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The Resurrection
of an Inclusive Church:

United Methodism’s Upcoming General Conference

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

5:00 to 7:00 pm (Mountain Standard Time) 

Join the United Methodist Association of Retired Clergy & Friends (UMARC) two weeks before General Conference begins in Charlotte North Carolina to learn more about the challenges and opportunities facing delegates from around the world.

Rev. Israel Alvaran from the Philippines Annual Conference, Rev. Dr. Mark Holland of Mainstream UMC, and Dr. Randall Miller from the California-Nevada Conference will be among our speakers.

More speakers will be announced and registration will begin soon.

This is a free Zoom webinar for clergy and laity presented by the United Methodist Association of Retired Clergy & Friends (UMARC).

Remembering Rev. Julian Rush's Legacy

The rich legacy of Rev. Julian Rush (1946-2023) in the United Methodist quest for full inclusiveness of LGBTQ+ persons in the life of the church and our society cannot be simply stated.  An icon of inclusiveness, Julian served with distinction as a pastor in the Mountain Sky Conference until his retirement.  When he died in November, after a short illness, he was serving as an honorary member of the Steering Committee of the United Methodist Association of Retired Clergy and Friends (UMARC).  


Outed involuntarily in 1981 as a gay pastor, he helped the Mountain Sky Conference (and its predecessor the Rocky Mountain Conference) to grapple with the challenges of truly being inclusive.  Supported by then Bishop Melvin Wheatley, he served St. Paul's United Methodist Church and then gave 17 years of splendid service as Executive Director of the Colorado AIDS Project, during the height of the HIV and AIDS crisis.  

United Methodist Insight:
It’s Time to Revisit Church Teachings on HIV/AIDS



Key Points:

  • The theme for the 19th European AIDS Conference, held in October in Warsaw, Poland, was “It’s Time to Revisit.”

  • The entries on HIV and AIDS in the Book of Resolutions have not been updated since 2016, leaving the church silent on key developments and needing to revisit its policies and programs, writes the Rev. Dr. Donald E. Messer.

  • Missing in United Methodist social justice literature is any reference to PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis), a major medical advance in HIV prevention since 2012, or to contemporary goals set forth by UNAIDS.


Inclusiveness VII Webinar: Empowering United Methodists for Inclusive Mission & Ministry

Keynote Speakers: Bishop Daniel Schwerin, Chicago (Northern Illinois Conference), Bishop Karen Oliveto, Denver (Mountain Sky Conference) and Dr. Randall Miller, Oakland (California-Nevada Conference), a well-known lay spokesman in United Methodism.

Other speakers: Rev. Sam Beaves-Fisher of Billings, MT, Rev. Jamielee Demske of Laurel, MT, Rev. Mark Feldmeir of St. Andrew UMC, Highlands Ranch, Colorado, and Rev. Elizabeth Macaulay Hennepin Avenue UMC, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Rev. Dr. Joretta Marshall, Rev. Dr. Harvey Martz, Retired Lead Pastor, St. Andrew UMC, Highlands Ranch, Colorado, and Dr. Don Messer, President Emeritus, Iliff School of Theology, Denver, Colorado.  Justin Bullis provided the music.

UMARC Requests Bishop Karen Oliveto Serve Twelve Years

Read the UMARC Press Release -- April 11, 2023, Centennial, CO


Watch Bishop Oliveto's Address
from the Webinar: A Potentially Momentous 2024 United Methodist General Conference

Retired pastors step up amid disaffiliations

By Jim Patterson, April 5, 2023 | UM News


Key points:

  • United Methodists who want to remain with the denomination are in need of leadership in the wake of disaffiliations over sexuality issues.

  • Retired United Methodist pastors are putting their golden years on the back burner to help congregations that have been displaced.

  • Some of the former retirees report that enthusiasm is evident as United Methodists refocus on the basics of their faith.


Would You Like To Help Sponsor Our Free Webinars? 


Write check designated to "Mountain Sky Conference" and send to Dr. Don Messer, UMARC Co- Chair: 7185 S Niagara Cir, Centennial, CO 80112.

To give online, click the button below, then scroll down to the UMARC box.

Thank you for supporting the mission of the United Methodist Association of Retired Clergy and Friends

Bishop Melvin Wheatley Legacy
$1,000 + 

Mountain Sky UM Conference

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Bishop Mary Ann Swenson Legacy
$250 +

Burnett, Ingrid and Steve
Miller, Joe & Kathryn
Marshall, Joretta & Joy Allen

University Park UMC, Denver

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Rev. Julian Rush Legacy - $100 +

Baber, Melinda

Benedett-Farmer, Larry & Terry

Burnett, Steve & Ingrid

Butler, Tom & Pat
Center for Pastoral Effectiveness
Curry, Ella 

Eakle, Lonnie & Terry

Graf, William
Howard, John & Constance

Hunt, Ann

Marsh, Kay
Martz, Harvey & Judy
Mercer UMC, Mercer, WI

Merrick, Tracy & Karen

Millikan, Laura
Oneal, Margaret Dianne
Responsible Stewardship (Mountain Sky)
Richards, Sheila & Caryle
Robledo, Liwliwa & Ramon
Tanquist, Mardel & Roger
Thompson, John
Twidwell, Susan

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Bishop Roy Sano Legacy - $500 +

Huie, Robert

Martz, Harvey & Judy

Messer, Don & Bonnie

Miles, Rebekah

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Rev. Gilbert H. Caldwell Legacy
$150 +

Bagwell, Inelle

Hunt, Ann
Owsley, Judy

St Paul & St Andrew UMC Churches,
    New York City
Wills, Brenda

Gilbert H Caldwell crop.jpg

Rev. Mary Ann Downs Legacy
$50 +

Bergman, Michael

Bibb, Stephen

Bode, Glynden

Butler, Tom

Fado, Donald & Martha Jean

Fletcher, Paula
Gilbert, Richard & Jane
Guyette, Laraine
McCormick, Sharon & Thomas

Nelson, Karen

Newquist, Amy

Reaves, Charles
Rice, Mabel

Seckel, Carol

Talla, Eric
Trowbridge, Ruth

Wingelier, Douglas

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Remembering Our United Methodist Heritage in the Mountain Sky:

Bishop Melvin W. Wheatley

In 1979, forty-four years ago, in Colorado Springs then Rocky Mountain host Bishop Melvin W. Wheatley, courageously stood alone and defied the entire United Methodist Council of Bishops. He declared he would not endorse their condemnation of homosexuality. With courage and eloquence, in a kind of United Methodist “Stonewall” moment, he began to break the barriers that prohibited LGBTQ+ persons full participation in the life of the church. 


UMARC Endorses Christmas Covenant

By Ben Roe

October 31, 2022, Centennial, Colorado-- United Methodists will be considering in 2024 a plan for reorganizing the United Methodist Church along global regional lines. At a recent meeting, the United Methodist Association of Retired Clergy has endorsed the plan, which was developed by representatives from United Methodist Conferences outside the United States.

The Christmas Covenant features a regionalization plan...

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John Blinn .jpg
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Kay Palmer Marsh 2020.jpg
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Annie .jpg

Steering Committee Members (Photos Left to Right):

Don Messer - Chair, Harvey Martz - Vice Chair,  John Blinn - Treasurer,

Dave Ferguson, Chris Ferguson,

Marla Kauerz, Joretta Marshall, Kay Palmer-Marsh, Liwliwa Robledo, Ben Roe

Steve Burnett,  John L. Thompson, Julian Rush - Honorary, Annie Arnoldy - Advisor

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