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Pro-homosexuality UM's Join Bishops To Homosexualize UMC At Next Church General Conference


From: "RMN Flashnet" <flashnet@rmnetwork.org>
To: <bassdrone01@bellsouth.net>
Sent: Monday, January 30, 2006 3:03 PM
Subject: RMN Flashnet 2006-01-30

Flashnet!

The Reconciling Ministries Network Digest Monday, January 30, 2006

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RMN MISSION STATEMENT: Reconciling Ministries Network is a national grassroots organization that exists to enable full participation of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities in the life of the United Methodist Church, both in policy and practice.

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1. Eight New Reconciling Communities-Regional, Campus, and Congregations

2. Virginia Bishop and BOOM File for Reconsideration of 1031 and 1032

3. General Conference Petition: To Prohibit Discrimination in Receiving Members into the UMC

4. General Conference Petitions: Resolving Certain Issues of Discrimination in the UMC

5. Adapting Petitions for Your Annual Conference

6. Let us pray with you

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1. EIGHT NEW RECONCILING COMMUNITIES-Regional, Campus, and Congregations

Since October 31 and the Judicial Council decisions, ten congregations and five groups have publicly made a Reconciling commitment. This is a momentum of both numbers and location. These congregations/communities represent 10 different states and the District of Columbia. Check www.rmnetwork.org and the "Resources" page to find ideas to use in your area.

In December we listed seven, here are 8 more:

** New Community UMC in Oakhurst, CA is a newer congregation, founded in 2003 in the Fresno District. They offer three Sunday worship services and see about 200 worshipers each week. They describe their mission hope as "Living out God's Love by Embracing Diversity, Seeking Justice and Changing Hearts". Their ministries include mission trips, a thrift store, and lots of music. www.newcommunityumc.net

** Edgewater Emmanuel UMC in Minneapolis, MN actually voted before the judicial council ruling in October. They already realized that a public welcome is helpful to church-seekers. A portion of their welcoming statement says, "Specifically, being a Reconciling Congregation sends a direct message to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Christians; and to their friends and families, that Edgewater Emmanuel is a faith community that is open and welcoming of all persons; that we are a place of peace and justice. www.eeumc.net

** Church of the Three Crosses, Chicago, IL is a federated church of the UMC and the United Church of Christ. It was actually an Evangelical United Brethren congregation before the merger into the UMC. They are active in their Chicago neighborhood offering space and ministry to many. Besides listing those to be included, they add "We welcome all people to share in the life, leadership, ministry, fellowship, worship, sacraments, responsibilities and blessings of participation in our congregation." They voted unanimously and joyfully to dually affiliate with Open and Affirming (UCC) and Reconciling (UMC) movements. www.churchofthethreecrosses.org

** Collegiate UMC and Wesley Foundation, Ames, IA. This Statement of Reconciliation was actually approved in 2000 after a process of study, prayer, and growing understanding. "We believe that, in God's view, all human beings are persons of sacred worth. All are recipients of God's love and grace and deserve our love." With a boost by the recent Hearts on Fire convocation, a Rainbow Vision Team was established and a decision to publicly affiliate with RMN was made. This congregation has over 1000 members plus a vital campus ministry with Iowa State University students. www.cumc-wf.org

** Magnolia UMC, Seattle, WA. This is a very small congregation that welcomes all people regardless of age, race, status, mental or physical ability, or sexual orientation to live and grow in God's love, and to participate in Christian worship, mission, and fellowship. They intend to communicate and make true the catchphrase of "Open Doors, Open Minds, Open Hearts."

** Sine Nomine Class, Travis Park UMC, San Antonio, TX. The mission at Travis Park UMC is the practice of unconditional love and justice. Their website speaks of compassion, commitment and curiosity. This Sunday School class has taken a next step by declaring a Reconciling welcome, ". (We) wish to celebrate all of God's creation including our human family's diversity of sexual orientation, gender identity, race, ethnicity, age, faith history, economic status, marital status, physical and mental ability, education. Our list could go on, but whoever you are, the list includes you!" They further state, "We are saddened by the stand of the UMC regarding the status of our GLBT brothers and sisters." www.travispark.org

** East Ohio Reconciling Ministries Network has been active for years. They offer a bimonthly worship service that rotates in location, they produce a newsletter and they have been very active at their Annual Conference each summer. After the General Conference in Cleveland (East Ohio), they were especially committed to a show of resilient faith and hope as they organized a parade through conference. They have fresh plans ready for this year. To join in the work and witness, contact Grace at gaberlo@aol.com.

