behind them--and this book--is one of connectedness and community. Richard wilke observes that at the same time the formal, organized church has faced monumental change, spiritual inquiry has been sweeping the country. Grounding his discussion in biblical background and Weslayan roots, Wilke attempts to rouse the church to follow the command of Jesus to "Go...and make disciples." In his chapter on Conflict, he engages the question of inclusion for lesbian and gay people in the church saying, "we are going to have to love our way through on this matter."

Staying at the Table The Gift of Unity for United Methodists
Publisher: Abingdon Press ISBN-13: 9780687645060 Edited by: UM Bishop Scott J. Jones Unity is a gift of God that involves us staying at the table to find common ground in "the extreme center." Tackling divisive issues such as homosexuality, race and gender, and authority of Scripture, Jones shows the logical contours of the conversation by locating them in larger questions of doctrine and ecclesiology. He outlines the logic of our current position and explains why it is defensible, while at the same time suggesting a logic for change. Responders include: Amy DeLong, Susan J. Laurie, William J. Abraham, Lonnie D. Brooks, Mary Brooke Casad, Sudarshana Devadhar, Sally Dyck, James A Harnish, Carolyn E. Johnson, Bill McAlilly, Patricia L. Miller, John R. Schol, Joe M. Whittemore, Gerald "Jay" Williams, William H. Willimon, and David K. Yemba.

Three Simple Rules A Wesleyan Way of Living
Publisher: Abingdon Press ISBN-13: 9780687649662 Author: UM Bishop Rueben P. Job In Three Simple Rules, Rueben Job offers an interpretation of John Wesley's General Rules for today's readers. For individual reading or group study, this insightful work calls us to mutual respect, unity and a deeper daily relationship with God. This simple but challenging look at three commands, "do no harm, do good, stay in love with God," calls us to mutual respect, unity, and a deeper relationship with God. “It's a fresh language that speaks especially to long-time Christians and United Methodists." ~Sally Dyck, Resident Bishop, Minnesota Area

Talking about Homosexuality A Congregational Resource
Publisher: Pilgrim Press ISBN-13: 9780829816136 Authors: Karen P. Oliveto, Kelly D. Turney, Traci C. West The first title in the Holy Conversations series, this is a study resource for theological reflection on homosexuality. It serves as a tool for people in churches who feel they are surrounded by painful, confusing debates in the church about homosexuality and want to discover how the Christian tradition can be a constructive--rather than divisive--resource. The book provides a challenging and creative process for clergy and lay people to reflect upon their own Christian beliefs and personal experiences through dialogue and study. Designed to include five two-hour sessions, Talking about Homosexuality uses the categories of the Wesleyan quadrilateral to structure this process: scripture, tradition, experience, and reason. Page 11

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