Trinity Austin Celebrates 25 Years Reconciling

Tickets available now for our Anniversary Fundraiser

Join us for an evening with Bishop Karen Oliveto – the first openly gay bishop in the United Methodist Church. We’ll celebrate Trinity’s historic vote to become a Reconciling congregation with dinner, a silent auction – and even fun prizes for “best dressed.”

The Trinity community is a radically inclusive church in the heart of Austin, affiliated with the United Methodist Church and the United Church of Christ. For 25 years Trinity has been a leader in the movement to fully include those who identify as LGBTQ in the church.

In 1992, Trinity committed to be a radically inclusive community, and this evening is a fundraiser to help us continue that mission.

Join us Saturday, November 18th
at 6:00pm at the UT Alumni Center

Register using the link below, or if you have any questions or need a scholarship, email 25years@trinitychurchofaustin.org.

GET YOUR TICKETS, BECOME A SPONSOR AND GET A RESERVED TABLE, AND BOOK CHILDCARE – ALL HERE!

Judicial Council Releases Decisions on LGBTQ-Related Items

by Reconciling Ministries Network | Oct 29, 2017 |

As The United Methodist Church Judicial Council gathered in Los Angeles last week, they examined three items related to LGBTQ people, among others on the docket. Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN) and our allies have once again been in prayer since the closed meeting started, hoping that the Judicial Council would take a small step towards recognizing the gifts and graces that LGBTQ United Methodists bring to churches across the connection by issuing rulings that do not allow continued harm. https://rmnetwork.org/judicialcouncil2017/

In this particular set of rulings released from the October docket, the Judicial Council has declared the following:

  1. Constitutional challenge on “incompatible with Christian Teaching” – The Denmark Conference’s question regarding the constitutionality of the “incompatible with Christian teaching” language in the Book of Discipline was untouched by the Judicial Council. They regarded the question itself outside of the authority of the Conference to ask and thus outside of the authority of the Council to rule upon. The language stands.
  2. Ruling of law in Baltimore-Washington – The Council affirmed the ruling of law from Bishop Latrelle Easterling of the Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference which declared that a clergy session cannot vote on a candidate for ministry that the Board of Ordained Ministry (BoOM) has not put forward for that annual conference session.
  3. Ruling of law in Iowa – The Council also affirmed the ruling of Bishop Laurie Haller in the Iowa Annual Conference who argued that it was not within her authority to reopen the complaint process completed by a prior Bishop against Rev. Anna Blaedel for being a “self-avowed practicing homosexual.”

Rev. Anna Blaedel reflected on the ruling by saying, “I am relieved to have this dehumanizing, disempowering process resolved, for now. However, I proudly remain a ‘self-avowed, practicing homosexual.’ I delight in my queerness, and my relationship with my beloved. I lament the use of loopholes to hide any aspect of queer life and love. Queer and trans people are sacred, holy, and fully compatible with Jesus’s teachings, ministry, and witness. Any practice, policy, loophole, or ruling that suggests otherwise is harmful and incompatible with God’s kin-dom.”

Jan Lawrence, Interim Executive Director of RMN, expressed gratitude that the Judicial Council affirmed the ruling in Iowa. She also said, “We rejoice that the Rev. Anna Blaedel no longer has the threat of a charge being reopened hanging over their head. While we celebrate with Anna, we are also saddened that the Judicial Council did not take up the constitutionality of ‘incompatible with Christian teaching’ question asked by Denmark and CalPac, and that the Judicial Council affirmed the ruling in Baltimore-Washington. It is disappointing that the church so faithfully served by LGBTQ United Methodists continues to do harm through its Judicial Council rulings.”

T.C. Morrow reflected on the rulings, “In continuing to respond to God’s call on our lives, my LGBTQ siblings and I follow Christ into all corners of the world and seek to encourage others to do the same.” Lawrence also added that, “It is the ministry of those who refuse to be denied their calling, like Rev. Anna Blaedel and T.C. Morrow, that inspires us to do the work that we do for affirmation and justice in the church.”

As always, the impact of the Judicial Council rulings remains in the hands of United Methodists across the connection. There is no way to simply receive and obey the laws of the church and remain faithful to the way of Jesus Christ as long as discrimination is embedded within the United Methodist Book of Discipline. It is the responsibility of each individual, church, board, and committee to decide how to be in ministry with all people according to Christ’s way of justice and liberation.

Though the church may attempt to “prevent” full inclusion through rulings and legislation, our faithfulness will prevent us from abiding by any rules that destroy! We carry on together in the work of freeing our church from prejudice and its LGBTQ members from being ruled upon as objects of law. We celebrate LGBTQ lives and loves and all who labor for the day when the church does the same.

