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Pro-homosexuality UM Broadway Church Decides Whether to Leave, Stay, Or Step Up Rebellion

Broadway United Methodist Church

January 2001



Pastor’s Paragraphs

If the postal gods are looking kindly on us, you should be receiving this newsletter before January 1. If it’s business as usual, it’s likely to be later than that. In any case, EVERYONE should have this well in hand by January 14! (If not, do contact your postal authorities.)

The importance of the 14th, of course, is because of our Annual All Church Meeting being held that day. Few days are likely to be more important in the history of Broadway Church than that one.

You will read about the details of the meeting elsewhere in this newsletter. But as one of Broadway’s pastors, I want to share a word of perspective here (I’ll be saying something more in the sermons of January 7 and 14, as well.)

I want to suggest that we all try to remember four things:

  1. All of us are important to the decision making that will take place that day. It is true that by Discipline only full members who are present may vote, but everyone who receives this newsletter is invited to participate in discussion and prayer.
  2. The decision is not likely to be an easy one. There are strong feelings, powerful experiences, and careful thoughts that are at work for all of us. That’s good. God’s guidance is seldom neat and tidy. But in the midst of our passion, we need to remember who our real enemy is – not the sisters and brothers gathered in the sanctuary that day, but the voices of ignorance, bigotry and blasphemy who profane the name of God with insistence on excluding and hurting people because of their identity.
  3. We are not alone. We will be making a decision for Broadway Church, but many beyond our church are watching and listening and praying for us.
  4. Our decision making is momentous, but God will neither be defeated nor perfectly served by our choice. The decision will make a difference. But God will work with whatever decision we make on January 14. In the meantime, if you’d like to chat, vent, visit or pray together before then, please don’t hesitate to give Lisl or me a call.

Grace and Peace,





Church Council Passes Voting Procedures

On December 12, Church Council passed the "Broadway’s Future" Task Force motion on procedures for the January 14 vote on options for our future direction.

The Jan. 14 vote regarding the future of Broadway United Methodist Church (BUMC) shall be taken using a secret, paper ballot with 66% as the margin needed for adoption and using an Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) methodology for tabulating the vote with a "default" option established for adoption in case of a stalemate. Note IRV explanation on page 3.

Members of BUMC will be checked off on a membership roster at the door and given a ballot on which they will rank the four options in order of preference. Members must be present to vote. Task Force members will tabulate the vote by first counting everyone’s first choice. If one choice receives a two-thirds majority, the process stops. If not, the option that receives the fewest votes is eliminated, and second choices on those ballots are added to the totals for the other three options. If none of the options receives a two-thirds majority, the option with the fewest votes is again eliminated, adding the second or third choices on those ballots to the totals for the two remaining options. If neither option receives a two-thirds majority, Option A on the insert, "Constructive Engagement" becomes our decision. Please feel free to speak with a Task Force member for clarification or see http://www.fairvote.org/irv.


Discussion & Discernment Sessions:

We will each need to think and pray hard about which option will best serve our community and mission. In addition to your personal prayers and weighing of pros and cons, please plan on participating in one of two "Last Chance" Discussion and Discernment sessions:

Sun., Jan 7, 1-2:30 pm

Lunch sign up after the 10:40 service


Fri., Jan. 12, 7:30-9 pm

Assistant Pastor Lisl Heymans will surround the discussion time with brief spiritual centering and worship. Jackie Lynn of the Mennonite Peace Center will moderate the discussion to help us work through our internal and collective conflicts about the decision productively and peacefully.

Friends and constituents of Broadway are especially invited to share their thoughts, hopes and fears to guide the voting members.


"Broadway’s Future" Task Force Options List

The following list of four options was accepted as a whole by the Broadway United Methodist Church Council on December 14, 2000, as the list of motions for consideration and from which one will be chosen by an Instant Runoff Voting method as the future course of the Broadway Church Community. (See Instant Runoff Voting Plan explanation and graphic elsewhere.)

  1. Constructive Engagement (Default): We, the Broadway United Methodist Church (BUMC), shall continue our Christian ministry within the United Methodist Church (UMC) and continue to serve as a catalyst for systemic change within the denomination. We direct the Finance Committee to accept contributions designated for local church support only.* We further direct the RCP Committee to support national movements such as the Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN).

