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Answering God’s call to marry

Ordained ministry isn’t the only thing Mary Ann Kaiser and Annanda Barclay feel called to. “Choosing to get married isn’t all about us. It is a response to God’s call on our lives to be one,” said Annanda Barclay. “It is a spiritual act. Civil rights are a beautiful thing and should be realized for all couples, but marriage is rooted in Christ’s expression of love. We now get to be a sign to the world of what that love looks like, in our love for each other.”

RMN is providing space on the conference center grounds for couples to get married during convocation who feel called, but live in states were they cannot legally marry or are part of churches that will not affirm their relationship. “We thought it was important to give our community the opportunity and space to commit their lives in covenant to one another,” said RMN Executive Director Matt Berryman. “The RMN community will be gathered for worship, fellowship, and study, and I can think of no better time for a marriage to happen, for couples who have discerned this sacred calling, than when they are surrounded by those who will love and support them into the future.”

Couples interested in exploring having a marriage ceremony while in Maryland should visit the ChurchQuake website, which will give details concerning appropriate premarital preparations with your pastor, and securing a Maryland marriage license. Convocation leaders will work with the couples to schedule wedding ceremonies when friends can take part. There will also be a celebration at convocation recognizing all same-sex couples who have been married at convocation or before, closing with a gala reception, including wedding cake. RMN is committed to marriage equality and is pleased to provide this opportunity to live this out at convocation.

Read the full article >>

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Thankful for your witness: RMN Executive Director Matt Berryman

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I am incredibly grateful and humbled by the opportunity to serve Reconciling Ministries Network. It is because of you and your faithfulness to God’s message of love for all people that The United Methodist Church will one day welcome, love, and fully include all people.

You are the reason I am here—your commitment and dedication to being the church. It is your prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness for LGBTQ full inclusion in the life of the church that keeps our Network strong and helps to bend the moral arc our church and society toward justice.

So again, thank you. Thank you for your support, for your input, for your stories, and for your financial support. I am looking forward to meeting each one of you at our national convocation over Labor Day weekend. Should you need to reach out to me before then, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

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Earlybird/scholarship deadline approaches for national convocation

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RMN’s convocation early bird registration and scholarship deadline is quickly approaching! Be sure to register by the end of April for the reduced rate.

Scholarships are still available for all, with special emphasis given to people under the age of 35, people identifying as trans, and people of color. Direct any scholarship questions to rachel@rmnetwork.org.

If you know people who should be attending, be sure you invite them before the deadline.

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Tell us where to focus our efforts & welcome new communities!

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Nobody knows your particular setting better than you. Are you aware of a Sunday school class, congregation, or other community that might be ready to explore becoming Reconciling?

Help RMN become aware of potential communities in your conference and we’ll help them take the next step.

Please take a moment to complete this survey, letting us know who might be ready to learn more. 

Also, check out these new Reconciling communities!

AfterHours – Denver, Colorado

Unity Sunday School Class of First UMC – Littlerock, Arkansas

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Many ways to connect within the Network

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One of the best ways to experience the power and support of Reconciling Ministries Network is to connect in small groups. If you are a person of color, young person under the age of 35, identify as transgender, clergy person, or parent of a LGBTQ person, there is a group waiting for you.

You can also connect regionally and within your conference through the new monthly Regional Update. If you would like to receive these monthly regional update emails and did not receive the first one we sent last week, please be sure your information is up to date. Contact your Regional Organizer to share updates and let them know about potential Reconciling congregations.

In addition to this bi-monthly Flashnet, RMN posts daily blogs from storytellers around the connection. If you are interested in sharing your story or writing on a specific LGBTQ intersection with church or society, please email RMN your article along with a picture and bio.

You also might have noticed our new Katalyst design! Our next issue will be coming out shortly in May in time for you to share at your Annual Conference gathering.

One of the best ways to make connections with people all over the network is on RMN’s Facebook and Twitter. Send RMN pictures and links to articles you think would benefit RMN’s followers. Tweet what your local church is up to using @rmnetwork and we will retweet it out.

Then, put a face with an online profile by meeting up in person at RMN’s national convocation in Chevy Chase, Maryland over Labor Day weekend. In addition to the large group gatherings, you can meet up in pre-convocation ministry extension groups, workshops, and Ubuntu GoGroups where you will go out into the DC community experiencing LGBTQ justice intersections in small groups.

If you have any questions or suggestions on how we can do a better job, please contact RMN Director of Communications, Rev. Andy Oliver. And if you are missing out on any of the above communications, please check your information is up to date.

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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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