Ukiah United Methodist Church
Friday, August 18, 2017
Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors ~ Love God, Live Compassion
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Welcoming & Affirming

Becoming A More Welcoming Ministry

In June of 2013, after a process of about a year, our congregation voted unanimously to become a Welcoming & Affirming congregation, in the United Methodist Church this is called "Reconciling."  Many members thought we already were and found this fitting with our ministry for a long time.

 Our Welcoming Statement reads:

We are a Welcoming & Affirming Congregation:
We welcome all persons into full participation in the life of the congregation regardless of age, gender identity, racial or ethnic background, sexual orientation, marriage status, or physical or mental condition.

 

In light of our international “General” UM church decisions, Church Council sponsored an all church meeting on July 1 to examine scriptures and homosexuality with Rev. Ruth Rambo-Brown (retired UM pastor living in our community) and hear stories from our own members of how church rulings and behavior have led persons who are homosexual to feel unwelcome and judged.  The Church Council also voted to officially begin a process to consider becoming what United Methodists call “reconciling” and what other Christian churches call things like “welcoming” or “affirming”. Church Council also voted to form a Reconciling Task Force to consider how best to include all of our church family in the consideration and conversation.  The Reconciling Task Force is made up of Nancy Commons, Martin Bradley, Edward Dick, Kevin Murphy, Daphne MacNeill, and Pastor Judy. 

Because we deeply value our church community and the individuals that make it what it is, we know the journey is as important as the outcome.   A number of church members have expressed their support, or signed one of the national or regional statements calling for full  inclusion, but the Task Force members would like to hear from eveyone, and may contact church members to invite more conversation.  Pastor Judy and the Task Force also want to share the links below to provide more information for the conversation.

We will make the decision about this by a consensus method of giving everyone an opportunity to speak and be heard; then if no one speaks to block a consensus of adopting a policy of becoming “reconciling/welcoming/affirming,” we will do so.

In addition to the web links below, there are a number of resources in our church library that are available to borrow on the honor system. You can visit it during office hours (Monday - Thursday 9am - noon) or by appointment.

 Here are some additional links:

   Here are a few perspectives on Scriptures that are sometimes cited to condemn same sex relationships.

   Palo Alto UMC described their process in becoming a Reconciling Congregation, including videos, one pastor's reflections, frequently asked questions and  links to other resources.

   The Reconciling Ministries Network site is another place to explore.

   One of our UM pastors, Karen Oliveto, pastor at Glide Memorial UMC in San Fransico, is one of the authors of “Talking About Homosexuality: A Congregational Resource”

Blessings,

Ukiah UMC Reconciling Task Force

Martin Bradley

Nancy Commons

Kevin Murphy

Edward Dick

Daphne MacNeill

Pastor Judy Shook