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2. VIRGINIA BISHOP AND BOOM FILE FOR RECONSIDERATION 1031 &1032

(A UMNS Report By Neill Caldwell) United Methodist leaders in Virginia have filed requests for reconsideration of two Judicial Council decisions that have stirred debate within the church on the issues of homosexuality and pastoral authority.

Bishop Charlene P. Kammerer, who leads the Richmond (VA) Area, and the Virginia Annual (regional) Conference Board of Ordained Ministry [BOOM] have separately filed motions for reconsideration of Decisions 1031 and 1032. Both rulings relate to the Rev. Ed Johnson, senior pastor at South Hill (Va.) United Methodist Church, who was placed on involuntary leave last summer by the clergy executive session of the Virginia Conference for refusing to admit a practicing gay man into membership at the church.

At its Oct. 26-29 meeting in Houston, the Judicial Council ruled in favor of Johnson, reinstating him with all salary and benefits. As a result, Kammerer reappointed Johnson to South Hill Church.

Council President James Holsinger has placed the motions for reconsideration on the non-docket agenda for the court's spring session, set for April 26-28 in Kansas City, Mo. That means that at least five members must agree to reconsider the decisions.

The Rev. Keith Boyette, secretary of the council, has instructed the other parties in these two matters, including Johnson, to file any written response to the motions within 30 days. The motions and briefs will be delivered to the council's nine members for consideration once the 30-day period has expired.

Under Judicial Council rules, only parties directly involved in rulings may file appeals.

"After very careful and prayerful review of the Judicial Council Decisions 1031 and 1032, I made the decision to ask for reconsideration, which is within the rules and procedures of the Judicial Council," Kammerer said in a statement issued Jan 27.

"As a matter of integrity and keeping faith with my understanding of the Virginia case, it is crucial for the Judicial Council to review its own rulings, which have brought harm to the Body of Christ represented in the United Methodist Church," she said.

Errors In The Process:

Johnson's case involved an openly gay man who was participating in the South Hill church and wanted to transfer his membership from another denomination. The man's sexual orientation was a significant part of discussions between the lay person and the pastor, and Johnson ultimately refused to receive the man into membership because he said the man would neither repent nor seek to live a different lifestyle. Johnson's district superintendent contacted the bishop, starting a disciplinary process that resulted in Johnson being placed on involuntary leave last June by a vote of his fellow clergy.

Decision 1031 dealt with how Johnson was disciplined. The council found errors in the process, mainly that the Virginia Conference's board of ordained ministry transformed an administrative complaint into a chargeable offense - which is a judicial complaint - and therefore did not have any authority to take action.

The original complaint against Johnson, "unwillingness to perform ministerial duties," is an administrative complaint under Paragraph 362.2 of the United Methodist Book of Discipline. The council said Kammerer correctly ruled that it was an administrative complaint. In its presentation to the clergy session, however, the board of ordained ministry changed the complaint to a charge of disobedience, which is covered by Paragraph 2702.1(e). According to the Discipline, a board of ordained ministry does not have the authority to consider a judicial complaint.

The more controversial Decision 1032 said the Book of Discipline "invests discretion in the pastor-in-charge to make determination of a person's readiness to affirm the vows of membership." Paragraphs 214 and 225 of the Discipline are "permissive, and do not mandate receipt into membership of all persons regardless of their willingness to affirm membership vows," the council said.

The ruling went on to say that the "pastor in charge cannot be ordered by the district superintendent or bishop to admit into membership a person deemed not ready or able to meet the requirements of the vows of church membership. . The appointed pastor in charge has the duty and responsibility to exercise responsible pastoral judgment in determining who may be received into membership of a local church."

In a Nov. 2 pastoral letter approved unanimously by the Council of Bishops, the church's top clergy leaders disagreed, saying that "pastors are accountable to the bishop, superintendent and the clergy on matters of ministry and membership." The letter also emphasized that "while pastors have the responsibility to discern readiness for membership, homosexuality is not a barrier for membership."

The Rev. Tom Thomas, a Virginia pastor who spoke on Johnson's behalf during oral arguments before the court in October, said that "bishops and district superintendents are not authorized to take charge of the issue of membership. There is no authority to tell pastors who to bring in as members."

