Press Release: Season of Love

Press Release:

Rev. John Oda, Pastor
Lake Park United Methodist Church
281 Santa Clara Avenue, Oakland, CA 94610
Phone: 510-444-7262
Cell: 510-220-8959

Season of Love: A Time for Change

Despite their denomination’s policy against gays and lesbians, people of faith from all over California and neighboring states will be celebrating a “Season of Love” this coming May—a call for acts of love and support for full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people in The United Methodist Church.

“It all begins with two women who love each other deeply and believe they are called to serve the world together,” said Rev. John Oda, one of the organizers for the Season of Love. Nikki and Kira, two United Methodist women will be married on May 17 at Wesley United Methodist Church in San Jose by their United Methodist pastor—even though their church forbids it. Hundreds of supporters plan to gather outside the church to hold a “Circle of Love” for the brides, for the United Methodist Church and for all UMC pastors who wish to preside over same sex weddings in their United Methodist Church. “We will stand, sing, and pray as a cloud of witnesses in solidarity with congregations desiring to open their church to all loving couples, and in support of all United Methodist pastors who simply want to fulfill their pastoral duties to all of their parishioners,” said Rev. Judy Shook, the organizer of the Circle of Love.

Nikki, a third generation Filipina-Chinese American woman, and Kira, a Filipina-Palestinian American met and grew in their relationship through their work for justice in the church. “It is important for us to be married by our own pastor who has supported and mentored us in The United Methodist Church,” said Nikki. “It is also important that we be married in front of our families, who have been an unbelievable support system throughout our lives. We have a kasama love, which in Tagalog means ‘my partner in struggle.’ If we weren’t involved in justice work we would still love each other, but this has deepened our faith and love. And it is important to us that this is shared with our community.”

The United Methodist Church’s 40 year old policy of exclusion and discrimination toward gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer persons is increasingly unpopular with a growing number of congregations and individuals across the country that have joined Reconciling Ministries Network working for full inclusion—including same-sex marriage and ordination. Many United Methodist pastors are joining the movement as well. “When I became a pastor I made a promise to offer the ministry of the church to all persons,” said Frank Schaefer who plans to attend the May 17 wedding, and who was defrocked last year following a church trial for officiating at his son’s wedding. “Some in the UMC want to restrict clergy from fulfilling their vows and the Bible’s command for us to love our neighbor. More and more pastors are deciding they can’t discriminate any longer, no matter the consequences of their faithfulness.”

Beginning with Nikki and Kira’s wedding on May 17, United Methodist supporters are asked to post their weddings and other actions supporting full LGBTQ inclusion on the Season of Love website and stand on the side of love until The United Methodist church stops discriminating against its members and pastors. To learn how to support Kira , Nikki and their United Methodist pastor on their wedding day, May 17th, go to the Season of Love website.

For more information about the Season of Love, please contact Rev. John Oda.

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The United Methodist Reporter receives press releases on a regular basis from UM related agencies announcing events and other programs. We are providing them unedited as a service to UMR readers.

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The United Methodist Reporter wants to encourage lively conversation about The United Methodist Church and our articles in the belief that Christian conversation (what Wesley would call conferencing) is a means of grace. While we support passionate debate, we cannot allow language that demeans or demonizes others, and we reserve the right to delete any comment we believe to be harmful or inappropriate. We encourage all to remember that we are all broken and in need of Christ's grace, and that we all see through the glass darkly until that time we when reach full perfection in love. May your speech here be tempered with love, and reflection of the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. After all, "There is no law against things like this." (Galatians 5:22-23)
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John OdaBob ParkWes Andrews Recent comment authors
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Bob Park

If this has been permitted for 40 years in the ministry of the UMC without strong discipline, hasn’t the die already been cast regardless of the Book of Discipline? I have only been around for 3 years and have lost respect for the leadership. Except for the beauty of the people in my local church, I would be gone. Shouldn’t there be a distinction between loving and ministering to all sinners (all of us) and blatantly advocating sodomy from the pulpit in the name of love? We may as well advocate polygamy and adultery instead of calling them sin. We… Read more »

Wes Andrews
Wes Andrews

Bob, you are right. There is no standard if the progressives get their way except what is “felt” at the moment. So why not polygamy? Why not living together? Enjoy your church and encourage them to be ready, because any commitment to Scripture as the foundation will fail in 2016, if not, certainly by 2020. The progressives are stealing the domination, and as soon as they get what they “want.” Everything will fall apart.

Wes Andrews
Wes Andrews

Season of Love…… ? What the progressives are doing is not about love. It is about control. They have had their voice heard in more than fair, open debate at GC for forty years. Scripture has be reaffirmed for forty years. So even though they have had their voice, and they have had their vote and lost, they stomp on all others, and reject the voices of others, the efforts, and the process. And when any say, “Excuse me, but we must follow the BOD.” We are called names. And they attempt to justify their point of view by using… Read more »

John Oda
John Oda

Today is ALL about Love. Kira and Nikki are deeply in love with each other and wholly committed to one another. And same sex marriage is legal in California. What does the Bible say about marriage? There are a number of verses which clarify marriage, one of which is “marriage consists of one man and one (or more) woman”. It also states that women are the property of their father until married and their husband after that (Ex. 20:17, 22:17, Deut. 22:24, Mat 22:25). The value of a woman might be approximately seven years’ work (Gen 29:14-30). Nothing prevents a… Read more »

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