February Acts of Love

What can you do? What can your class or group do? What can your church do?

1

Worship

  • Conduct a reaffirmation of the marriage covenant or family blessing service (see examples of this service here)
  • Offer a healing service for LGBTQ, POC, people with disabilities, immigrants, and others marginalized by our Church and society
  • Use Ash Wednesday as a time to confess our participation in harm against members of our own community and those listening in from the outside. Invite people to name particular harm they may have caused (against others or themselves), and name the harm caused by our institutions and communities.
  • Invite people from the LGBTQ community to preach, give testimonies, or participate in worship in meaningful ways
  • Create and use rainbow altar cloths or other displays of solidarity in the sanctuary
  • Study sermons from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Strength to Love. Sing Mark Miller’s “Only Love Can Do That,” which has lyrics from Dr. King’s sermons
  • Lift up stories of LGBTQ persons who have lived out brave and daring love
  • Dedicate a special offering for LGBTQ causes in your local area or nationwide
2

Church

  • Hold a justice-focused prayer vigil
  • Place a #ResistHarm banner or sign in front of your church
  • Create a display telling the story of the struggle in The UMC for equity and justice for all God’s people, and make the display readily visible at your church
  • Start or become a Reconciling Church, group, class, or district group
  • Mentor another group or church in your area through the Reconciling process
  • Create a welcoming statement for your church that includes affirmation of ALL God’s people
  • Host a fundraiser for LGBTQ causes in your local area or elsewhere
  • Host an anniversary party for all couples
  • Offer a marriage encounter course or retreat specifically for LGBTQ couples
  • Host a meal with and for LGBTQ people and/or organizations in your area
  • Display rainbow flags or other signage outside churches and homes
3

Church, Group, or Individuals

  • Make quilts, scarfs or shawls of love for a shelter (a disproportionate number of LGBTQ youth experience homelessness)
  • Mentor an LGBTQ youth
  • Volunteer at PFLAG, Trevor Project, Family Equality Councils, LGBT National Help Center, Human Rights Campaign (HRC), Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), Transgender Law Center (TLC), or another organization focused on the LGBTQ community
  • Work with your community
  • Plan a poetry reading by members of the LGBTQ community and other marginalized persons
  • Create a human rainbow photo of a gathered group of people to post on social media
  • Create safe community spaces for LGBTQ people in your community
  • Create an artistic expression of support for LGBTQ people
  • Display works of art by local LGBTQ artists in your church or community center
  • Attend an event in support of or to learn how to be better advocates for LGBTQ persons and other marginalized people
  • Speak up for and advocate for policies that positively impact the LGBTQ community
  • Share your own story of becoming an LGBTQ-affirming or Reconciling United Methodist with friends, family, and on social media
Acts of Love Planning Guide

Upcoming Events

It is Time, Minnesota

February 24, 2020 7:00 pm
Multiple churches
Hosted by: Minnesota Methodists and multiple churches

Minnesota, last year we declared who are are.  

With a vote of over 85%, we declared we are a church rooted in Jesus, grounded in Wesleyan theology, inclusive of all persons, and engaged in the work of justice and reconciliation.  With a vote of over 80%, we recognized the harm of The Traditional Plan and made a covenant together that we would not perpetuate this harm in any form.  (view legislation here)

Now is the time to lead.  The Minnesota Annual Conference is holding gatherings around the state to hear from you.  We need you to attend - wearing your Minnesota Methodist t-shirt and sharing the need for us to be that just, inclusive church.

Please find a gathering in your area and attend.  
Saturday, February 22, 10 a.m. - Moose Lake United Methodist Church, 301 3rd Street, Moose Lake
Sunday, February 23, 2 p.m. - Grace United Methodist Church, 2615 Clearwater Road, Saint Cloud
Monday, February 24, 7 p.m. - White Bear Lake United Methodist Church, 1851 Birch Street, White Bear Lake
Saturday, February 29, 10 a.m. - Evangel United Methodist Church, 2645 Broadway Avenue N, Rochester
Saturday, February 29, 2 p.m. - Hubbard United Methodist Church, 12150 Broadway Road, Park Rapids
Sunday, March 1, 1 p.m. - Prospect Park United Methodist Church, 22 Orlin Street, Minneapolis
Sunday, March 1, 4 p.m. - Alexandria United Methodist Church, 2210 6th Avenue E, Alexandria
Monday, March 2, 630 p.m. - The Grove - Woodbury Campus, 7465 Steepleview Road, Woodbury
Monday, March 2, 630 p.m. - Hilltop United Methodist Church, 108 S Manitou Drive, Mankato
Saturday, March 7, 2 p.m. - Grand Rapids United Methodist Church, 1701 SE 5th Avenue, Grand Rapids
Sunday, March 8, 4 p.m. - Cornerstone United Methodist Church, 202 N 4th Street, Marshall
Monday, March 9, 6:30 p.m, - Faith United Methodist Church, 1530 Oakdale Avenue, West Saint Paul
We know how schedules get, how busy we all are.  

