Invitation to Discernment

Background Summary Regarding the Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN):

The General Conference Response Team (GCRT) was convened by Church Council in April and charged with developing a process for Washington Street UMC (WSUMC) to explore affiliation with Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN).

WSUMC is a congregation that accepts viewpoints of all members on many different social justice issues. Historically, WSUMC’s ministries have demonstrated hospitality and love toward people of all backgrounds.

WSUMC’s strategic planning process, “Renewal 2020” resulted in a strong set of core values and an identity statement that specifically welcomes people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. This identity statement is a strong affirmation of our commitment to our journey toward radical hospitality for all people.

There is growing support across our diverse congregation to boldly respond to the 2019 UMC General Conference decision to pass the Traditional Plan, which is viewed as a step backward for our denomination and has deeply hurt the LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersexed, Asexual)+ community. 

A Reconciling church affiliates with the RMN, a nonprofit organization that promotes the full inclusion of LGBTQIA+ individuals in the life of the church. More information about RMN can be found in the FAQ section of this recommendation (see next page).

The GCRT recommended a facilitated discernment process, which was approved by Church Council. The four sessions listed on the front will help to evaluate whether WSUMC is ready to move toward an affiliation with RMN. 

This process includes the four congregational sessions in June and July and an extensive communication plan. While this process will not heal the pain caused by the General Conference decision, it will allow our congregation to more publicly welcome people of all sexual orientations, join a network of like-minded congregations and communities, and take a leadership role among South Carolina United Methodists on this specific social justice issue.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE FAQ SHEET REGARDING RMN

UPCOMING SESSIONS:

2nd General Informational Session about RMN
Sunday, June 23 | 10:00 am | Chapel (note location change)

2nd Discernment Session
Sunday, June 23 | 4:00 pm | Threatt Hall
The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church & Homosexuality” presented by Rev. Robert Cannon

3rd Discernment Session
Sunday, June 30 | 4:00 pm | Threatt Hall
“How Does WSUMC Live Out Its Identity Statement?” presented by Nancy Whittle

4th Discernment Session
Sunday, July 14 | 4:00 pm | Threatt Hall
“What Does It Mean to Be a Member of the Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN)? presented by Sidney Gatch

Questions or comments? Email wsumcfeedback@gmail.com

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1401 Washington Street (Corner of Washington and Marion | Columbia, South Carolina