Kammerer's Concerns:

In a statement issued Jan. 27, Kammerer cited several concerns related to the decisions. Regarding 1031, she said errors were made in the council's statement of facts; a chargeable offense not listed in Paragraph 2702 of the Book of Discipline was used by the council in its decision; and a statement of background information "was used as if it were a decision of law and the case was treated as a matter of appeal of fair process instead of a decision of law."

With 1032, Kammerer said the Judicial Council did not refer to Article 4 in the church's Constitution regarding inclusiveness, which would have taken precedence over the two paragraphs cited in the decision.

Kammerer also said the church's Constitution "makes a strong declaration that the United Methodist Church is a part of the Church Universal, which is One Body in Christ. The particular layman denied membership was already a member in good standing of the Church Universal. All the United Methodist Church membership ritual calls for is that such a person promise loyalty to the United Methodist Church."

The Book of Discipline does not give discretion to the pastor "to make the determination of a person's readiness to affirm the vows of membership," Kammerer said. The Discipline grants discretion in two specific instances - Paragraphs 216.3 and 224 - and "further application would appear to require the action of the General Conference" - the denomination's lawmaking body, she said. (SNIP)

United Methodist News Service Photos and stories also available at: http://umns.umc.org

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3. GENERAL CONFERENCE PETITION: TO PROHIBIT DISCRIMINATION IN RECEIVING MEMBERS INTO UNITED METHODIST CONGREGATIONS

WHEREAS, the United Methodist Church (UMC) has historically welcomed into membership "all persons without regard to race, color, national origin, status, or economic condition" per Article IV of the Constitution; and

WHEREAS, in its Decision 1032 the United Methodist Judicial Council supported one UMC pastor's refusal of membership to a person seeking membership because of the "aspiring member's sexual orientation and practice", and overruled decisions by the district superintendent, bishop, and the Annual Conference clergy session requiring that the pastor welcome this individual into membership; and

WHEREAS, the UMC Bishops unanimously stated in a November 2, 2005 Council of Bishops Pastoral Letter that "homosexuality is not a barrier [for membership] .and . the General Conference has clearly spoken through the denomination's Constitution on inclusiveness and justice for all as it relates to church membership"; [*1] and quoted from paragraph 161g of the Book of Discipline: ". God's grace is available to all, and we will seek to live together in Christian community. We implore families and churches not to reject or condemn lesbian and gay members and friends. We commit ourselves to be in ministry for and with all persons"; and

WHEREAS, the Council of Bishops Pastoral Letter (Nov. 2, 2005) further affirmed "our Wesleyan practice that pastors are accountable to the bishop, superintendent, and the clergy on matters of ministry and membership"; [*2] and

WHEREAS, the United Methodist Church has implemented the advertising strategy "Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors" which includes a "Diversity Expression" that "by communicating the myriad beliefs and cultural diversity of the church, this expression invites anyone to attend, wherever they are on the journey toward finding a spiritual home" [United Methodist Communication's Website: http://www.ignitingministry.org/advertising/diversity.aspx]; and

WHEREAS, John Wesley preached that the church is the means of dispensing the grace of God to all who seek it; Romans 15:7 says "Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you"; Mark 10:14 says "But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, "Let the children come to me; and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God"; 1 Corinthians 12:13a says "For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body"; Galatians 3:28 says "There is no longer Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus"; and John 13:35 says "everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another;" and

Now, THEREFORE, be it resolved that the ________________ Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church declares that it believes Judicial Council Decision to be in error.

FURTHER be it resolved that paragraph 214 be amended to insert the following sentence after the words "in any local church in the connection" (Par. 4): No person shall be excluded from the United Methodist Church for reasons related to his or her sexual orientation or gender identity.

------------------- [*1] Article IV of the United Methodist Constitution: "Inclusiveness of the Church - The United Methodist Church . acknowledges that all persons are of sacred worth. All persons without regard to race, color, national origin, status, or economic condition, shall be eligible to attend its worship services, participate in its programs, receive the sacraments, upon baptism be admitted as baptized members, and upon taking the vows declaring the Christian faith, become professing members in any local church in the connection." [*2] The rules on accountability are in The Book of Discipline at Par. 304.1i, 306, 307, 325, 326.3, 332, 343.1, et cetera.

