United Methodists for Marriage Equality and More

p3finalThe Supreme Court is expected to rule at the end of June and we are looking forward with hope to marriage equality in the United States! We celebrate the long journey of activism, relationship building, progressive faith organizing and courageous couples who brought us to this point in history.   However, for many United Methodists, even this monumental move will be bittersweet.  As long as The United Methodist Church remains committed to discrimination against queer couples, state recognition will only further illuminate the pain caused by religious condemnation. The good news is that God does not wait for the institutional church’s approval to lead God’s people into new directions. The Spirit has been working, opening the eyes of people in and outside the church, to recognize God’s love in the lives of couples of all genders. God is moving and we are eager to move forward, acting as the church with or without institutional blessing, following the leading of Christ.

#UMCforLove

We call on all United Methodist Bishops, clergy, and laity to join us in proclaiming our support of marriage equality – across the nation and within the church. We proclaim our support of marriage equality and more because we recognize this is just one of the issues facing the LGBTQ community. We stand solidly in support of marriage equality while we also remain committed to calling for an end to violence, racism, ordination prohibition, mass incarceration, bullying and other issues the queer and trans community face.

As a historic moment awaits us, join us in proclaiming who we are – Methodists for marriage equality and more. We’ve provided a number of ways to be involved over the next few weeks but make sure to stay tuned for even more from RMN.

Hear from three clergy at Foundry UMC, Rev. Dawn M. Hand, Rev. Ginger Gaines-Cirelli, and Rev. Theresa Thames, as they share their commitment to marriage equality and more in The UMC.

Action items for such a time as this

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p3final

Celebrate together

It is expected that the SCOTUS will release their ruling on one of the last two Mondays of the month. With a little flexibility, planning a celebration to ensure everyone has a place to share in the joy of this historic ruling can just take a few simple tasks. The below are recommendations for a successful event but are certainly not required.

1. Create a Facebook event to quickly spread the word and allow others to invite their friends
2. Share Facebook event link or location, time, and contact info here
3. Establish team of volunteers and assign tasks for day of announcement
4. Invite folks beyond your church – PFLAG, campus GSA, political party headquarters, other inclusive churches, etc.
5. Create press release to share with local news on day of announcement
6. Create list of media phone numbers for calling on the day of announcement to invite them to your gathering
7. Purchase party supplies (decorations, paper goods, drinks, finger foods, rainbow cupcakes, etc)
8. Visit with local bakery and prepare them for same-day order (rainbow cupcakes look great and are easy to serve)
9. Consider t-shirts (United Methodists for Marriage Equality and More)
10. Invite key folks to prepare to share BRIEF speeches that balance our celebration of national law against the continued effort in The UMC
11. Prepare to take a group photo
12. Prepare to take a 30 second group video
13. Make arrangements for laptops to sign up as RUMs and/or register for Gather at the River
14. Consider an offering for continued work toward to full marriage equality in the UMC
15. Provide pen, paper, etc for letter writing to your Bishops – (see “write your Bishop” tab for more info)

And make sure to share your celebration with pictures on the hashtag #UMCforLove!

 

 

If you’re planning to host a celebration, why not invite the Methodists in the room to share a word with their Bishop about the need for The UMC to catch up to God’s work outside of the church? Encourage folks to write their Bishop explaining why they are excited about marriage equality and what changes they want to see in The UMC for marriage equality and more. Provide concrete examples of steps your Bishop can take to make the church and world more just for queer and trans people. You can also share your letters online with the hashtag #UMCforLove

Locate your Bishop and find their email address here.

Supplies:

  • Paper
  • Pens
  • Envelopes
  • Mailing address
  • Stamps
  • Letter writing ideas/prompts/talking points

Between now and the SCOTUS ruling, share your response to one the questions below or on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram with the hashtag #UMCforLove and make sure to share your pictures on the day of celebration!

– How has your Methodist faith led you to support marriage equality?

– As a Methodist for marriage equality and more, what other issues facing the LGBTQ community are on your mind even as we look with hope to marriage equality?

– How does it make you feel to know the government will likely approve marriage before The United Methodist church is willing to recognize God’s love in couples of all genders?

– What message do you want to send to The UMC about prohibiting marriage equality?

– Are you a LGBTQ couple in The UMC? Post/tweet a couple selfie and let The UMC see the faces of love its choosing to discriminate against – don’t forget the hashtag! #UMCforLove

Scroll below this table to see what fellow United Methodists are saying.

Too many queer couples never had the opportunity to hear that their relationship is blessed by God. They were not celebrated by their Christian community and were not allowed to make their covenants with one another within the walls of their church. As a movement of United Methodists, we are deeply committed to ensuring all members of The UMC can one day receive the assurance that not only does God allow queer relationships, but God celebrates them. The idea of federal marriage equality was inconceivable not many years ago and yet, God has led us this far. We are determined to see this same act of loving justice descend upon the church so that no more queer couples will be made to feel less-than in the eyes of God.

At the same time, we also recognize that LGBTQ people face hurdles of so many different kinds. When we consider the compounding factors of class, race, gender, ability and age in the lives of LGBTQ people we are awakened to the issues that must be held in tension with the celebration of marriage equality.

Many LGBTQ people also daily face:

  • Violence
  • Suicide
  • Bullying
  • Homelessness
  • Police brutality
  • Lack of access to medical care
  • Poverty
  • Lack of access to basic rights like using the restroom
  • Job discrimination
  • Lack of representation
  • Conversion therapy

…and so many other issues.

While we celebrate the likelihood of marriage equality, we want to also use this moment to ensure that the ongoing challenges we still face as a movement are not forgotten. We believe in marriage equality! And we believe in even more for the LGBTQ community. But most of all, we believe God is leading us in the direction of love and justice. We celebrate this moment and ask God to lead us as we work to create a church and world where every person – no matter their race, age, sex, gender identity, class, or any other aspect of identity – can flourish.

If the glory of God is humanity fully alive, we will settle for nothing less than a world where all can truly live!

“License last June 25th during initial window in Indiana, holding a picture from our 2006 ceremony. Had to ask retiredEpiscopal priest marry us because our UM pastor couldn’t.” #UMCforLove

 

Alisa Isaacs Bailey‎

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