*This does not change the amount of apportionments we owe. Enough members must be willing to pay apportionments to cover what is owed.


  • We continue our connection with the UMC.
  • We permit designated funds for local church support so community members may restrict their offerings from going to the general UMC.
  • We continue to work to end restrictive policies in the UMC regarding sexual orientation.
  • We keep our building, its contents, and our monetary assets.


  • We continue our connection with the UMC.
  • Members who cannot in good conscience remain in the UMC are likely to leave the Broadway Church Community.
  • We do not have the opportunity to receive openly GLBT pastors.
  • No couples may exchange vows in the church or have them conducted by the pastor.



  1. Become a Federated Church: While continuing our Christian ministry and promoting systemic change in the United Methodist denomination, we, the Broadway United Methodist Church (BUMC), direct the Nominations Committee to form a Federation Task Force to establish dialogue with either the United Church of Christ (UCC) or the Christian Church/Disciples of Christ (CC/DofC) for the purpose of supporting a new UCC or CC/DofC church start. We further direct the Federation Task Force, at the appropriate time, to develop a "Plan of Merger" with that congregation according to The Book of Discipline Paragraph 2546 (and other relevant passages), including good-faith negotiations with officials and committees of both denominations.


  • The Broadway Church Community (BCC) extends the table for members of the other denomination, expanding our mission in outreach and scope.
  • Members can choose to stay connected with the UMC or affiliate with the other denomination.
  • The federated BCC maintains the integrity of our ministry in our community context.
  • United Methodists can continue to work to end restrictive policies in the UMC regarding sexual orientation.
  • We create the possibility of receiving openly GLBT pastors from the other denomination.
  • We create the possibility of negotiating holy unions in the federation contract.


  • We keep our building, its contents, and our monetary assets.


  • Creating the federated structure and contract will require time and energy from our members.
  • The full terms of the contract cannot be known ahead of time (e.g., how contributions are allocated between denominations, whether holy unions are permissible in the church, whether openly GLBT pastors may be called).
  • Maintaining unity and balance between the denominations may be challenging.


  • Needs to be approved by the Annual Conference, with written approval from the District Superintendent, a majority of the district superintendents, and the bishop of the Northern Illinois Conference.



  1. Leave the UMC to join UCC or CC/DofC: We, the Broadway United Methodist Church (BUMC), shall create a Transition Team to guide our community's exit from the United Methodist Church, including the creation of a timeline, and our organization as a new congregation in either the United Church of Christ (UCC) or Christian Church/Disciples of Christ (CC/DofC). We direct the Nominations Committee to appoint members of the Transition Team, who will coordinate with the appointed Broadway pastor and in turn appoint members to committees such as Building, Staffing, Budget, Fund Raising, Liaison, and other committees as become necessary.


  • We discontinue our connection with the United Methodist Church and its exclusive policies regarding sexual orientation.
  • We are free to receive openly GLBT pastors.


  • We are free to conduct both weddings and holy unions in the church and by the pastor.


  • Joining a new denomination and creating a new church will require time, energy, and increased financial commitment from members.
  • We risk the immediate loss of Pastor Dell.
  • Our new UCC or CC/DofC congregation may need to operate without a pastor during the early stages.
  • Finding and supporting a full-time pastor may be challenging.
  • We lose our building, its contents, and our monetary assets.


  • Members who cannot in conscience leave the UMC are likely to leave the BCC.



  1. Radical Resistance: We Are The Church: We, the Broadway United Methodist Church (BUMC), shall overturn the current weddings/holy unions policy and commit to conducting services of holy union in the church by any nonviolent means. We direct the Nominations Committee to form a Resistance Committee, which will form subcommittees as necessary to create strategies for:
  • Receiving requests for holy unions and arranging for clergy to conduct them
  • Planning direct actions to bring about ordination of openly GLBT pastors
  • Planning protests associated with retaliatory actions from the UMC
  • Mobilizing allies within and outside the UMC
  • Handling media relations
  • Making contingency plans in the event that we could be forced out of the building

We further direct the Staff Parish Committee to express to the Bishop and the District Superintendent that pastors will be received in peace and fellowship, but that we cannot be deterred by the potential of charges being brought against them from providing the same blessing on holy unions as on legal marriages. We will continue to keep covenant with the UMC in all other ways, including paying apportionments.