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4. GENERAL CONFERENCE PETITIONS RESOLVING CERTAIN ISSUES OF DISCRIMINATION IN THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

WHEREAS, Christians of good faith (including theologians) are not of one mind regarding scripture and the practice of homosexuality; and

WHEREAS, John Wesley in his sermon #39 on 2 Kings 10:15 said: "Though we cannot think alike, may we not love alike? May we not be of one heart, though we are not of one opinion? Without all doubt, we may. Herein all the children of God may unite, notwithstanding these smaller differences"; and

WHEREAS, the United Methodist Discipline 102 of our Doctrinal History states the following: "Beyond the essentials of vital religion, United Methodists respect the diversity of opinions held by conscientious persons of faith. Wesley followed the time-tested approach: 'In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; and in all things, charity.' . The crucial matter in religion is steadfast love for God and neighbor, empowered by the redeeming and sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit"; and

WHEREAS, Romans 14:13-14 says "Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another. I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean"; Acts 10:15b says: "What God has made clean, you must not call unclean"; Romans 15:7 says "Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you"; 1 Corinthians 12:13a says "For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body"; Galatians 3:28 says "There is no longer Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus"; and John 13:35 says "everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another"; and

WHEREAS, "the annual conference is the basic body in the Church and as such shall have reserved to it the right to vote. on all matters relating to the character and conference relations of its clergy members, and on the ordination of clergy and such other rights as have not been delegated to the General Conference under the Constitution." (Par. 33. Article II)

Now, THEREFORE, be it resolved that the _______________ Annual Conference petition the 2008 General Conference to adopt the following seven petitions:

PETITION 1 - CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGE TO ARTICLE IV Paragraph 4. Article IV. Inclusiveness of the Church Financial Implications: None

AMEND ARTICLE IV, AS FOLLOWS: The United Methodist Church is a part of the church universal, which is one Body in Christ. The United Methodist Church acknowledges that all persons are of sacred worth. All persons without regard to race, color, national origin, economic condition, GENDER, GENDER IDENTITY, MARITAL STATUS, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, AND ABILITY shall be eligible to attend its worship services, participate in its programs, receive the sacraments, upon baptism be admitted as baptized members, and upon taking the vows declaring the Christian faith, become professing members in any local church in the connection. In The United Methodist Church no conference or other organizational unit of the Church shall be structured so as to exclude any member or any constituent body of the Church because of race, color, national origin, economic condition, GENDER, GENDER IDENTITY, MARITAL STATUS, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, OR ABILITY.

PETITION 2 - MARRIAGE SOCIAL PRINCIPLES PARAGRAPH 161C "Marriage" Financial Implications: None

AMEND PARAGRAPH 161C, AS FOLLOWS: We affirm the sanctity of the marriage covenant that is expressed in love, mutual support, personal commitment, and shared fidelity between [Delete: a man and a woman] TWO ADULT PERSONS. We believe that God's blessing rests upon such marriage, whether or not there are children of the union. We reject social norms that assume different standards for women than for men in marriage. [Delete: We support laws in civil society that define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.]

PETITION 3 - HUMAN SEXUALITY SOCIAL PRINCIPLES PARAGRAPH 161G "The Nurturing Community: Human Sexuality" Financial Implications: None

AMEND PARAGRAPH 161G, AS FOLLOWS: We recognize that sexuality is God's good gift to all persons. We believe persons may be fully human only when that gift is acknowledged and affirmed by themselves, the church, and society. We call all persons to the disciplined, responsible fulfillment of themselves, others, and society in the stewardship of this gift. We also recognize our limited understanding of this complex gift and encourage the medical, theological, and social science disciplines to combine in a determined effort to understand human sexuality more completely. We call the Church to take the leadership role in bringing together these disciplines to address this most complex issue. Further, within the context of our understanding of this gift of God, we recognize that God challenges us to find responsible, committed, and loving forms of expression.

Although all persons are sexual beings whether or not they are married, WE BELIEVE sexual relations are only clearly affirmed in the marriage bond. We reject all sexual expressions that damage or destroy the humanity God has given us as birthright, and we affirm only that sexual expression that enhances that same humanity. We believe that sexual relations where one or both partners are exploitative, abusive, or promiscuous are beyond the parameters of acceptable Christian behavior and are ultimately destructive to individuals, families, and the social order.

