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Congregations, Clergy/Lay officiants, and supporters can now sign

Altar for All has just broken 1000 signatures! Reconciling Ministries Network has now opened up the Biblical Obedience statement to include congregations whose wedding aisles are open to all couples as well as those congregations who are faithfully hosting no weddings until weddings are legal for all. In addition, if you are a layperson officiant or a clergyperson who does not feel called to officate, but is supportive of those who do, there is a place for you to sign on! First UMC of Arlington Heights, Illinois and Christ Church UMC of Denver, Colorado were the first two congregations to sign.

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Pastor comes out to his bishop for marriage equality

To Bishop Mark Webb, my brother in Christ!

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In the spirit of the One who said the truth will set us free, and emboldened by the freedom given by grace for which Jesus lived and died, I want and need to share with you how God has led me (and many of our colleagues) in ministries to help set at liberty those who have been held captive by the tyranny against people who are gay.

In the last few years I have officiated at several weddings for brothers and sisters who are lesbian or gay. One of those weddings—the highlight of my ministry—was for my own daughter and the woman who is now her wife. They are so happy!

Further, much to my delight, I have plans to officiate in the near future at yet another wedding for two women, that their joy may also be complete. Bishop Webb—the long bitter era of scorn and hatred against gay people is dissolving before our very eyes. Christ has broken down the walls. Those who have lived within the law and those who have lived outside the law are sitting down together at the table of grace…

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Former Boy Scout calls on The UMC to sponsor abandoned troops

– by Avery Blake Garner –

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The reason that scouting is critically important for boys in our nation, particularly gay or questioning boys, is because it creates safe space to just be a boy and fashions numerous opportunities to experience the joys of being a kid. The need for gay youth to be allowed into scouting was a great move forward for civil rights. However, gay adults are still barred from the opportunity to be a part of the Boy Scouts programs. This will be the next step to take for justice and inclusion, and the pursuit of opening this organization to all is far from over.

Now, certain denominations across the country are preparing to close their doors to Boy Scout troops currently using their space because of the recent BSA decision. I urge all of you reading this article to discuss the prospect of hosting displaced troops in your area within your faith community. Let’s do all that we can to demonstrate to our nation’s young people, whether GLBTQ or straight, that we are reconciled to the cause of justice for all people and that our love and compassion does not diminish when we don’t get our way. Here is what you can do…

Sponsor an “abandoned” or new troop, contact your local council.
Continue the work of equality with Scouts for Equality.
Read
inclusive statements written by other UMC churches.
S
hare a statement your church has written or a personal statement.
Email for additional information on sponsoring a troop.

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RMN’s National Convocation to be the largest ever

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RMN’s national convocation is the largest gathering of progressive United Methodists and will include a Resource Center with a wide diversity of resources and information to undergird movements for LGTBQ equality and for justice within United Methodism and larger society.

Congregations, agencies, and individuals providing relevant resources or merchandise for free or for sale are encouraged to be part of the convocation. Check here for more information on placing an ad in the program book, having a display table, or providing some free resources.

Also be sure to check out award nominations, scholarships for young, transgender and persons of color, giving to the scholarship fund, and a full list of workshops!

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Be sure to check out the new Katalyst May edition

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Mobilizing United Methodists of all sexual orientations and gender identities to transform our Church and world into the full expression of Christ’s inclusive love.

 

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