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The Network is growing!

United Methodist churches are increasingly not waiting for the UMC to change their policies of exclusion—they are being the church now. They are choosing Biblical Obedience, whether that be in officiating same gender weddings or choosing not to host any wedding until it is legal for all. Churches are voting to be intentionally welcoming by becoming Reconciling. Individuals are being trained by the hundreds to help those churches in their process. Three prominent United Methodists made statements for LGBTQ inclusion this week—one was a bishop, one a former Secretary of State, and one a GOP senator. The spirit of inclusion is moving and it is bringing change to places like Texas and South Carolina and everywhere in between. Hearts are changing as we learned 58% of Americans are in favor of marriage equality. As Bishop Gene Robinson said, “I know in my heart how this ends: full LGBT inclusions in our country, institutions, temples, mosques, and churches. Knowing how it ends helps you get there.”

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Celebrating new communities in the network

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City Square Church Phoenix, AZ
Wesley UMC Aurora, IL
First UMC Melrose, MA
Dawsey SS Class of Washington Street UMC Columbia, SC
Open Hearts Support Group at St. Peter’s UMC Katy, TX
First UMC Austin, TX
United Parish Upton, MA
Fairlington UMC Alexandria, VA
Fairport UMC Fairport, NY
Lake Park UMC Oakland, CA
Thirst (Early Worship Community of Fall City UMC) Fall City, WA
Christ in Culture Class of Wells Memorial UMC Jackson, Mississippi

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ChurchQuake Dives into the Nation’s Capital

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RMN’s convocation will convene just outside Washington DC, an area rich in history, learning, and advocacy for justice. ChurchQuake will draw upon this unique locale by sending out participants in small groups one afternoon to explore one of 25-30 different inspiring sites—museums, agencies, or schools.  Drawing upon the South African concept of Ubuntu or “interconnectedness of all life,” these Ubuntu GoGroups will illumine our understanding of how advocacy for LGBT equality intersects with other justice movements. As a ChurchQuake participant you can choose which site to visit. RMN will provide transportation to/from the site as well as leadership to facilitate your small group experience. These groups promise to be a most memorable and enriching experience from this RMN convocation. The deadline for early registration has been extended to May 1, but hurry so you can get the room you want!

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Teach others to tell stories of love: be a Reconciling coach

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Do you want to help increase the number of Reconciling churches, communities and campus ministries? RMN has identified 500 prospective Reconciling congregations, but we need your help to engage them in widening their welcome to our LGBTQ sisters and brothers. Each process coach training will include skills building around topics common in the Reconciling process. For a more detailed view of what a coach is asked to do, please look at the Reconciling Process Coach Description.

Reconciling Process Coach Training Dates:

April 5-6, 2013 – Greater New Jersey (Red Bank, NJ)
April 12-13, 2013 – North Texas Conference (Dallas, TX)
April 19-20, 2013 – Minnesota Conference (Twin Cities, MN)
April 26-27, 2013 – Pacific Northwest Conference (Bothell, WA)          Read more >>

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Supreme Court Action Next Week

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On March 26 and 27, the Supreme Court will begin hearing cases about California’s Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act, cases that directly impact the issue of civil marriage equality. RMN and Methodist Federation for Social Action and have signed on to two amicus briefs in support of marriage equality and religious freedom, along with more than 20 other faith organizations. We invite you to join in a variety of witness opportunities during these two days in support of LGBT equality.

No matter where you live, you can participate. Find or create a local action and invite others to join you! You can also follow what’s happening on Facebook or Twitter (@rmnetwork, @MFSAVoices, #pray4LoveJustice, #loveprevails, #SCOTUS).

In Washington DC, faith communities are hosting an interfaith prayer service at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation (212 E. Capitol St. NE, next to MFSA’s Office) on March 26th at 7:30 am, followed by a procession of drums, clergy, community, and choir to the United Marriage Rally at the steps of the Court at 8:30 am. The service is free, but please register for your tickets as space is limited!

At 8:30am on March 26 and March 27, just one block away, there will be a United for Marriage rally in front of the Supreme Court – if you plan to attend, please help organizers gauge attendance by registering.

Finally, the Methodist Federation for Social Action and Of Sacred Worth at Wesley Theological Seminary, will be holding a “Closing Prayer” vigil on Wednesday, March 27 at 3pm (exact location near the Supreme Court to be determined depending on space. For up to the minute text updates on location, please email mfsa@mfsaweb.org). This will be a simple vigil of prayer and singing to pray for all involved in these cases as Justices move toward deliberation.

As always, your passion, support, and prayers uplift the work of our organizations to have a witness for LGBTQ equality. Working together, love prevails!

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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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