We deplore all forms of the commercialization and exploitation of sex, with their consequent cheapening and degradation of human personality. We call for strict global enforcement of laws prohibiting the sexual exploitation or use of children by adults and encourage efforts to hold perpetrators legally and financially responsible. We call for the establishment of adequate protective services, guidance, and counseling opportunities for children thus abused. We insist that all persons, regardless of age, gender, marital status, or sexual orientation, are entitled to have their human and civil rights ensured. We ENCOURAGE CIVIL AUTHORITIES TO ENACT LAWS THAT WILL ENSURE FULL CIVIL AND ECONOMIC RIGHTS FOR PERSONS IN CIVIL UNIONS AND MARRIAGES WITHOUT REGARD TO THE GENDER OF THE PARTNERS.

We recognize the continuing need for full, positive, age-appropriate and factual sex education opportunities for children, young people, and adults. The Church offers a unique opportunity to give quality guidance and education in this area.

Homosexual persons no less than heterosexual persons are individuals of sacred worth. All persons need the ministry and guidance of the church in their struggles for human fulfillment, as well as the spiritual and emotional care of a fellowship that enables reconciling relationships with God, with others, and with self. [Delete: The United Methodist Church does not condone the practice of homosexuality and consider this practice incompatible with Christian teaching. We] WHILE CHRISTIANS OF GOOD FAITH DIFFER ON WHAT CHRISTIAN TEACHING REVEALS REGARDING HOMOSEXUALITY, WE affirm that God's grace is available to all, and we will seek to live together in Christian community. We implore families and churches not to reject or condemn lesbian and gay members and friends. We commit ourselves to be in ministry for and with all persons. [1]

PETITION 4 - BROADER STATEMENT OF EQUAL RIGHTS SOCIAL PRINCIPLES PARAGRAPH 162H "The Social Community: Equal Rights Regardless of Sexual Orientation" Financial Implications: None

AMEND PARAGRAPH 162H, AS FOLLOWS: Certain basic human rights and civil liberties are due all persons. We are committed to supporting those rights and liberties for [Delete: homosexual] ALL persons, REGARDLESS OF SEXUAL ORIENTATION. We see a clear issue of simple justice in protecting [Delete: their] rightful claims where [Delete: they] TWO PEOPLE have shared material resources, pensions, guardian relationships, mutual powers of attorney, and other such lawful claims typically attendant to contractual relationships that involve shared contributions, responsibilities, and liabilities, and equal protection before the law. Moreover, we support efforts to stop violence and other forms of coercion against [Delete: gays and lesbians] ALL PERSONS, REGARDLESS OF SEXUAL ORIENTATION. [Delete: We also commit ourselves to social witness against the coercion and marginalization of former homosexuals.]

PETITION 5 - QUALIFICATIONS FOR ORDINATION - Delete "self-avowed practicing homosexual" Exclusion Discipline Paragraph 304 "Qualifications for Ordination" Financial Implications: None

AMEND PARAGRAPH 304, ITEM 3, AS FOLLOWS: While persons set apart by the Church for ordained ministry are subject to all the frailties of the human condition and the pressures of society, they are required to maintain the highest standards of holy living in the world. [Delete: The practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching. Therefore self-avowed practicing homosexuals (1) are not to be certified as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve in The United Methodist Church. (2)]

PETITION 6 - UNAUTHORIZED CONDUCT FOR CLERGY DISCIPLINE PARAGRAPH 332 "Unauthorized Conduct" Financial Implications: None

AMEND PARAGRAPH 341, ITEM 6, AS FOLLOWS: [Delete: Ceremonies that celebrate homosexual unions shall not be conducted by our ministers and shall not be conducted in our churches.]

PETITION 7 - REMOVE FINANCIAL RESTRICTION CLAUSE DISCIPLINE PARAGRAPH 806 "General Council on Finance and Administration, Fiscal Responsibilities" Financial Implications: None

DELETE PARAGRAPH 806, ITEM 9: [Delete: It shall be responsible for ensuring that no board, agency, committee, commission, or council shall give United Methodist funds to any gay caucus or group, or otherwise use such funds to promote the acceptance of homosexuality. The council shall have the right to stop such expenditures. This restriction shall not limit the Church's ministry in response to the HIV epidemic.]

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5. ADAPTING PETITIONS FOR YOUR ANNUAL CONFERENCE

Breaking the silence and taking action against discrimination in the UMC directed towards LGBT persons is necessary in every annual conference. As a minimum, some annual conferences may only pass resolutions endorsing the pastoral letter of the Council of Bishops and commending their own bishop of signing it. In addition, support for open membership is necessary regardless of the outcome of reconsideration (See Item 3 of this Flashnet).

