Sojourners Sunday School Class of St. John’s United Methodist Church of Memphis, TN

The first community in the Memphis Annual Conference to openly welcome persons of all sexual orientations and gender identities, the Sojourners Sunday School Cass unanimously approved a welcoming statement in March 2011.  This class was inspired to stand up against discrimination after a January Believe Out Loud Together training lead by Jurisdictional Organizers Kelley Frances Fenelon and Anthony Fatta.

After deciding to become a reconciling Sunday school class, leaders presented the following statement to the Church Council of St. John’s United Methodist Church.  At that time, the council decided to adopt the following welcoming statement as part of the congregational mission and values.

St. John’s United Methodist Church is a historic midtown church that welcomes everyone, regardless of race, ethnicity, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, economic status, disability or sojourn on the way to recovery and wholeness.   We are a diverse community whose discipleship to Jesus Christ is best illustrated through our deep commitment to servant ministry.  If you are seeking a church home, we pray that you will contact or visit us.  Welcome Home!

To learn more about this vibrant midtown Memphis congregation, visit their website http://stjohnsmidtown.org/

Faith Conversations Class of First UMC, Boerne, TX

The Faith Conversations Class draws almost three dozen people weekly to explore faith questions which arise in our modern world today.   Over several months, this class has included sexuality and gender topics in their discussions, seeking Biblical and church wisdom on questions of inclusion and welcome.  The class noticed beloved LGBT friends and family members in their church and community, and grew into a shared conviction that the United Methodist Social Principles should be changed to reflect God’s inclusiveness.

In January, with the leadership of lay and retired clergy members, the community gathered to formalize their discernment of a call to fully inclusive ministries.   Hoping to share the good news of Jesus’ words of love with their entire congregation, the Faith Conversations class are planning a screening of the documentary For the Bible Tells Me So and seeking further opportunities to engage the entire church in thoughtful, loving discussions.

The Statement of Sunday School Class Interests reads:

The Faith Conversations Class is an open and inviting forum in which everyone is welcome to share and discuss issues about Christian faith and spirituality in the modern world. We are a reconciling community, associated with other such communities across the United States.  We recognize that our Wesleyan Heritage of inclusiveness acknowledges that God’s love, most evident in Jesus Christ, is extended to persons of all sexual orientations and gender identities.

For more information about First UMC, Boerne Texas, visit: http://www.fumc-boerne.org/

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