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UM Bishop Urges Financial Support For Pro-homosexuality Church Org Opposing Church Law


2. MESSAGE FROM BISHOP MINERVA CARCAÑO

November 15, 2006

Beloved Brothers and Sisters,

The approach of Thanksgiving and Christmas often invites me to remember gratitude and gift in my life, and you might be surprised to learn that my thoughts quickly go to gratitude for our Reconciling United Methodist family. I ask you to join me in sending a financial gift to Reconciling Ministries Network now in gratitude for its faithful witness that we are all permanently and powerfully part of one family by God’s grace and love.

As I remember my life, it is by the grace of God that I am still a United Methodist. When I was 11 and my family moved to north Texas, the racism of the local United Methodist church declared my family to be “unacceptable.” Our Hispanic family found a place in the local Baptist church that every week invited us to join … but I remember my mother saying: “Thank you, Pastor, but we are Methodist.” Powerfully, my mother knew she was permanently part of a church that temporarily excluded her and declared her “unacceptable.” By the grace of God, the church changed, and our family again found hospitality practiced in our own United Methodist family. Through years of struggle and pain, my mother trusted more deeply in her Methodist identity than the pain of momentary discrimination.

Many of those same feelings surface again with discrimination around sexual orientation. The Judicial Council decisions — allowing a pastor to refuse membership according to sexual orientation — are wrong. They caused deep pain and suffering. They hurt many lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, and reminded more people that we are always vulnerable to discrimination, whether due to race, national origin, orientation, economic condition, or any status that differentiates one group from another.

Time and time again, our church excludes, and every time it is wrong … wrong because it directly contradicts the actions of the very one we claim as Redeemer of our lives. Like the disciples’ inability to see Jesus’ vision of a family that includes everyone, some today are not only blind to that redeeming vision, but actively resist the reality that we are all one family.

My sisters and brothers, the world waits and watches to see if you and I act like God’s truth lives within us … whether we have moral will to heal the hurting, and revive the dying.

Uniquely, the Reconciling Ministries Network responds to that world, and challenges a church that resists God’s extravagant love. As we approach Thanksgiving and remember that we are a thankful people, I encourage you to join me and give abundantly to this important ministry of justice that works to open doors for all.

Peace,

Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño

(mailed originally November 15, 2006)

Source: Flashnet! The Reconciling Ministries Network Digest
Wednesday, December 20, 2006

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