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 Rocky Mountain UM Youth Homosexualized By Western Jurisdiction's Example

From: U.M. Cornet [mailto:umcornet@hotmail.com
Sent: Monday, November 20, 2000 8:59 AM 
To: UMCalledOut@egroups.com 
Subject: [CALLED OUT] We Will Not Be Silent

CALLED OUT INFORMATION SERVICE From Rev. Jennifer Gorman of Rocky Mountain Annual Conference


Press Release For Immediate Release Contact: Rev. Jennifer Gorman (303) 898-2807 or (303) 203-7444


Estes Park CO (Nov 4). Youth delegates from churches in the Rocky Mountain Conference of the United Methodist Church accept a petition which calls for non-discrimination and advocacy work with and towards gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered persons.

The vote took place at the Youth Leadership Conference held this past weekend in Estes Park Colorado, the theme of which was, "A Cross of Many Colors." The petition, presented by Sonya Bettendorf and JoAnn Timko, reads as follows, 'As youth of the Rocky Mountain Conference we propose adoption of the following statement, 'we will not accept discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender persons and therefore we will work toward their full participation at all levels of life in the church and society.'"

The petition is now a resolution which will be written in the Conference

Council on Youth Ministries (CCYM) by-laws and resolutions publications. The by-laws and resolutions govern the CCYM of the Rocky Mountain Conference.

The idea and format of the petition emerged from a statement passed by clergy and laity at the Western Jurisdictional Meeting in July 2000. This body unanimously approved the, "We Will Not Be Silent." statement. A full copy of that statement follows this text.

The statement, "We Will Not Be Silent," and the youth petition both remind us of the call of the prophet Micah to "love kindness, act justly, and walk humbly with our God," (Micah 6:8) and of Jesus teaching us to 'love your neighbor as yourself." (Luke 10:27, Matt 22:39, Mark 12:31).

"The youth understand the meaning of a rainbow colored cross. Any person, any color which is excluded from this cross, makes the rainbow less complete. The passing of this petition celebrates all colors of the rainbow and can serve as an example for other people, in other parts

of the country to follow. I am very proud of the youth of Rocky Mountain Conference, " says Reverend Jennifer Gorman, a clergyperson who

worked with the youth on drafting the petition.

The youth also pledged to honor the voices of those in disagreement with

this approved petition and promise to continue to be in dialogue, recognizing this creative tension is part of our walk together.

One youth remarked after the petition passed, "It is cool that so many people care about this issue. It shows that youth are going somewhere and that things are happening. Maybe we can influence some people who are indifferent and help make things better for everyone."

In presenting the petition, the youth acknowledge the sentiments of the Jurisdictional Conference by recognizing that certain actions of General

Conference 2000 caused great hurt and injury for individuals, communities and congregations. The United Methodist General Conference voted during its May 2-12, 2000 meeting to uphold the denomination's policies against the practice of homosexuality.

Joanie Knudson, Director of Youth Ministry at First UMC Boulder says, "The youth in attendance from our church were thrilled about the passing

of this resolution. We are proud to be a part of the Rocky Mountain Conference and look forward to continuing to speak the message that ALL persons are welcome at the table of God's abundant grace."

"The votes may have been cast[at General Conference], but we lift our voices in support of all God's Children", rationale from the petition said. The voice from Rocky Mountain Conference youth is one of inclusion.

WE WILL NOT BE SILENT A DECLARATION FROM THE WESTERN JURISDICTION Meeting in Casper, Wyoming, July 12-15, 2000 We of the Western Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church have heard the call of the prophet Micah "to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God." We have heard Jesus' invitation for all to come to the banquet table of God's abundant grace. Certain actions of General Conference 2000 have caused tremendous pain for individuals and communities and have resulted in an attempt to suppress our prophetic and pastoral ministries among all people, regardless of sexual orientation. The votes may have been cast but our voices will not be silent. Our jurisdictional vision calls us to be "a home for all God's people, gathered around a table of reconciliation and transformation." Affirming the statement of United Methodists of Color for a Fully Inclusive Church, "We acknowledge that there may be differences of opinion among us, but this does not require that we wait on justice." We cannot accept discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender persons and, therefore, we will work toward their full participation at all levels in the life of the church and society. Valuing the voices of those who disagree, we will continue to be in dialogue as we journey together in creative tension. We will continue to be in ministry with all God's children and celebrate the gifts diversity brings. We will continue to feast at table with all God's children.

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