What's New and What's Ahead
Rev. Angie Kotzmoyer
Rev. Sharon Langfeldt
The following panelists answered questions and shared their experiences. Webinar Moderator: Dr. Don Messer.
Rev. Dr. Valerie Jackson, Pastor, Cameron UMC & Congregational Resource Minister, Denver, Colorado
Courtney VonLindern, Designer for NextGen
& Inclusiveness Ministries, Missoula, Montana
Richard Marsh, Chancellor Mountain Sky Conference, Longmont, Colorado
"Let's Talk: LGBTQ+ Weddings"
webinar from July 15th, 2020
Laity and clergy participated in an online forum to explore how pastors and local church members might prepare for same-gender weddings in their sanctuary. Questions of liturgy, pre-marital counseling, use of language, communication, etc., were discussed. This webinar was sponsored by the United Methodist Association of Retired Clergy & Friends and the Mountain Sky Queer Clergy Caucus.
Speakers for this Webinar included two leading Mountain Sky Area United Methodist clergy, Rev. Sharon Langfeldt and Rev. Angie Kotzmoyer. Our speakers were also joined by Rev. Dr. Donald E Messer, Moderator, and a panel of key leaders.
Rev. Kay Palmer Marsh, Spiritual Director and retired UM Pastor, Longmont, Colorado
Scott Blades, Executive Director, Tucson Interfaith HIV & AIDS Network, Tucson, Arizona
Dr. Donald E Messer
Donald E. Messer, Chair of UMARC, writes "Five years after the United States Supreme Court legalized same-gender marriages, many United Methodist clergy have yet to perform a wedding for a LGBTQ couple. Even in regions where restrictions imposed by church rules have been waived, many clergy remain uninformed or uncomfortable about best practices in pre-marital counseling and wedding rituals." Read full news story HERE.
Mainstream UMC Town Hall: A Call for Grace
Has Been Recorded—If You Missed It
Click the mainstream UMC image to view video
Please Sign: A Call for Grace
The Town Hall was a great success and has been recorded. The Link is included above. Please share this with your church and Sunday School class, it would be great to watch together and discuss.
Also, please sign the letter: A Call for Grace. This asks our Bishops and Annual Conferences to honor the spirit of the Protocol and begin to live into it while we wait for the rescheduled General Conference sometime in 2021. This letter has two components. One, it asks our leaders to publicly honor the abeyance (moratorium) for trials against LGBTQ clergy and against clergy who perform same-gender weddings. Two, it also calls for gracious negotiations with churches who desire to leave the denomination using the more favorable components of the Protocol. We must wait for General Conference, but we need not wait for Grace.
Please forward this email to your UMC contacts.
Also, please support the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and their efforts to fight COVID-19. Their campaign is called “Sheltering in Love.” Learn more here: https://advance.umcmission.org/p-2025-umcor-covid-19-response-fund.aspx
NEWS: General Conference to Move to 2021
**Click on image to read this announcement**
Our quest for an inclusive church is further delayed with General Conference being postponed indefinitely because of the coronavirus.
Years ago the late Bishop Dale White told me that he thought United Methodist's anti-gay stance would end like apartheid n South Africa. He claimed that people began to ignore and disobey the legal restrictions long before the legal barriers officially came down. People knew apartheid was wrong and many good folks just began living differently.
Maybe another Methodist layman, like Nelson Mandela, will emerge and lead his people to justice, inclusiveness, and reconciliation. I'm not an expert on South African history, but I never forgot what Bishop White predicted. I think this is already happening in United Methodism and maybe this coronavirus delay will speed us toward a more inclusive and just church. We need each other--we are "members one of another." Dr. Don Messer, Chair - UMARC
Five Free Copies of New DVD Study on The Bible, Inclusiveness & Human Sexuality
Education must accompany legislation, if The United Methodist Church truly is to become an inclusive community of faith. General church policies may soon change at General Conference 2021, but the key remains the transformation of hearts and minds of church members. Bishop Karen Oliveto contends that the local church is the new frontier and recommends a new DVD series called "Faithful and Inclusive: The Bible, Sexuality, and the United Methodist Church." This new Bible study enables local churches to explore over six weeks what the Bible says about homosexuality.
UMARC (United Methodist Association of Retired Clergy) will provide free copies to the first five churches anywhere this study can be mailed. Just contact us HERE. UMARC is also providing eight free copies to be shared throughout the Mountain Sky Area. These will be available through your CRM (Congregation Resource Minister), Click HERE for listing and address. For more information about the series, CLICK HERE
Retired Clergy Urged to Perform Same - Sex Weddings
UMARC members are joining retired clergy across the denomination in offering their services to perform same-sex weddings. Click HERE to add your name to the growing movement to reduce harm and move the church to inclusiveness.
UMARC Chair, Dr. Donald E. Messer, is a member of the national Resist Harm committee encouraging prophetic witness and pastoral service, in contrast to the traditionalist polity. Retired pastors risk complaints and trials, but severe penalties can be administered to active faithful pastors living in areas where bishops are intent on enforcing the Discipline no matter how punitive and exclusive.
Submitted GC2021 legislation now available online
The Advance Daily Christian Advocate, which contains the agenda, delegate listings and already submitted legislation for the 2021 General Conference, is now out. Delegates should be receiving print copies in the mail. People also can download the material in English, French, Portuguese and Kiswahili at the link.
See Advance Daily Christian Advocate