Reconciling Ministry at UUMC, affiliated with the Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN)
Jesus calls us to practice and promote the love of God in every relationship. As a progressive, inclusive, and reconciling church, University United Methodist Church (UUMC) acknowledges that all persons are of sacred worth, and we welcome everyone without regard to race, color, sexual orientation, national origin, physical ability, status, or economic condition. We believe that the Gospel of Christ advocates “good news” for all people, particularly those who are oppressed and marginalized by society.
For this reason, UUMC stands in opposition to discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) persons. We call for the removal of language in the Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church that states that the practice of homosexuality is “incompatible with Christian teaching” because it is not supported by scholarly interpretation of Scripture, Tradition, Experience, and Reason. We publicly proclaim our belief that Christ’s Gospel declares God’s grace is freely given to all people and empowers them to receive all the services of Christian ministry provided by the church.
Our journey toward becoming a reconciling church began in August 2010 when the Church Council formed a Reconciling Ministry Committee. Its task was to build upon the many UUMC small-group Reconciling initiatives established over the previous ten years and facilitate discussions around the possibility of UUMC becoming affiliated with the national Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN). Over a six-month period, the Committee organized an eight-week Sunday school study on the Bible and homosexuality, presentations to existing Sunday school classes, a roundtable forum with retired clergy, a lecture by noted Bible scholar L. Michael White, and two open forums for church member discussions. In February 2011, at a special church conference supervised by District Superintendent Rev. Bobbi Kaye Jones, 94 percent of UUMC members present voted to affiliate with RMN and become a positive voice in the United Methodist Church for the full inclusion of GLBT persons
Our Church family recognizes there is still much work to be done, both inside and outside our walls, to move closer to God’s dreams for a world in which everyone is treated the same. We will remain steadfast in that vision.
Join us in ministry. Join us in worship. All are welcome.
University UMC now a member of RMN
University United Methodist Church (UUMC) has a long and storied history of supporting social justice causes and advocating for the inclusion of all people in the life and ministry of the church. Our Reconciling ministry joins the UUMC Church and Society Council, which coordinates the work of groups within the church that advocate for racial reconciliation, environmental awareness and action, political action on behalf of our most vulnerable citizens, and support for Austin Interfaith, iACT, and the Methodist Federation for Social Action (MFSA). Affiliating with the Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN) represents only the most recent public witness to our commitment to full inclusion.
Our path to becoming a Reconciling congregation began with small-group activism and witness almost a decade ago. One by one over those ten years, UUMC Sunday School classes declared themselves to be affiliated with the Reconciling Ministries Network. Other groups within the church—UMW Circles and “Homerooms” (member gatherings by zip code) — followed, each independently joining RMN in a gesture of solidarity with and outreach to Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT) persons.
As the numbers of these affiliating groups grew within UUMC, so did interest in making a church-wide public statement. In August 2010, the Church Council formed a Reconciling Ministry Committee to build upon the small-group work, initiating and facilitating discussions about the possibility of an affiliation with RMN. To that end, the Committee planned and presented a six-month program. Events included an eight-week adult Sunday School class titled “The United Methodist Church and the ‘H’ Word,” presentations to existing Sunday School classes, a roundtable forum with our retired ministers, films, a Bible study led by noted Bible scholar L. Michael White, and two open forums for church members to discuss the implications of RMN affiliation. At a February 2011 called church conference, 94 percent of the UUMC members present voted to join RMN and become a positive voice in the United Methodist Church for the full inclusion of GLBT persons.
From the beginning of this journey, we have declared our opposition to discrimination against Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender persons as stated in the Book of Discipline. We call for the removal of language that states that the practice of homosexuality is “incompatible with Christian teaching” because it is not supported by scholarly interpretation of Scripture, Tradition, Experience, and Reason. We believe that Jesus calls us to practice and promote the reconciling love of God in every relationship and that UUMC, as a progressive and inclusive church, has a responsibility and a calling to welcome everyone. Everyone.
We publicly proclaim our belief that God’s grace is freely given to all people and empowers them to receive all the services of Christian ministry provided by the church. We recognize that there remains much work to be done, both inside and outside our walls, to reconcile with those who have felt marginalized and oppressed by the church. We are committed to that work and to the vision of a world in which the sacred worth of all people is acknowledged and honored.
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