The team has been working on our upcoming Reconciling Sunday scheduled for this 21st of May. We are excited to have the organizer for the Reconciling Ministries Network for the Western Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church the Rev. Dr. Isreal Alvaran as our guest speaker for the service. We are also planning a workshop on the day before in Hadley Hall for local churches that would like to explore becoming a reconciling congregation. You will be hearing more about this in the coming months.
I have included Dr. Alvaran’s Western Jurisdiction January update for 2016 below,
Steve Runner RMT Leader.
Dear Local Congregation,
2016 was a tumultuous year for the Reconciling movement and for all progressives in the United States. It was a General Conference year that saw the collective coming out of over 140 LGBTQ clergy and candidates, the formation of the Council of Bishops’ Commission on a Way Forward, and the historic election of Bishop Karen Oliveto to the episcopacy. 2016 was an election year in the United States that resulted in new challenges for advocates of civil liberties for workers, immigrants, women, people of color, and the LGBTQ community.
We have our work cut out for us – to remain steadfast in grassroots organizing, and make sure that our justice work intersects with solidarity movements in our communities. Even in the face of dysfunctional leadership at various levels of church and society, we will rise from the ground up. I believe that power comes from grassroots leadership. I do not subscribe to a top-down, trickle-down way of creating change and leading movements for change.
Moving forward in 2017, we should celebrate and be inspired by some of our accomplishments in the Western Jurisdiction and the Reconciling movement in general last year. We added 2,129 new Reconciling United Methodists and 97 new Reconciling Communities. Twenty-five of these communities come from our jurisdiction and we congratulate them for their efforts!