Tailor the petitions from Item 4 (of this Flashnet) for your region. You may be able to add some of the petitions in Item 4 to a resolution of commendation. Even the most conservative annual conferences efforts must be made to break the silence. Bringing resolutions will further the conversation regardless of voting outcome.

Two examples of furthering conversation last year: ** In the West Ohio Annual Conference, a parent from Parents Reconciling Network introduced a petition to support the families in caring for their lesbian and gay children. After much discussion, some revealing deep prejudice, the measure passed by a substantial majority. ** In the Texas Annual conference, the Board of Church and Society engaged discussion with a resolution to challenge the language of hate and anger directed at gay and lesbian persons (see below in full).

As we keep our mission before us to achieve full participation of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities in the life of the UMC both in policy and practice, we plan next steps taking the various contexts and regions into consideration.

*A Resolution In Support of Basic Human Rights and Civil Liberties For All Members of Society* (Resolution passed at Texas Annual Conference on June 2, 2005.)

WHEREAS: Recent rhetoric and policymaking efforts in both our nation and state have the potential to engender intolerance, hatred and increased violence toward gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered persons; and

WHEREAS: United Methodist Christians understand these persons to be "of sacred worth" and to be entitled to the "spiritual and emotional care of a fellowship that enables reconciling relationships with God, with others, and with self" (Paragraph 161G, Book of Discipline, 2004); and

WHEREAS: Jesus demonstrated love for all people and especially welcomed those whom society had marginalized (a repeated theme throughout the four gospels); and

WHEREAS: Paul tells us that our holy vocation is to a ministry of reconciliation as ambassadors for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:16-20); and

WHEREAS: United Methodist Christians affirm that "God's grace is available to all," and we "implore families and churches not to reject or condemn lesbian and gay members and friends" (Paragraph 161G, Book of Discipline, 2004); and

WHEREAS: The United Methodist Church asserts that "all persons, regardless of age, gender, marital status, or sexual orientation, are entitled to have their human and civil rights ensured" (Paragraph 161G, Book of Discipline, 2004); and

WHEREAS: The United Methodist Church Book of Discipline, 2004, Paragraph 162H states, in part: "Equal Rights Regardless of Sexual Orientation - Certain basic human rights and civil liberties are due all persons. We are committed to supporting those rights and liberties for homosexual persons. We see a clear issue of simple justice in protecting their rightful claims where they have shared material resources, pensions, guardian relationships, mutual powers of attorney, and other such lawful claims typically attendant to contractual relationships that involve shared contributions, responsibilities, and liabilities, and equal protection before the law. Moreover, we support efforts to stop violence and other forms of coercion against gays and lesbians."

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT: The Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church, its clergy and its members of individual congregations, re-affirm our commitment to live in harmony with God and others, to seek humane treatment of ALL persons as beings of sacred worth, and to act and speak in ways that defuse anger and hatred rather than in ways that fan the flames of hatred, intolerance, and violence.

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6. LET US PRAY WITH YOU

Please let us be part of your support and let us know how we might help. One way is to let us pray for you.

We invite you to send your prayer requests to us and be counted in the weekly offering of joys and concerns. You may call (773-736-5526), write (RMN 3801 N. Keeler Ave. Chicago, IL 60641) or email these requests to prayer@rmnetwork.org.

"Now during those days Jesus went out to the mountain to pray; and he spent the night in prayer to God" ~ Luke 6:12

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The Reconciling Ministries Network is a national network of United Methodist-focused organizations advocating for the full inclusion of persons of all sexual orientations and gender identities into the life of the Church. Founded in 1984, RMN consists of 208 United Methodist congregations, 28 campus ministries, 31 Reconciling Communities, and over 18,000 individuals. Organizations involved include the Parents' Reconciling Network, Reconciling Ministries Clergy, United Methodists of Color, and RMN's student movement, MOSAIC.

For additional information you may contact the Reconciling Ministries Network office at:

Reconciling Ministries Network 3801 N. Keeler Avenue Chicago, IL 60641

773.736.5526 Phone 773.736.5475 Fax

Email: rmn@RMNetwork.org Or visit us on the web at www.RMNetwork.org.

To subscribe to or unsubscribe from this digest please, send an email to Sarah@RMNetwork.org.

To view past issues of the Flashnet digest, visit http://www.rmnetwork.org/flashnet/.

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