  • We demonstrate our Christian belief that we have nothing to hide regarding the integrity of our fully inclusive ministry in our community context.
  • We continue our connection with the UMC as long as possible.
  • We continue to work for change of restrictive policies in the UMC regarding sexual orientation and take our efforts to create systemic change to a new level.
  • If the UMC responds by removing our membership, prosecuting our pastors, or taking possession of our church home, it will bring the denomination's intolerance to national attention.


  • We risk losing our building, its contents, and our monetary assets; this may be another way to leave the UMC.
  • We risk conflict with pastors and a revolving door of pastoral leadership.
  • Open conflict with the denomination and the stress of media attention could create conflict within the Broadway Church Community.


Annual All Church Meeting

On January 14, Broadway will have its Annual All Church Meeting following the 10:40 worship service and a free-will-offering lunch in the church basement. The meeting will convene at approximately 1:30 pm in the sanctuary.

Attendance and participation in discussion is open to all members, constituents and friends of Broadway Church. Voting is restricted to members of Broadway United Methodist Church and to clergy members whose Charge Conference membership is with the congregation. Among the items on our agenda will be:

  1. A review of our work and ministry in 2000
  2. Action on removal of members who have been inactive for at least two years
  3. Recognition of members inactive for at least one year
  4. Election of officers, chairpersons and members of committees and work areas for 2001
  5. Action on the candidacy for ordained ministry for Lisl Heymans (two-thirds vote, written ballot required
  6. Action on the report of "Broadway’s Future" Task Force regarding BUMC’s future relationship with the UMC denomination
  7. Such other matters as may be raised from the floor on the day and time of the meeting

Presiding at the meeting will be Bishop Joseph Sprague, the presiding Bishop of the Chicago area of the United Methodist Church. By Discipline All Church (Charge) Conferences must have as a presiding officer, an elder in full connection in the United Methodist Church. While most often that is the district superintendent, other elders may be designated by the superintendent to fulfill that responsibility. At our district superintendent, Dr. Marti Scott’s request, Bishop Sprague has agreed to preside over our annual meeting.

Please be sure to read other newsletter articles regarding the report of the "Broadway Future" Task Force and issues regarding the All Church Meeting.



There were 21 new members who joined our congregation in December. This was the largest percentage of a Membership Exploration Group joining the church in the last five years (21 of 22 explorers). Be sure to welcome the folks as you see them!

New members are: Bryan Barlow, Sean Barlow, Timothy Barnes, Megan Therese Burns, Todd Cheatham, Freddy DeJesus Jr., Maurice Gillespie, Stephen Zachary Gruoner, Kelly Hardin, Erich Heintzen, Lisl Heymans, Martha Irvine, Jayne Kamau, Jessica Lanston, Tami Marron, Chuck Mezroblan, Sara Murphy, Helen Nagel, Ron Reason, Kristen Schwiesow and Leo Stopa.



Broadway’s Literary Group is pleased to announce its meeting schedule for 2001. Readings will be held monthly on alternating Monday and Tuesday evenings from 7 to 9 pm in the church library. The first reading will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 30. Hopefully this more convenient time will allow more Broadway members and friends to have the opportunity to share their favorite literary passages.

For schedules or information contact

Mark Van Hyning

(773) 736-5968

Guaranteed to Entertain



Chicago House Honors

Jim and Marjorie Harris received the "Volunteers of the Year" gift award from Chicago House on Dec. 6 at the organization’s annual dinner for volunteers. Each week, the Harris’ spend one night a week helping in the Supportive Living Program at Chicago House, as well as giving to that organization in many other ways.

Jim provides massages to the participants, and often serves as a spokesperson for Chicago House to other organization. Majorie is famous for cooking up delicious meals, and for her warm, nurturing personality. Both of them make Chicago house feel like a home, according to Ellen Ziegert, Program Volunteer Manager.

"It tickles me to no end to honor Jim and Marjorie for all they do," Ziegert says. "It’s really ‘family night’ when the Harris’ are there. They are great role models for everybody, including other volunteers and staff."