But we must show up at these events to share we have not forgotten what we declared last year.  We must show up to talk to others.  To be together as one.  To move forward together to be just.  To move forward together to be inclusive.  

It is time, Minnesota.  

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Inclusive Gathering - Resist - Carry On

February 23, 2020 3:00 pm
Avondale UMC
500-40th Street South, Birmingham, 35222
Hosted by: Inclusive Methodists of North AL

Worship celebration designed to affirm and celebrate all we've done and will continue to do in the hard work of inclusion here in North Alabama. We're also hoping this gathering will energize folks who are feeling isolated and alone because of their restrictive contexts.

The service is at 3:00pm at Avondale UMC (500-40th Street South, Birmingham, 35222). Afterward, we will have light refreshments so folks can connect with one another and stay in touch. Please invite your friends and neighbors and encourage them to attend.

A few things to note:
Childcare ... Children are always welcome in worship ... but if you want/need childcare, we'll have nursery for children ages 4 and under. Email me if you'll be using childcare so I can plan accordingly.
Lay Delegates ... If you're a lay delegate to Annual Conference, please plan to meet briefly after worship with other lay delegates to organize yourselves.
Updates ... check out our Facebook event (click here) for updates throughout the week leading up to our gathering. Please share it with your friends and invite them to join us.
Sacred Items ... if you're coming with a group, please bring a special item that will be blessed during the service for you to take home as a reminder of our shared efforts.

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LAMENT - A Worship Service Mourning Church Harm to the LGBTQ+ Community

March 1, 2020 5:30 pm
University United Methodist Church
2915 E 5th St, Tulsa, OK 74104
Hosted by: Boston Avenue UMC, University UMC and other Tulsa area churches

Join us Sunday, March 1 at 5:30 p.m. at University United Methodist Church for "Lament: A Worship Service Mourning Church Harm to the LGBTQ+ Community"

You are also invited to join us prior to the service (from 4 p.m.-5 p.m.) for Cookies and Conversation, an opportunity to get to know other United Methodists resisting the harm of the traditional plan.

This service is part of a monthly worship series hosted by Tulsa-area churches in holy resistance to the Traditional Plan, as we affirm LGBTQ+individuals as beloved children of God.

“The Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said to him, ‘Before the cock crows today, you will deny me three times.’ And he went out and wept bitterly.”LUKE 22:61-62 (NRSV)

In this month of lament, may God open our eyes and ears of so that justice and mercy for all people will be done.

For more information about resistance to the Traditional Plan, and the Resist Harm movement, visit www.resistharm.com

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Minnesota Methodists Conversation with Bishop Karen Oliveto

February 23, 2020 3:00 pm
Anoka United Methodist Church
850 South Street Anoka, Minnesota 55303
Hosted by: Minnesota Methodists

Join Minnesota Methodists and Bishop Karen Oliveto, the first openly lesbian Bishop in the United Methodist Church. Bishop Oliveto will share her thoughts and answer questions on our denomination and the topic of Imago Dei, or Image of God, in this time and place of our church life.

Minnesota Methodist t-shirts will also be available for purchase and pick up at the event.

There is no ticket or RSVP necessary, but for planning purposes please let us know you are coming here.

This event will be live streamed on https://www.minnesotamethodists.org/bishop-oliveto - join us!

