Bishop Cedrick Bridgeforth
at Mountain Sky Annual Conference
The first openly gay African American episcopal leader in United Methodism -- Bishop Cedrick Bridgeforth of Seattle, Washington, spoke on June 24 at UMARC's special dinner at the Mountain Sky Annual Conference on Intersecting Identities Are Tools of Liberation.
Bishop Bridgeforth is author of Alabama Grandson: A Black, Gay Minister's Passage Out of Hiding.
Video of his presentation will be coming soon!
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.
Rev. Mark Feldmeir
St. Andrew UMC, Denver CO
Rev. Lynda Ferguson
First UMC, Asheboro, NC
Rev. Robb Hutchinson
Lighthouse Church, Western NC AC
Rev. Dr. Valerie Jackson
Park Hill UMC, Denver CO
Rev. Dr. Todd Jordan
Strawbridge UMC, Houston TX
Rev. Dr. Jerry Neff
Church of the Pines, Jasper TX
United Methodists from around the world participated in the Sixth Annual Inclusiveness Zoom Webinar on November 11, 2022. Rev. Matt Miofsky, St. Louis, Missouri, keynoted the event along along with three of the church’s best-known episcopal leaders: Bishop Thomas Bickerton, New York, President of the United Methodist Council of Bishops, Bishop Julius Trimble, Indianapolis, of the Indiana Area, and Bishop Karen Oliveto, Denver, of the Mountain Sky, Conference.
Three newly elected bishops also joined the conversation: Bishops Carlo A. Rapanut, Dottie Escobedo Frank, and Cedrick Bridgeforth.
Webinar Explores "New Beginning" of United Methodism
Watch the Video of the webinar in its entirety, or just the sections you wish.
UMARC Sponsored World AIDS Day Event
UMARC was an enthusiastic sponsor for the World AIDS Day Candlelight Walk and Service of Healing and Hope held at Park Hill United Methodist Church in Denver, CO. Reverend Doctor Valerie L. Jackson hosted the event, and Reverend Benjamin Reynolds was the keynote speaker.
UMARC endorses a dynamic programmatic and fund-raising program that focuses on ensuring future inclusivity in our beloved United Methodism Mountain Sky Conference. Check out A Table For All and urge a November 13 observance (or another date of your choosing) in your church. Click on image for details and registration.
CELEBRATING PRIDE, WEBINAR RECORDINGS AVAILABLE,
LISTEN TO PODCASTS
UMARC Joins Three Bishops in Denver Pride Parade
Episcopal Bishop Kym Lucas, Lutheran (ELCA) Bishop Jim Gonia, and United Methodist Bishop Karen Oliveto led an ecumenical delegation, including UMARC, in the Denver Pride Parade on Sunday, June 26. This was the first time all three denominations joined together in the Pride Parade.
Did you miss our most recent webinar?
Listen to our esteemed panel of speakers sharing their affirmations of United Methodism and why joining the break-away denomination is contrary to basic Wesleyan beliefs.
Join the conversation.
A weekly podcast featuring conversations between Rev. Molly Vetter and denominational leaders about the challenges ahead as we live toward a United Methodist Church that is fully inclusive of our LGBTQ+ siblings. Subscribe, listen, and share!
Retired Clergy Urged to Perform Same - Sex Weddings
"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.
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.
This Three-Part Webinar Series is Available to View
in Part Below. What an amazing time of education and connection.
A special thanks to our speakers, sponsors and participants!
RESPONDING TO AN ATTACK ON A VISION OF AN INCLUSIVE
Threatened by the vision of an inclusive United Methodism as presented by various speakers, including Bishops Karen Oliveto, Harald Rückert, and Cynthia Moore-Koikoi, the conservative Institute for Religion and Democracy published an attack on Bishop Oliveto and the Inclusiveness V Webinar sponsored by the United Methodist Association of Retired Clergy & Friends in late November 2021.
And while we are tempted to ignore such mean-spiritedness and misinterpretation, we yet know it is important to respond lest others be misled.
The Vice Chair of UMARC, Rev. Dr. Harvey Martz, distinguished former senior pastor of St. Andrew UMC in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, speaks for all of us on the Steering Committee, when he writes in “Gone MIA from the IRD - Jesus:"
“So, it seems, when we want to demonize persons who are not 'like us,' I believe that Lord Jesus the Prophet will draw us up short and cause us to look inside.
Luckily, in Mr. Bastian’s essay, he does manage to quote our 'Lesbian Bishop' and give a new direction for all of us: 'We are called to a response as followers of Jesus.’
In most of his vitriolic essay, Mr. Bastian gets it wrong. And Bishop Karen Oliveto gets it right.”
YES, Bishop Oliveto does get it right - a loving Jesus that includes everyone, not just the heterosexual community.
Donald E. Messer
Chair, UMARC & Friends
Rev. Dr. Harvey Martz
Bishop Karen Oliveto
LIVING LEGEND: REV. JULIAN RUSH HONORED
A living legend since the 1980’s, Rev. Julian Rush has been elevated to Honorary Member of UMARC’s Steering Committee. As a pioneering openly gay pastor (now retired) in the Mountain Sky Conference, he gave distinguished leadership in the church and as founder of the Colorado AIDS Project.
See his biography “Julian Rush—Facing the Music; A Gay Methodist Minister’s Story” .
FORMER AIR FORCE CHAPLAIN REV. JOHN L. THOMPSON APPOINTED
Rev. John L. Thompson, former Chaplain in the U.S. Air Force, as well as a United Methodist District Superintendent and retired senior pastor of Park Hill UMC, Denver, has been newly appointed to the UMARC Steering Committee. He held the rank of full Colonel and was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal.
United Methodist Association of Retired Clergy & Friends
Inclusiveness V Webinar, November 20, 2021
“Experiencing An Inclusive United Methodist Church:
Celebrating First Five Years of Bishop Karen Oliveto’s Episcopacy”
Rev. Dr. Israel Alvaran Rev. Cimpaye Valentine Rev. Dr. Mark Holland
Pat Luna Jay Williams Kent Ingram
Bishop Harald Rückert Germany
Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi
Bishop Karen Oliveto Mountain Sky
Rev. Dr. Kay Palmer Marsh Rev. Dr. Don Messer Keegan Osinski Rev. Dr. Harvey Martz
UMARC joined Bishop Karen Oliveto Jan. 13, 2022, in celebrating the retirement of Nancy Cox, long time Executive Assistant to the Mountain Sky bishop.
An expression of gratitude for excellent service and a cash gift from members was provided by Dr. Don Messer, UMARC chair.
To contribute to a retirement gift for Nancy, write a check to the Mountain Sky Conference earmarked "UMARC/Nancy" & send to treasurer John Blinn, 11 Monroe #102, Denver, CO 80206. Thank you!
BIshop Oliveto with Nancy Cox
UMARC Celebrated Five years of Bishop Karen Oliveto’s Episcopacy
At a COVID post-vaccination picnic, members of the United Methodist Association of Retired Clergy and Friends celebrated five years of dynamic spiritual leadership by Bishop Karen Oliveto. Tributes from retirees saluted her and her wife Robin Ridenour for their courage, compassion, care, leadership, vision, and living out a theology of love. UMARC Chair, Rev. Dr. Donald E. Messer, thanked “the Holy Spirit for her unanimous election and the impact she has made for inclusion in both the church and world.”