Congratulations to Jim and Marjorie, who also make many wonderful contributions to life at Broadway UMC.

"It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything." – Joseph Stalin


BUMC Inclusive Language Policy/Guidelines

For the past year the Worship Committee has worked long and hard to try and revise Broadway’s Inclusive Language policy to be inclusive of all that Broadway represents. As a committee, we looked at this as a mission statement for our worship. We tried to answer the question to what do we aspire to be. You will notice many deliberate changes to be more inclusive, not just in relation to gender and sexual orientation. The committee worked to develop a comprehensive policy and we commend the Broadway community for adopting it. We would like to thank you the entire committee for the long hours it put in each month, but especially Paula Dempsey and Marlyse Wiebinga for their work in writing, editing and reediting the policy over these past months. We also would like to thank this greater community for challenging us to do this. It has been a much larger task than we anticipated, but we all believe it has brought us to a better understanding of who we are. Talley Hann & Robb Fanning Worship Committee Co-Chairs.

The following guidelines for use of inclusive language apply to all liturgical materials, sermons, church schools and other educational materials, statements and other documents produced by and used within the congregation. They are offered for use by those preparing or revising such pieces.

  • In general, anything newly written should use inclusive language, but material with traditional or classical value (e.g., Handel’s Messiah) need not but may be altered. If it is necessary to revise an existing work, be aware of context and use discretion when the author’s intent is unclear.
  • Choir anthems, solos, congregational hymms and other presentations of historical or classical music require special attention.
  1. Make every effort to use music that is inclusive
  2. Revise music that can be made inclusive with minimal editing. Exclusive verses may be omitted, or a note may be placed in the bulletin offering inclusive alternatives to specific words.
  3. Present works with a particular historical or classical value as written, and try to balance them with inclusive music.
  • References to humanity should be gender-inclusive and recognize diversity in sexual orientation. References to known gender may be used. However, if a term applies or should apply to both men and women, generic terms or a combination of terms should be used. References to personal relationships should acknowledge GLBT relationships (i.e., wives, husbands, partners). Some possibilities below:

Man/Mankind: humanity, people, persons, humankind, women and men, folk, one, anyone, everyone.

Brothers/Brotherhood: sisters and brothers, family, community, sisterhood/brotherhood, kindred, communion

Sons: children, daughters and sons, offspring, heirs, inheritors

  • References to humanity should acknowledge and celebrate a diversity of ableness and age.
  • References to God, the Reign of God, and the Holy Spirit should be inclusive. This might require balancing complementary male and female terms, but single-gender images should not stand alone. Likewise, symbols embodying evil or good should not be attributed to one color or one gender. Ideas for neutral substitutions follows:

King: ruler, sovereign, leader

Father: God, Creator, Mother, Sovereign, Parent, Father/Mother


Lord caps/lower: do not translate as Yahweh, God or Elohim; but as sovereign, ruler

Alternative Images: The First and the Last, Fountain of Life, Friend of the Poor, Giver of Love, High and Holy One, Mighty Redeemer, Ruler of the Universe

Blackness/Darkness: gloom, shadow

Whiteness: brightness, light

  • References to Jesus of Nazareth should remain gender-specific, given that Jesus was a male human being. However, in speaking of the incarnation of God or Jesus the Christ without specific reference to the earthly life of Jesus, one should use inclusive language to avoid suggesting that God’s act of salvation was dependent on the gender of the historical Jesus. In these cases, male pronouns should be avoided and the name Jesus or an inclusive title like Christ, Savior or Lamb of God should be used. Discretion and common sense are advised in this ambiguous areas.


Inclusive changes should be made in the following exclusive titles:

Son of Man: Child of Humanity, Human One

Son of God: Child of God

Lord: Rabbi, teacher, sovereign

  • Making scriptural and other readings inclusive may present special problems. Following are guidelines:
  1. Make every effort to select readings that are already inclusive. Verses may be omitted if desired
  2. If it is necessary to choose a text that is not inclusive, include a note in the bulletin offering an inclusive substitution
  3. Many existing texts defy revision because of their inherent exclusiveness. If it is impossible to make a revision that remains faithful to the author’s intent, such work should be avoided. However, readings that are not inclusive but that have a particular historical or classical value should be used without revision
  4. The term Hebrew Bible or First Covenant should be used rather than Old Testament to refer to the first section of out scriptures. The intention is to convey respect and connectedness and to avoid communicating an attitude of superiority or replacement (i.e., the "new" is "better than" or "takes the place of" of old).
  • Language or symbols denigrating other faiths and religious traditions must be avoided.

