Reconciling Ministries launches campaign for 2016 General Conference

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Chicago, IL — The Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN) announced today that they have launched a new advocacy campaign directed toward changing The United Methodist Church’s teachings on the acceptance of GLBTQ clergy and same-sex marriage. The It’s Time campaign is focused around a new web presence which RMN says enables “. . . supporters and allies to reach their delegates directly by sharing their stories and urging the General Conference to reverse The UMC’s discriminatory treatment of its LGBTQ ministers and congregants.”

“We embark on this campaign because ‘it’s time’ for The United Methodist Church – the third largest Christian denomination in the United States – to fully welcome and celebrate its LGBTQ members and ministers,” said RMN Executive Director Matt Berryman. “Our families, friends and neighbors are hurt every day by the exclusion they experience from the church that they love. It’s time for this General Conference to turn the corner and open its doors to everyone who calls The UMC home.”

The website allows participants to send a letter to their annual conference delegates, as well as space to share their own stories about how the church’s current positions on sexuality hurts both the church and others. In addition, RMN is partnering with the Rev. Frank Schaefer (the Pennsylvania pastor who was convicted for presiding at the same-sex wedding of his son) and sponsoring showings of “An Act of Love,” the documentary about Schaefer’s experience.

“This General Conference gives us an opportunity not just to be heard but to make change,” said Rev. Schaefer who is now serving as pastor of the Isla Vista Student Ministry in Isla Vista, California. “This campaign is smart and strategic because it gives folks a vehicle to talk directly to their delegates. It’s time for the silent many to be heard and for The United Methodist Church to welcome everyone.”

The General Conference, which convenes every four years, is the top legislative body of The United Methodist Church, and is composed of approximately 500 clergy and 500 lay delegates elected by their regional annual conferences around the world. The General Conference will convene in Portland, Ore. from May 10 –20, 2016.

The Reconciling Ministries Network is an independent organization of United Methodists committed to the full inclusion of GLBTQ persons in the life of the United Methodist Church.

Jay Voorhees, Former Executive Editor

The Rev. Jay Voorhees is the Executive Editor of The United Methodist Reporter and the Chief Creative Officer for CircuitWriter Media LLC which operates this site and MethoBlog.com. Jay is an ordained elder in the Tennessee Annual Conference. Jay has written on life and the practice of faith in The United Methodist Church at Only Wonder Understands since 2003.

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30 Comments on "Reconciling Ministries launches campaign for 2016 General Conference"

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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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Paul W.
Guest
Billy Abraham accurately read the tea leaves 17 years ago concerning the various factions within the UMC and how it would all play out: http://www.firstthings.com/article/1998/06/002-united-methodists-at-the-end-of-the-mainline We are simply in the end-game now. RMN and most of the progressive/revisionist faction care only about achieving their goal at any cost with full and explicit understanding that this means completely driving the theologically conservative/traditionalist faction out of the UMC. This is not just a petty fight over personal opinions regarding the rightness or wrongness of homosexual behavior as the revisionists try to frame it. No, this is a war over nothing less than… Read more »
George Nixon Shuler
Guest
Much as I find your views abhorrent I thank you for the link to the First Things article. First Things is the premier journal of intellectual christofascism and as such much is revealed in their musings. I found this part [about “liberals,” one of three factions he identifies, the others being “conservatives” and “radicals”:: “whether they will join with Radical Protestants in dismissing this whole exercise as a cover for ideology and a quest for power…” most interesting. Now, I disagree with his characterizations of the factions – “radical” serves primarily as a pejorative and better describes the dead enders… Read more »
George Nixon Shuler
Guest

Also, I did further research into the First Things’ correspondent’s claim of a recent lesbian wedding conducted by a Nebraska UMC pastor and found out it was Jimmy Creech and it occurred in 1999. I suppose by some measures sixteen years ago is “recent,” but not generally regarding news events. The reference is revealing in how social change affects those who oppose it actively in that such a defeat for the forces of reaction so long ago still merits the bearing of grudges.

Wes Andrews
Guest

Silly William, Scripture for some is merely a suggestion…..

Kevin
Guest

If such verses existed they would have been thrown in our faces a long time ago.

Kevin
Guest

Too bad you have been banned for a few weeks. I warned you. Engaging in dialogue with some folks is a pointless waste. Look what it got you. I may take some time off to design a Christofascist T-shirt for my men’s Bible study group.

Kevin
Guest

The sanctimonious prattle of reprobates is the price we pay for open dialogue. Easily ignored if the adults really want to have a conversation.

Kevin
Guest

This blog site is not exactly a hotbed of commentary. The last article posted is two weeks old and rarely do we see more than a dozen comments on any article. Banning two of our more entertaining commenters will not encourage other visitors.

Charles Harrison
Admin

OK Russ, that is enough. Let me now strongly suggest you take a few weeks off from commenting on UMR. I thank you in advance for your cooperation.

George Nixon Shuler
Guest
I believe I answered that in the post of 10:10 today. I understand the last question isn’t addressed toward me, but it is remarkably similar to another which has arisen here and elsewhere in which people express bigoted opinions and then feign outrage that their bigotry is called what it is. Christofascism is merely a corollary to “Islamofascism,” which came into wide use after 9-11. I am certainly not the first one to have remarked on the striking similarities between the Islamacist religious right and the American Christian religious right. Markos Moulitsas even wrote an entire book on the premise… Read more »
Charles Harrison
Admin

OK George, that is enough. Let me now strongly suggest you take a few weeks off from commenting on UMR. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

George Nixon Shuler
Guest

I never have claimed to have any such graduate degree. It is most unfortunate that you choose to name call rather than argue facts. I have completed the Episcopal Church’s EFM (Education for Ministry) Program which is accredited by the University of the South, but completion of EFM is not a doctoral or Master’s Degree. My wife and I were two United Methodists in the program; all others in our group were Episcopals including two who eventually became priests after completing further studies and apprenceship.

Charles Harrison
Admin

Russ, let me respectfully suggest that you focus on the content of the articles and not on attacking other people who comment. There is nothing edifying to our readership in your comment. Thank you in advance for self editing.

George Nixon Shuler
Guest
That’s a rather selective charge, isn’t it, that identification of a political philosophy is somehow “inflammatory” whereas it would appear you believe your own bullying rhetoric frequently employed here is not, n’es ce pas? I believe the magazine used to have a statement of purpose or somesuch. I subscribed some years ago but cancelled because I could no longer support the christofascistic agenda it presented. I believe they were never shy about presenting the beliefs which they promote. There are without a doubt numerous instances of their advocacy of forced religion as they deem it correct and of the privilege… Read more »
Kevin
Guest

Wasting your time, Russ. He thinks the Bible is fiction so maybe you could have quoted something there.

George Nixon Shuler
Guest

From your comment, then, I would think you are somewhat unschooled as to what the Bible says. One thing it does say is that one ought not to bear false witness against another, and that is what you have done to me here.

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