#ResistHarm

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#ResistHarm Prayer Event - Ash Wednesday 2020 - Repent and Resist

February 26, 2020 12:00 am
Locations for Repent and Resist Ash Wednesday By District: Blue Rivers: Connection Point, 1333 North 33rd Street, Lincoln, NE Dodge City: online, contact Ashley Prescott Barlow-Thompson at apbarlow@gmail.com to learn more Elkhorn Valley: online, contact Ashley Prescott Barlow-Thompson to learn more. Five Rivers: Osborn Chapel, BU Campus Flint Hills: Reading UMC, Reading AND College Ave UMC, Manhattan Gateway: Great West: online, contact Ashley Prescott Barlow-Thompson to learn more. Hays: online, contact Ashley Prescott Barlow-Thompson to learn more. Hutchinson: online, contact Ashley Prescott Barlow-Thompson to learn more. Kansas City: St. Paul's UMC, Lenexa, KS Missouri River: Saint Paul Omaha Roth Chapel. Use southwest door Parsons: Wesley UMC, Parsons, KS Prairie Rivers: Salina: Topeka: Topeka First UMC, Topeka, KS Wichita West and East: East Heights UMC, Wichita, KS
See FB Page
Hosted by: Great Plains UMC

On Ash Wednesday, we are called to repent of the wrongs we have done, and to seek God's mercy and call to love all. This year Ash Wednesday is on 2/26/2020, which is the one-year anniversary of the passage of the traditional plan. We take this opportunity to repent of harm we have caused, intended and unintended, as individuals and as a Church. United Methodists throughout the Great Plains will gather at sites in each district between 8am and 5pm to offer prayer, song and contemplation as we continue to #ResistHarm. A new person will lead prayers each hour. Saint Paul Benson is hosting the Missouri River District location. Please enter on the Southwest side of the building; we will be located in the Roth Chapel.

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NEXT CONVERSATIONS - United Methodists moving forward toward a church for all God's people

February 15, 2020 10:00 am
Central UMC
201 3rd Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37917
Hosted by: UMCNext-Holston

Are you disappointed by the Traditional Plan and the harm caused to our LGBTQ+ siblings and the entire body of Christ during General Conference 2019? Would you like to learn more about the plans that will be presented at General Conference 2020? Do you want to be a part of a more inclusive UMC? We invite centrist and progressive United Methodists of Holston to gather for a day filled with:
- Teaching - Testimonials - Resources - Conversations
- Worship - Learning - Communion - Vision - Action
#ResistHarm

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Love: A Worship Service Affirming Commitment & Connection

February 1, 2020 1:00 pm
Boston Avenue UMC
1301 S Boston Ave, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74119
Hosted by: Boston Avenue UMC, St. Paul's UMC Tulsa, 13th Street Worship at Boston Avenue

This service is part of a monthly worship series in holy resistance to the Traditional Plan as we affirm LGBTQ+individuals as beloved children of God. Within the service, we will make vows of commitment to each other as a community joined together in our love for each other, and in our conviction to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves

This event is open to all, and includes activity stations and a children’s sermon. We hope to see you there!

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Building An Inclusive Church -- Cincinnati, OH area

February 1, 2020 9:00 am
Epiphany United Methodist Church
6635 Loveland Miamiville Rd, Loveland, OH 45140
Hosted by: Tri-State Reconciling Ministries

This training is being offered for persons in United Methodist congregations who want to learn more about the process for becoming a Reconciling Congregation. A Reconciling Congregation is a local church that publicly and actively welcomes LGBTQ persons and their families. Often these congregations have support groups and fellowship opportunities for LGBTQ persons.
#ResistHarm

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The Current: Inclusive - Relevant - Spirit-FIlled

March 28, 2020 1:00 pm
Christ Church, Bethel Park
44 Highland Rd, Bethel Park, PA 15102
Hosted by: The Current

Have you ever seen a picture of Jesus with his arms folded shut? Typically Jesus is depicted with his arms wide open. What would it look like to be a part of a church that has her arms wide open? On March 28, all who want to live into that reality are invited to gather at Christ Church, Bethel Park. We will be led in a time of inspiring worship, relevant messages, and energizing conversation, as we envision a fully inclusive and theologically diverse United Methodist Church!

We have a host of engaging speakers which include Junius B. Dotson as our key-note guest. Also included is Mitchell Hortert speaking on LGBTQIA+ Safe Spaces, Jane Ellen Nickell speaking on UMC History: Race, Gender & Sexuality, Steven Tuell on Inclusive Biblical Interpretation, Sarah Gallagher and Sarah Speedy on Hear Us: A Young Adult Perspective, and Dawn Hand and Eric Park on General Conference Possibilities and Local Church Responses.

This event will inform and organize participants who affirm ministry with and for LGBTQIA+ persons. More information and registration details can be found at thecurrentwpa.com.