Statement of Purpose

At BUMC, we define inclusive language as terms and imagery that recognize and affirm the full range of diversity among persons engaged in the communication process. Throughout history, the language of Christianity has often excluded or denigrated persons on the basis of many factors, such as age, ethnicity, gender, marital status, nationality, race, physical ability, sexual orientation or size.

So that all persons may feel welcomed and cherished as recipients of God’s grace. BUMC embraces the concept of inclusiveness not only in language, but in all areas of church life and structure. In our language of worship, we claim a Wesleyan theology based on the interplay of scripture, reason, experience and tradition.

In terms of gender, it is clear that Christianity was born into a male-dominated society whose language reinforced such discrimination. In fact, the Christian understanding of God and God’s acts has been dominated by male-oriented imagery and language while ignoring complementary feminine images. The very survival of this feminine imagery is testament to its importance in the life of the church.

We strive to reclaim it within our understanding of God, along with images that transcend gender, in order to truly proclaim the Christ who died for all persons. As the presumption of male gender limits our understanding both of God and of our shared human life, so do presumptions of age, ethnicity, gender, marital status, nationality, physical ability, race, sexual orientation or size. We encourage the use of a variety of images surrounding all of these characteristics that affirm the worth of God’s entire creation.

We know inclusive language has the potential for alienating or offending some persons. We seek wisdom and gentleness is affirming our inclusive theology. Such language can feel awkward to the ear of those familiar and comfortable with traditional language and liturgy. We shrive to improve our ability to use inclusive language gracefully. We realize that purposefully using inclusive language is a process. During this ongoing process, we become more aware of the variety of meanings that our words convey as we move toward full inclusion.


Claiming The Promise

The Lakeview Coalition Welcoming Churches (LCWC) invites you to join a new bible study titled "Claiming The Promise" that will examine the bible and sexuality. The bible study will provide a unique opportunity to expand your own understanding of the bible, interact with others of different faith backgrounds, and enjoy the fellowship of other Christians.

The "Claiming The Promise" bible study was created by the ecumenical Reconciling Congregation Program, in cooperation with major organization Christian churches. The Lakeview Coalition of Welcoming Churches is an ecumenical, Christian organization that includes Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian and other welcoming faith denomination.

The study will be held over seven 90-minute sessions. Jen Peterson, a veteran leader of the "Claiming The Promise" bible study, will lead this study and be supported by Rev. Dell of BUMC.

Please consider participating in this very important bible study – and inviting your friends and fellow members to attend. If you are interested in participating in this study or would like more information, please RSVP to David Kolner of Resurrection Lutheran Church, (773) 871-7524 or dkolner@aol.com

Dates: Bible study will be held on Mon. nights, through Easter on an every-other-week basis, with the exception of the first two sessions, which will be held weekly. 7:30-9:00 pm Mondays: Jan. 22& 29, Feb. 12 & 26, March 12 & 26 and April 9.

Location: BUMC at Buckingham & Broadway with parking available


A Sunday School teacher challenged her children to take some time on Sunday afternoon to write a letter to God. They were to bring their letter back the following Sunday. One little boy wrote, "Dear God, We had a good time at church today. Wish you could have been there."















Membership Exploration 2001

Interested in joining Broadway Church? Just like to know a little about us? Membership Exploration is a process which, through a prerequisite for joining the Church, is primarily designed for folks to get to know more about our local church, denomination and Christian faith. The four-week series of meetings is complemented by a number of other activities for the participants. A minimum of three of the four sessions is required as a prerequisite for Church membership. However, the three sessions can be attended from more than one series.

