Extension Ministry Pre-day


Extension Ministry Pre-Conference Information

Fs-0060We are a richly diverse movement of progressive United Methodists committed to intersectional advocacy representing all who make up the movement. RMN’s Extension Ministries are groups of Reconciling United Methodists who are connected online and in person for community, skill-building, sharing insights, and organizing around specific conversations of inclusion in the church. Each group recognizes that, although we are all united through efforts to seek the full inclusion of LGBTQ persons into the life of the church, there are some specific joys and challenges that come with being trans, a person of color, parents, clergy, and young adults in the movement.


You are invited to participate in the events hosted by our Extension Ministries on August 5 and 6 before we all join together for opening Gather events. This pre-day will be a time for learning and fellowship among various affinity groups. All are invited whether you have been a part of an extension ministry in the past, would like to learn more, or just value a day sharing the community they offer.

Participants will need to register in advance to join these sessions with an additional $35 fee which covers a boxed lunch. If you have already registered and need to add a pre-day, please email M at m@rmnetwork.org. If you have not yet registered for Gather, you will be invited to add a pre-day to your order after selecting your ticket type when you register here.

Please note that RMN’s Extension Ministries will each consider scholarships for those attending Convocation as part of their respective groups as long as funds last. Learn more about scholarships here.

Those who are gathering for the Pre-Day beginning on Thursday morning are invited to an informal social reception on Wednesday evening at Travis Park UMC as folks arrive.

  • 7:30pm-9pm Dessert and Coffee Reception

At Sheraton Gunter Hotel

  • 8AM – RMN State of the Network
  • 10AM – 10:30AM Break
  • 10:30AM – 4PM Parents Reconciling Network (with boxed lunches)
  • 10:30AM – 11:30AM  Reconciling Ministries Clergy and MOSAIC together
  • 11:30AM – 4:30PM Reconciling Ministries Clergy (with boxed lunches)
  • Noon – 3PM MOSAIC (with Boxed lunches)
  • Noon – 5PM UMATI (with boxed lunches)
  • 5PM – 6PM UMOC

At Travis Park UMC

  • 7:30 Opening Worship for Gather at the River

Details about each ministry

Parents Reconciling Network (PRN)

Gather at the River Pre-day Plans

We are looking forward to an excellent day of sharing and learning! Our guest speakers are respected in their fields of expertise and have years of experience working with families and their LGBTQ children. The Pre-Convo time is designed to develop friendships, broaden our learning, and increase our advocacy skills.

Our pre-day plans begin at 10:30 am. We will gather for some community building time and have Susan Cotrrell from Austin, TX as a facilitator to lead us in a discussion of How Can Parents be Most Effective in Advocating to the Non-Affirming Church.

Here is her bio: Susan Cottrell is a nationally known speaker, theologian, author, teacher, and counselor with years of Biblical study and discipleship experience. Through her nonprofit organization – FreedHearts.org – Susan champions the LGBTQ community and faith families with her characteristic tender-heartedness, and she zealously challenges Christians who reject them with her wise insistence that “loving God and loving others” are the foundation of faith.

She is the Founder and President of FreedHearts, the Vice-President of PFLAG Austin, and her book — “Mom, I’m Gay” – Loving Your LGBTQ Child Without Sacrificing Your Faith — has been endorsed by The Human Rights Campaign and many others. She and her husband have been married nearly 30 years and have five children – two of whom are in the LGBTQ community. They live in Austin, Texas.

At 11:45-12:15 we will eat our box lunches together and continue getting to know each other, sharing stories about the joys of parenting!

We will have a few minutes of business related to the Parents Reconciling Network as we introduce the Steering Committee and share our purpose, mission and vision for ministry.

By 12:45 we will introduce or featured speaker, Dr. Caitlyn Ryan from the Family Acceptance project at San Francisco State University. The presentation will incorporate Family Acceptance Project research and findings from intervention work with LGBTQ young people and their families. Caitlyn has worked for over 20 years researching and documenting the best practices of developing healthy relationships in families with LGBTQ children. Complete details are available at the website, http://familyproject.sfsu.edu/ Come expecting to share experiences, learn new concepts and grow as a parent!

Who we are 

Parents Reconciling Network (PRN)is an organization of United Methodist parents of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender children. It began as an informal group in 1999 when Bruce and Virginia (Ginny) Hilton, both United Methodist pastors and parents of a gay child, brought parents together. Their purpose was to present a visible witness of parents in support of ending the denomination’s anti-homosexual stance and providing their homosexual children the same rights as heterosexual United Methodists at The United Methodist Church’s 2000 General Conference.

