September Chapter Meeting – Thursday, September 12

Vision Of A Fully Inclusive Church

The movement for a fully-inclusive UMC is growing.  About 500 people attended the Reconciling Ministries Network’s 12th ChurchquakeAnnual Convocation in Chevy Chase, MD on Labor Day weekend.  Eighteen of our own Southwest Texas Conference Methodists will participated in opportunities for worship, Bible study, singing, conversation, and action to support full LGBTQ inclusion in The United Methodist Church. The Convocation, entitled Churchquake–Embracing Freedom, uses Acts 16:25 as the inspiration for the meetings:

About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was an earthquake, so violent that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened.

Mary ann 2At our MFSA meeting on Thursday, September 12, some of the attendees will reflect on their experiences at Convocation.  Mary Ann Barclay, Youth Director and Justice Associate at University UMC in Austin, will share her dreams for a fully inclusive UMC.  Mary Ann, who will attend the event for the first time, will marry her partner, Annanda Barclay, at a private ceremony during the event.  As you may recall, Mary Ann was a candidate for ordained ministry in The UMC, when she was preemptively rejected by the Board of Ordained Ministry on June 6, 2013 without an interview. An appeal to Bishop Dorff did not alter the decision of the Board of Ordained Ministry, and it will now go to the Judicial Council.  Her response to this was in the RMN Blog (June 14, 2013),

“I have a path in front of me and it is up to me to be faithful to it regardless of the obstacles. The UMC has one too. And so do all of its members. Eventually these paths intersect and we all meet face to face with choices. Do we remain faithful to the path of love and justice God  has put before us even if it costs us? Or do we listen to the noise around us which drowns out the voice of the Divine?” 

JoyJoy Butler, chair of the Southwest Texas Ministries Reconciling Ministries Team, will also share her reflections of the love and joy experienced at Convocation. Joy has been the SWTX Conference’s main organizer and motivator for the local movement for a fully inclusive UMC. Joy is also the chair of the Saint John’s Reconciling Ministries Team and attended the 2012 General Conference as a Love Your Neighbor volunteer.

Come hear the powerful witness of Mary Ann, Joy, and other attendees.

Please join us on Thursday, September 12 at 7:00pm (6:30pm snacks & conversation) at Saint John’s UMC in Austin, 2140 Allandale Rd., as we continue our journey toward social justice. Questions? Contact Rowland Curry rcurry@austin.rr.com.

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