Our next Exploration series begins Jan. 21 and continues the next two Sundays, then skips Feb. 11, and concludes on Feb. 18. Sessions meet from noon to 2 pm. If interested, please speak to Pastor Dell, leave a message on the church answering machine or – if all else fails – just show up!


DUKE U. Oks Union Rites

Associated Press December 6, DURHAM, NC (AP)

Duke University will allow same-sex commitment ceremonies in its famous gothic chapel, a move cheered by some students and criticized by others. Duke President Nan Keohane and the Rev. William Willimon, dean of Duke Chapel, announced Tuesday that they agree with the change recommended by a committee of faculty, staff, students and trustees. "We ought to allow these unions to be celebrated by those clergy who are allowed, by their religious communities, to officiate at such ceremonies," wrote Keohane and Willimon.

Duke is affiliated with the United Methodist Church, which prohibits same-sex ceremonies. But the school said the chapel is a "university facility" not tied to any particular denomination. Duke’s student government issued a report this fall advocating a change in chapel policy "so that all students have access to chapel usage." The report cited Emory, Harvard and Stanford universities, all of which it said allow such ceremonies. Wake Forest University allowed a lesbian couple to hold a same-sex union in its chapel in September.

"Duke is taking a step toward being a more inclusive place," said Karen Krahulik, director of Duke’s Center for LGBT Life.

Bishop Marion Edwards of the NC Conference of the UMC said Tues. that the chapel has never been bound by church policies. But he said the decision conflicts with church’s official stance on homosexuality. "While acknowledging the sacred worth of homsexual persons and calling for their basic human rights and civil liberties, I uphold the teaching of the church that marriage is between one man and one woman," Edwards said in a release. "This issue is not finished," said Eric Adler, a union spokeman.



Do you know that before America can give a religion to the heathen it must have a religion to give?

Do you know that if the Church sleeps while the devil is wide awake America will not have a religion to give?

Do you know that more than half the population of our greater cities is either indifferent or hostile to religion?

Do you know that while the Bible is banished from the schools a Christless learning and literature are taking its place?

Do you know that while Christian parents are dedicating their sons to money-making and their daughters to worldliness the Church is calling for preachers, deacons and deaconesses?

Do you know that while you were folding your hands and holding fast to your dollar, hundreds of mission fields and thousands of your Lutheran brethren are being surrendered to the trinity of all evil – the World, the Flesh and the devil? Proverbs 27:6

Submitted by M Van Hyning, from Church News, Dec 1915,

The Broadway Methodist Episcopalian Church



January Dates

every 8:15 am Early Worship Services, Communion 1" & 3" Sun.

Sunday 9:30 am Adult Education Hour

10:40 am Worship Service, Communion first Sun. of the month

second Tuesday 6:30-7pm Potluck & Church Council

every Wednesday 6:30-7 pm Potluck & Bible Study

second Month 8:40 pm Nativity Bible Study

every Thursday 7:15/9:15 pm Choir Rehearsals

third Saturday 6:30 pm Lakeview Shelter


Mon. Jan. 1 New Years Day, office closed

"Spam" Sun. Jan. 7 Epiphany Sunday

9:30 am Confirmation Class, Pastor’s office

12:30 pm Discernment Session, sanctuary & basement

Mon. Jan. 8 7:00 pm Communications Committee, library

Wed. Jan. 10 7:30 pm Healing Service

NO potluck or Bible Study

Fri. Jan. 12 7:30 pm Discernment Session, sanctuary

Sun. Jan. 14 12:30 pm Annual All Church Luncheon & Meeting

Mon. Jan. 15 7:00 pm Church and World Concerns, Friendship Hall

7:30 pm Trustees Organizational Meeting. basement

Fri. Jan. 19 Leadership Overnight

Sun. Jan. 21 9:30 am Confirmation Class, Pastor’s office

12:30 pm Evangelism Committee, Wesley room

Nuture Committee, basement

Reconciling Congregation Committee, Friendship Hall

Membership Exploration

Mon. Jan. 22 7:30 pm Claiming The Promise Bible Study

Sun. Jan. 28 12:30 pm Membership Exploration

Mon. Jan. 29 7:30 pm Claiming The Promise Bible Study

Tues. Jan. 30 7:00 pm Literary Group

Source: Broadway United Methodist Church

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