Thursday, October 27, 2011

Some exciting news from our United Methodist friends

"Newly ordained ministers are fighting to obtain equality within the Methodist church. The movement, A Church within a Church, has been around for nearly nine years, opposing what it calls oppression within the United Methodist Church." See fully story here.

Two Extraordinary Ordinations are compelling the United Methodist Church to think again about ordination prohibitions. See more here and here.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Affirmation of Call for Rev. Bill Knott

Congratulations to Rev. Bill Knott, Abiding Savior, and the Florida-Bahamas Synod!


Affirmation of Call

 Congregation Celebrates!

 Abiding Savior Lutheran Church 
In a festival worship service of affirmation, The Rev. Edward Benoway of the Florida-Bahamas Synod affirmed Abiding Savior Church's Call to ministry of ten years ago as he installed The Rev. William H. Knott as pastor of the congregation in recognition of Pastor Knott's restoration to the clergy roster of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The festival worship service was followed by a fellowship feast that provided opportunity for the many members, friends, and guests of the congregation in attendance to share with one another their stories of connection and affirmation through the ministry of Abiding Savior Church over the course of the past ten years.

Declared Knott: "We recognize this great moment in the life of our congregation and celebrate the mission and ministry we have shared as part of the synod and ELCA over the course of the past ten years. Today, however, represents one milestone among many on a journey that is incomplete. Tomorrow, we will continue to move step by step toward the fulfillment of the Gospel promise of justice for all of God's people in every time and every place. God has blessed us in order to become a blessing for others. There is a lot of work to do!"

CLICK HERE FOR AFFIRMATION SUNDAY BULLETIN
CLICK HERE FOR AFFIRMATION SUNDAY PICTURES

Monday, October 17, 2011

Methodists Declare Their Intention to Ecclesiastical Disobedience by Marrying LGBT Couples

Today, October 17, 900 members of the United Methodist Church (UMC) from congregations in New York State and southern Connecticut announced that they intend to make weddings available to same-gender couples who meet the legal requirements for marriage.  In their announcement, they said marriage will be available to all, gay or straight, despite the discrimination present in the current policy against gay marriage within the United Methodist denomination.

These 900 include 164 members of the clergy and 732 members of the laity, representing 74 congregations of the UMC.  Among this number are the complete memberships of six congregations, unanimous in their commitment.

This act of ecclesiastical disobedience is part of their participation in "We Do!  Methodists Living Marriage Equality," a project to let all Methodists know who and where there are clergy and congregations willing to marry same-gender couples.

"We do!" is a pastoral movement that since its beginning a year ago has spread to 19 states and the District of Columbia.  More than 1000 clergy have pledged to follow its guiding principle to refuse to discriminate against any of God's children.

Efforts to rescind the current policy ban against gay marriage are expected to come up at the General Conference of the United Methodist Church in April 2012, as they have for the last 40 years.

Lutherans Concerned/North America asks its members and those who read this and support these actions to keep these committed brothers and sisters lifted up in prayer.  Their cause is just and right.  Their organized disobedience is bold and risky.  Most important, their actions are faithful to the Great Commandment, the message of the Gospel and the injunction to spread that word among all people.

Lutherans Concerned joins with other welcoming movements working for full inclusion of LGBT people in the lives of their chosen community of faith, and those working in the secular arena to make legal the solemn commitment by two people to a life of mutual support, caring and love, in the hope that soon full equality and inclusion will replace discrimination and oppression.

"We do! Methodists Living Marriage Equality" is sponsored by Methodists in New Directions (MIND), a grassroots organization working in the New York Annual Conference of the UMC dedicated to ending the church's prejudice and discrimination against LGBT people. It is co-sponsored by the NY Chapter of the Methodist Federation for Social Action (MFSA), an organization bringing people together to work for peace and justice in the church and the world. Both organizations are independent of the United Methodist Church. More information on the initiative is available on the MIND website at www.mindny.org.
 
Phil Soucy
Director Communications LC/NA
communications@lcna.org

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Today is National Coming Out Day

One of the lessons learned from the "No On Prop 8" campaign in California is the importance of sharing with others about marriage--especially, about why marriage matters to you, either as an LGBT person or a straight ally.

Researchers of the campaign discovered that many of those who voted Yes (thus banning same-gender marriage in the state) did so even though they have LGBT family, friends, or co-workers whom they love and respect. However, in many cases, these yes-voters reported that their LGBT friends had never discussed with them the importance of marriage. Voters whose LGBT loved ones HAD witnessed to the importance of marriage in their lives were much more likely to vote No.

Just one conversation can make a difference. This year, as advocates of marriage equality are organizing in several states, we encourage all to see today, National Coming Out Day, as an opportunity to come out about why marriage matters to you. And not just for one day, but for a whole month! In the next month, we challenge all members and friends of Lutherans Concerned/North America to talk with ten others about how marriage and family are meaningful in your life.

For other information about National Coming Out Day, see the Human Rights Campaign webpage.