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Roll Down, Justice

January 20, 2020 10:00 am
St. John's UMC
1207 Peabody Avenue, Memphis, TN 38104
Hosted by: UMCNext Memphis

We look forward to gathering with you on Martin Luther King day as we continue to seek God's justice for all of God's beloved community. Please help us share the word and invite your friends and fellow United Methodists to join us on Jan. 20.

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Still Beloved: #ResistHarm

January 12, 2020 6:30 pm
First United Methodist Church of Ann Arbor
120 S. State St., Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Hosted by: The Wesley Foundation at the University of Michigan

12 days in to the new year, we gather to worship and to resist the harm done by the Traditional Plan. We gather to celebrate God’s inclusive love. This evening of worship will include the voices and stories of LGBTQIA+ people of faith, music, and practical ways in which United Methodists in Michigan are responding to and resisting the actions of the UMC. We believe that God loves all people, we believe that all means all!

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Sacred Story - An LGBTQ Christian Retreat

February 28, 2020 8:00 pm
Colby Rancg
Colby Ranch Road, Plmdale, CA 93550
Hosted by: Cal-Pac LGBTQIA+ Task Force

This will be a time for retreat in the mountains with the LGBTQIA young adult community to share in recreation, the arts, friendship-building and story sharing.
We will come together to worship, listen to speakers, participate in workshops, and experience the Creator in the heart of their creation.
#ResistHarm

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Love is Love

January 5, 2020 10:30 am
LA FIRST UNITED METHODIST
1020 south flower st LA
Hosted by: LA First United Methodist

Since beginning pastoral ministry in 2003, it has always been my tradition to celebrate the "Festival of the Christian Home" on Mother’s Day to consider its inclusiveness. This is a United Methodist term, and we can use this as an opportunity to strengthen our homes as a place for living justly, celebrating the fullness of our creation as individuals and families of all compositions.

It has always been true - from Biblical times until today - that families have been expressed in a variety of ways. Many of us have close relationships with our families of origin, but many of us do not and have found ways to create families of choice, form covenant relationships with spouses and partners, and become loving and caring people to children of all ages.

This Sunday at Los Angeles First United Methodist Church, we will offer a Blessing of Families liturgy, in which we all are invited to come forward to be anointed and blessed. This ritual serves both to honor the people who have parented and loved us, and to honor the many ways in which we have created our families.

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#ResistHarm Virtual Action

January 5, 2020 11:00 am
Los Altos UMC
5950 E Willow St., Long Beach CA 90808
Hosted by: Los Altos UMC

On Sunday, January 5, we invite folks to take pictures of themselves, families, friends, groups, pets! (all means all!) with #ResistHarm signs and post them on social media with the hashtag #ResistHarm. You bring your smile for justice and camera and we got the signs!

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Beyond Shame: Creating a Healthy Sex Life on Your Own Terms

February 15, 2020 7:00 pm
Mission Hills UMC
4044 Lark Street, San Diego, CA 92103
Hosted by: Mission Hills UMC, MissionGathering San Diego and SD Pride

Matthias Roberts, queer therapist, author, and host of popular podcast Queerology, will be coming to speak about his new book "Beyond Shame: Creating a Healthy Sex Life on Your Own Terms" at Mission Hills UMC. This event will be in partnership with MissionGathering San Diego, and will include a panel in partnership with SD Pride with faith leaders engaging in dialogue about shame in their particular contexts. #ResistHarm

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Resist Harm Worship Service

January 5, 2020 5:30 pm
Trinity United Methodist Church
1021 W Sycamore St, Fayetteville, AR
Hosted by: UMCNext AR chapter

A worship service to address the intent of the #resistharm. The service will include hymns, prayers, scripture and communion. Childcare will be provided. All are welcome. Reception to follow.

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Renewal of Marriage Vows for All Couples

January 1, 2020 1:00 pm
United Methodist Church of Palm Springs
1555 E. Alejo Road, Palm Springs, CA
Hosted by: United Methodist Church of Palm Springs

We are inviting all couples, gay and straight, to renew their marriage vows and all people (single, partnered, widowed, married non-renewing) to come and stand for love and justice! Officiant is Rev. Jane Voigts

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Meeting with Bishop Johnson

January 1, 2020 4:00 pm
Peninsula-Delaware Conference Resource Center
139 N State St, Dover, DE 19901
Hosted by: UMC Next Pen-Del

Bishop Johnson recently wrote a pastoral letter, in which she stated that she would not refer to trial complaints against clergy for officiating same-sex weddings or being self-avowed practicing homosexuals.

