Reconciling Ministries Network Flashnet
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LIVE from The Presidential Inauguration

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Many of you joined @RMNetwork today on Twitter using #RMNinDC as we witnessed history on this Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and this 150th anniversary of The Emancipation Proclamation. Both King’s and Lincoln’s bibles were used as President Barack Obama took the oath. Republican, Democrat, something in between, or outside the boundaries, go onto Twitter or Facebook and share with the RMN community your hopes for the next four years… whatever they might be. As MLK said, “We may have all come on different ships, but we’re all on the same boat now.” May we show a divided world what reconciliation looks like as we work for full LGBTQ inclusion and equal rights.

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I will not keep silent

– by Sophia Agtarap, ReThink Church, minister of online engagement-

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Our silence doesn’t let us off the hook. If we don’t speak, the exclusion that plagues our world and our church will not go away, for we are called to be the standard bearers of God’s justice and mercy, not those who settle for what’s convenient. And when we are working for justice, it will almost always seem inconvenient.Those who have been cast off will be brought back. They will be given a new name and a new identity. Beloved. God’s delight.

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote:  “Not only will we have to repent for the sins of bad people; but we also will have to repent for the appalling silence of good people.” As we go forth as people called and chosen, may we also remember to continue to call others out from the closets and margins and hiding places where they find themselves or where they have been placed, reminding them that God is a God of love who will not keep silent. Who will not rest until all God’s people have found a sense of belonging and their hope restored. Amen.  Read more >>

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Divide and Conquer

– by Rev. Dr. Cheryl B. Anderson, Professor of Old Testament at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and RMN Convocation 2013 speaker –

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“Divide and conquer” has always been an effective political strategy. From imperial Rome in antiquity to more contemporary Western colonial powers, “divide and conquer” has allowed external political powers to assert authority over indigenous groups of people and their territory. They “divide” by exploiting existing differences and hostilities between indigenous groups — or by actually creating those hostilities. The “conquering” power can then rule unopposed because the local groups fight against each other rather than against that external authority. Examples of groups pitted against one another in recent African history are the Tutsi versus the Hutus in Rwanda, and East Indians versus indigenous Africans in South Africa during the Apartheid era. European control was maintained longer when tensions between those groups were at their worst.

Today, we can see the same dynamic at work in the United States. In this presidential election season, three groups are being pitted against one another: women, African Americans, and the gay/lesbian/transgender community (a term meant to include all those who do not fall within traditional categories of sexual and gender identities). More specifically, there are attempts to convince (white) women that the nation’s problems can be attributed to the presence of racial/ethnic groups in our country, especially Latinos/as (the largest minority group in the U.S.) and African Americans (including the one sitting in the Oval Office of the White House).  Read more >>

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Civil Rights hero forgotten

– by Rev. Andy Oliver, RMN Communications –

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If you’ve never heard of Bayard Rustin you are not alone. But you should know him. Bayard Rustin is perhaps the most significant organizer for social justice and civil rights in American history. He was the man behind Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, teaching King everything he knew about non-violent resistance, civil disobedience, and organizing a movement. Certainly The Movement would not have succeeded like it did without MLK’s brilliance, but King would be no more than a prophetic preacher if Bayard Rustin hadn’t introduced him to the ideas of Gandhi and given King the strategy to change the world through peace.

So if Bayard Rustin is so important, why has history forgotten him? Why isn’t he celebrated? Why was he hidden by The Movement itself?

Bayrad Rustin was gay.  Read more >>

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ChurchQuake: Embracing Freedom (Convocation 2013)

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Registration to go LIVE this week! Every two years, hundreds of Reconciling United Methodists gather for a weekend of worship, study, training, and celebration. ChurchQuake: Embracing Freedom will remind us of that beacon of justice, freedom, and faithfulness in the midst of tumult. Convocation 2013 will happen just outside Washington DC, at the National 4-H Center over Labor Day weekend. The campus has accessible housing, meeting rooms, and dining hall. Plan now for you and others to participate in this unique assembly of the God’s people. Watch for the announcement about the Web site and registration mid-January.

         
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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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