Methodist Students, Seminarians, and Young Adults for an All-Inclusive Church (MoSAIC)

Gather at the River Pre-day plans

Young People! Join us as we prepare for General Conference by brainstorming our witness, tactics, and outreach for 2016. Plus connect with other young adults doing this work. No experience necessary – come learn about MOSAIC and share your ideas with us! (If you need to be in another session, please feel free to drop-in at any time to connect with us and share your contact info)

From drum circles to Flash Mobs, MoSAIC has a knack for stirring up trouble at General Conference, and you’re invited to get right into the thick of our planning for it! It will be an afternoon of creative brainstorming, dreaming up new possibilities for The UMC, and plenty of laughter – what’s not to love?

Who we are

Methodist Students, Seminarians, and Young Adults for an All-Inclusive Church (MOSAIC) began in May of 1996 at the United Methodist Student Forum in Oklahoma City. A group of college student participants were aggrieved by the decision of the Forum not to encourage the national church assembly to strike homophobic language from church law. In response, several students gathered to create a national student coalition and network in support of ministry inclusive of all people.

MoSAIC is an extension ministry of the Reconciling Ministries Network. We are comprised of students, seminarians, and young adults who affirm all sexual orientations and gender identifications as gifts of God.

United Methodist Alliance for Transgender Inclusion (UMATI)

Gather at the River Pre-day plans

Participants will enjoy food, fellowship, music, and a spoken word interlude by poet Alex Shanks. UMATI Chair C. Kristian Clauser will help us explore the ways in which transgender people–and our loved ones–can be particularly impacted by ambiguous loss. Liturgical artist Grace Cox-Johnson will lead us in making a worship banner that will be displayed during the conference.

Who we are 

The work of the United Methodist Alliance for Transgender Inclusion (UMATI) takes the form of three interrelated ministries:

  • Nurture: Offer support, fellowship, and connections to transgender individuals and their families throughout The UMC.
  • Outreach: Provide tools, resources, and strategies to work toward the full inclusion of transgender people in the church and society.
  • Witness: Provide a public witness in support of transgender people in local congregations, at UMC Conferences, and in broader society.
United Methodists of Color for a Fully Inclusive Church (UMOC)

Gather at the River Pre-day plans

United Methodists of Color for a Fully Inclusive Church (UMOC) will be having a short, one-hour event at the end of the Pre-Convo Day. This decision was made as an intentional effort on the part of UMOC leadership to allow for those who identify with multiple extension ministries and affinity groups to also be able to participate in those during the day.

It is our hope during our hour together to meet and greet, reintroduce our mission statement and briefly discuss a few items around our leadership needs. In addition, we hope to schedule a subsequent conference call to further discuss how we wish to live into our vision as well as communicate it more widely with the rest of the Reconciling Ministries Network.

This gathering is open not only to people of color but also our white allies for we believe that in order to better live into our own mission we need to be able to work in concert with all people who care about issues of equality, equity, and racial justice.

Who we are

United Methodists of Color for a Fully Inclusive Church (UMOC) was founded in 2000, at a historic gathering of United Methodist people of color. The event was historic because it represented the first gathering across racial and ethnic lines for the purpose of engaging the subject of heterosexism and homophobia in Christianity and The United Methodist Church.

We stand prophetically as a people of color movement in the church, calling the denomination to embrace the multicultural realities of our society and our world. The days of anemic or paltry diversity in the church are over. If the church is to be a vibrant instrument of God’s love, faithful to the justice of Jesus, then it must be a place that welcomes all.

Reconciling Ministries Clergy (RMC)

Gather at the River Pre-day plans

Reconciling Ministries Clergy are invited to join our pre-convo day event highlighted by our joint meeting with MOSAIC aimed at supporting LGBTQ young adults, seminarians, and those in the ordination process. We will also have sessions on doing intersectional justice ministries, learning the basics of sexual orientation and gender identity, and strategizing witness in our conferences and at General Conference 2016. Our meeting will also provide us the opportunity to reorganize and re-energize our Reconciling Ministries Clergy leadership.

Who we are 

The Reconciling Ministries Clergy (RMC) is comprised of persons called to ordained ministry within the United Methodist Church who summon the church to a deeper level of spiritual and theological integrity in relationship to persons of all sexual orientations and gender identities and their full inclusion in all aspects of the church’s life.
The network is dedicated to active forms of teaching, organizing, strategizing, resistance and support for one another to help the church become more faithful to the radical love of Christ.

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