Austin Pride Parade Rescheduled

Austin PRIDE Festival & Parade

Rescheduled Dates Announced

***PARADE & FESTIVAL RESCHEDULED DUE TO HURRICANE HARVEY: PARADE WILL BE HELD ON SEPTEMBER 30TH & FESTIVAL WILL BE HELD ON OCTOBER 21ST***

In addition to our Featured Beneficiaries this year (Transgender Education Network of Texas and the upcoming Austin LGBTQ Center), a portion of Austin PRIDE Proceeds will be donated to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

 You have come to expect amazing entertainment from Austin PRIDE and this year will be no exception!! Due to rescheduled dates, entertainment line up is being re-confirmed. Once all entertainment is confirmed, we will announce the complete line up.

Discounted tickets will be available online! This year, Festival Tickets purchased in advance will be able to enter the Festival at ANY entrance, including a new Family Zone Entrance.

 Discounted tickets are on sale NOW! Please note: Previously purchased tickets for the 2017 will still be valid for the rescheduled dates.

Want to get into the Festival for FREE? Volunteer! Volunteer registration is currently OPEN! You can register online at austinpride.org

PRIDE EVENT UPDATES:
Austin PRIDE announcements will be released via our Official Austin PRIDE App! Download the Austin PRIDE App for iPhone and Android!

Formed in 2010, The Austin Gay and Lesbian Pride Foundation (AGLPF) is a 100% volunteer-run 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to managing and organizing Austin’s annual PRIDE celebration and Stonewall Tribute.

For more information on this and other Austin PRIDE Week events visit austinpride.org

Festival Vendor and Parade Registration is now OPEN. To register, visit: austinpride.org

*all acts subject to change without notice

 

MFSA Meeting on Thursday, May 11

On Thursday, May 11, we will gather at Saint John’s UMC Austin to discuss recent ruling by the Judicial Council of the UMC regarding Bishop Karen Oliveto.  Many of us have questions about the decision and the impact it may have on our local churches and conferences, the Commission on A Way Forward, and the special General Conference in St. Louis in February 2019.

We invite all clergy and laity to attend a brief presentation followed by discussion and informal Q&A session to gain a better understanding of the impact of the decision.

We are inviting our friends from the Reconciling Ministries Network to participate in this meeting.

Join us at 6:30p for snacks.  The program begins at 7p.  All are welcome.

Judicial Council Rules on Bishop Oliveto

Excerpt from United Methodist Reporter by Linda Bloom, see full story here.

“The consecration of a gay bishop violates church law, the top court of The United Methodist Church has ruled.

However, the bishop “remains in good standing,” the Judicial Council said in Decision 1341, until an administrative or judicial process is completed.

“Under the long-standing principle of legality, no individual member or entity may violate, ignore or negate church law,” said the decision, made public April 28. “It is not lawful for the college of bishops of any jurisdictional or central conference to consecrate a self-avowed practicing homosexual bishop.”

Officials in the U.S. Western Jurisdiction consecrated the Rev. Karen Oliveto as a bishop on July 16, 2016. Based in the Denver area, she is the episcopal leader of the Mountain Sky Area, which encompasses Colorado, Montana, Utah, Wyoming and one church in Idaho.

A petition from the South Central Jurisdiction to the Judicial Council raised four questions about the legality of that election. Judicial Council claimed jurisdiction to review its petition “only with respect to the consecration of an openly homosexual bishop” and said the rest of the petition, related to nomination, election and assignment, “is improper.”

The vote on the decision was 6-3. Judicial Council members N. Oswald Tweh and Deanell Reece Tacha filed a joint dissenting opinion that the council had no jurisdiction over the petition. First lay alternate W. Warren Plowden Jr., who was sitting for council member Beth Capen, and council member Ruben T. Reyes each filed a concurring and dissenting opinion.”

MFSA Works as Part of LYN Coalition at General Conference

The theme for the UMC’s 2016 General Conference was, “Therefore, Go”.  The kindest thing we can say about GC16 is, “it’s gone.”  Our progressive coalition marched, prayed, witnessed, and sang together throughout GC, and while there were a few bright spots, the results of GC were pretty grim.

Thanks to our supporters and over 400 volunteers over the 11 days of GC, many of us sensed the presence of God within our midst.  Unfortunately, we were not able to overturn the unreasonable discrimination practiced by our denomination toward our LGBTQI brothers and sisters.  The GC finally approved a recommendation by the Council of Bishops to establish another commission to study the church’s stance on “human sexuality”.  Only time will tell whether this will produce results, or is just “kicking the can down the road.”

There are many articles being circulated online as we reflect on the events in Portland.
Click here for the UMC News Service’s official wrap-up.

GC_collagePhoto Credits: R Curry, UM News Service, Jim Quinn, Dave Jerde

Reconciling Service Sunday at Saint John’s UMC Austin

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