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Love Prevails Group announces departure from denomination

RIVER FALLS, Wis. — After years of direct action in support of LGBTQ equality at general church meetings, Love Prevails announced that it is departing The United Methodist Church. “Love Prevails has come to the painful conclusion that the UMC’s leadership and methods are so corrupt that we must replace ‘Disclose, Divest, and Disrupt’ with one final word ‘Depart,'” said the letter signed by 12 members.

An Open Letter to Members and Leaders of the United Methodist Church

Posted June 28, 2021

For nearly fifty years, The United Methodist Church (UMC) has officially discriminated against LGBTQIA+ persons in doctrine, policy, and practice. In these five decades, the UMC has denied God’s calling of Queer people to ordained ministry, revoked Queer clergypersons’ orders, refused to bless Queer relationships in ceremonies of Christian marriage, and spoken vile lies about Queer lives from the floor of General Conference. The UMC’s intention that “all persons are individuals of sacred worth” has been rendered hollow by its sinister anti-gay teachings and its inflammatory silence in the presence of physical violence and spiritual harm. The Church has been and remains complicit in the suicides, beatings, and murders of Queer persons. READ MORE

A.N.G.E.L.S.

One of the initiatives of the Reconciling Next Team at Washington Street United Methodist Church is a group called ANGELS (Aging in God’s Eternal Love) for those 55+ that will work to provide support for LGBTQAI+ persons (and allies) that are over 55.

RESOURCES:

Use your story to make a difference…Working together to pass the Equality Act
https://go.sageusa.org/webmail/697503/492023220/87af59f07bd752ff82918d011b4fbffff2e7e52a6fb31f59ea688b8822af8c2f

UPCOMING ANGEL EVENTS:

“Blended Happy Hour”
Join us for monthly joint happy hours on the 3rd Friday of each month at 6 pm via Zoom with our friends from Reformation Lutheran Church!

Starts Sept. 17! Email Jim Lane for the link to join us!

October
Oct. 17 — Blended Happy Hour — 6 pm
Intergenerational Listening Session — Date TBD
November
Nov. 19 — Blended Happy Hour — 6 pm
Transgender Day of Remembrance (Nov. 20)
“How to Work with LBGTQI Seniors” — Date TBD
December
Dec. 17 — Blended Happy Hour — 6 pm
January
Jan. 21 — Blended Happy Hour — 6 pm

Reconciling Ministries Team


About the Team
On January 7, 2020, the first meeting of the Reconciling Ministries Team gathered together to begin focusing on LBGTQI issues within our church and our community.

An agenda and a copy of the Discernment Implementation Team Report to Church Council (May 2019) were distributed. Each attendee self-introduced by responding to the question, “What is your hope for this team?” Comments shared touched on the following hopes:
 Dialogue with and unity of the congregation;
 Supporting groups and being a “safe space” for LGBTQA+ groups to meet;
 Desire to change the community at large, not just those at WSUMC;
 Being a useful and helpful member; helping to build on the welcoming spirit at WSUMC;
 Advocacy and ministry in the community to LGBTQAI+ persons, particularly in the downtown area;
 Learn more and help to build a unified church in welcome diverse persons;
 Be of service to the committee; help spread the message of inclusion;
 Help address the issue of systemic discrimination in the discipline; be an active change agent;
 Engage in the committee and help build community;
 Help to meet the needs of individuals we are not reaching now – young adults; use creative means to do the committee’s work (Go Fund Me example); and
 Build bridges with our community; do meaningful work.

Two specific goals were the focus for the team stated in the Discernment Implementation Team Report to Church Council:
1) to lead advocacy and information efforts within our congregation as we strive to see a transformed United Methodist denomination wherein all
members have access to all the privileges of membership, and 2) to build ministries of compassion and justice with and for the LGBTQAI+ community.

Many topics were discussed pre-COVID. Some of which have taken place, others are on hold until we pass this health crisis.

Discussion followed regarding the focus of the group. Among the topics discussed were:

  • the need to reach out to Harriett Hancock Center, PALSS, Transitions, SC Equality about partnership opportunities;
  • Invite reps from USC GLBTQ Alliance, Columbia College, Allen and Benedict Universities GSAs to dinner and sharing, to build connections and understand better the needs of today’s GLBTQAI+ college students;
  • the issue of sustainability of UM churches and what church may look like in the future (not Sunday morning at 11); sharing that the WSUMC Identity Statement is included on all communication that comes from the church;
  • the possibility of putting the image on the WSUMC sign (corner of Marion and Washington) as a ribbon on the web; updating the website, in general, to reflect our affiliation with RMN; and
  • to investigate the use of WSUMC persons as counselors by the LGBTQAI+ community, if needed, at an affordable cost.

A discussion was held about where WSUMC is now, post RMN vote. It was shared and agreed upon that, 6 months post-vote, it is time to live out boldly
and publicly who we are; that we are faithfully going forward. We need to share with those who are concerned that we are living out scripture and being Biblically obedient; people need to see and hear this (printed materials, from the pulpit, etc.).

The question, “How are we living who we are?” was asked. The RT agreed that many things are occurring (banner has been placed in a high-traffic area on Bull Street,) and we are using the WS Identity Statement in all correspondences, and news stories highlighting WSUMC’s stance, wearing Do No Harm buttons, etc.). It was also shared that the congregation has an important role to play if we say we are a warm and welcoming church. The RT agreed that we need to all
focus on welcoming openly and warmly, no exceptions.

While COVID has put any in-person meetings on hold. This team continues to meet monthly to work towards meeting the needs of this church and its community. For more information, contact Jim Lane at jlane@columbiasc.edu.


Resources

The RNT would like to share this remarkable video with you. This is a wonderful documentary with Katie Couric that deals with the ever-evolving gender revolution. We hope you love it as much as we did!
Watch it for free here: https://fb.watch/4sqinZMyQT/


Harriet Hancock LGBT Center

For aging LGBTQ:
https://www.facebook.com/Gayarp/

Great read!

Raising My Rainbow
ADVENTURES IN RAISING A FABULOUS, GENDER CREATIVE SON

Washington Street United Methodist Church is a member of The Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN). The Reconciling Ministries Network envisions a renewed and vibrant Wesleyan movement that is biblically and theologically centered. As committed disciples of Jesus Christ, we strive to transform ourselves and the world by living out the Gospel’s teachings of grace, love, justice, and celebration of all of God’s children.

To read more about RMN, click here to download their brochure.

Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN) is rooted: 36 years of changing hearts and churches. And we are rising: a force of over 1,300 Reconciling ministries and over 40,000 individuals devoted to LGBTQ justice, ready for the next faithful step.

That next faithful step is Rooted & Rising: RMN’s comprehensive campaign for the next season of the Reconciling movement. It refocuses the organization’s efforts on its grassroots organizing with a deep commitment to intersectional LGBTQ justice. Rooted & Rising represents a movement ready to be the Church, no matter what the denomination decides when the General Conference meets. On our website, you’ll find more information.

READ MORE…