Join us in meeting with the Bishop, as we deliver letters of thanks and support for her decision. She has taken a stand - let's demonstrate that we stand with her!

All supporters are encouraged to write a personal letter. We will organize drop-off points for people who are unable to deliver their letters in person.

You can read Bishop Johnson's full pastoral letter letter here:
https://myemail.constantcontact.com/Pastoral-Letter-from-Bishop-Peggy-A--Johnson.html?soid=1115113910561&aid=7LjssjZRysk

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Epiphany Worship And #Resist Harm

January 4, 2019 2:00 pm
St Paul Benson
5410 Corby St. Omaha, Nebraska 68104
Hosted by: UMCNext, Mainstream and Reconciling Ministries Network

Join us on to celebrate the Epiphany story and reclaim our baptismal vows as we offer ourselves as a living resistance to the Traditional Plan. God calls us, as wise people to go home by another way. Join us for worship, an opportunity to write letters expressing opposition to the Traditional Plan, and learn about resources you can use to join the movement to #ResistHarm in the Great Plains and the United Methodist Church.

Two new helpful websites: www.greatplainsumcnext.com for the Great Plains-curated resource page or www.resistharm.com for more resources and options.

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Resist: A Worship Service Protesting the Harm of the Traditional Plan

January 5, 2020 7:00 pm
Tulsa--St. Paul's United Methodist Church; Oklahoma City--Mosaic United Methodist Church; Lawton--St. Paul's United Methodist Church
Tulsa--1442 S. Quaker Ave; OKC--3130 NW 50th; Lawton--910 NW 38 St.
Hosted by: OKUMC for Equality

This "Resist" worship service is an act of protest to the harm brought by the Traditional Plan (passed at General Conference 2019) which goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2020.

All are welcome to join us for a worship service that will include song, prayer, and a time of collective action as we unite to resist the injustice, discrimination, and harm of the traditional plan, and as we affirm our commitment to the inclusion and acceptance of all God's children especially our LGBTQIA+ siblings.

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Covenantal Celebration of Holy Marriage

December 29, 2019 6:30 pm
First United Methodist Church - Dallas
1928 Ross Avenue Dallas, Texas 75201
Hosted by: First United Methodist Church - Dallas

All married couples are invited to this special worship service celebrating the sacred covenant of marriage, which will be followed by a reception. This service is part of the slate of recommendations from the Church at the Crossroads Commission, which developed FirstChurch’s official response to the passing of the Traditional Plan at the called General Conference this past February.

This will be a worship service where any married couple can reaffirm their vows to one another. A reception in Fiedler Atrium will be held after the service .

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Blessing of Unions

January 12, 2019 10:30 am
Bering Church
1440 Harold St Houston, TX 77006
Hosted by: Bering Church

Bering Church unequivocally denounces the “Traditional Plan” and the portions of the Book of Discipline that discriminate against LGBTQAI+ persons, couples and families. Beginning January 1, 2020, In opposition to the harmful actions of the United Methodist denomination in implementing this plan, Bering Church (formerly referred to as Bering Memorial UMC) will not use “United Methodist” in any of its communications until the discrimination ends.

Additionally, the January 12, 2020, 10:50 am worship service will be a protest against this plan and a celebration and affirmation of all LGBTQAI+ couples and families who are being discriminated against by it. During worship, a special blessing will be offered for all same gender couples and families because they are the ones being discriminated against by the denomination. We will bless, affirm, protest and celebrate in worship and at the reception immediately following the worship service.

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A Different Way

January 5, 2020 11:00 am
Hollywood UMC
6817 Franklin Ave, Hollywood, CA 90028
Hosted by: Hollywood UMC

#ResistHarm worship service. LGBTQ focus and launch of book project which will comprise stories of harm received by LGBTQ people and the healing they have received at Hollywood UMC. Group photo of all those in attendance will be taken all holding #ResistHarm posters. LGBTQ Associate Pastor preaching (also is the LGBTQIA Advocacy Coordinator for the Cal-Pac annual conference). #Resistharm fence line banner will be displayed from 1/1/20.

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#resistharm worship service

January 5, 2020 5:30 pm
First UMC- Little Rock
723 Center Street, Little Rock, AR 72201
Hosted by: Arkansas UMCNext

The service will be lgbtq led, with support from allies. The homily will be delivered by Bonnie Allen, Chicago, IL. Allen is a graduate of Rhodes College, and received her law degree from the University of Florida College of Law. She has a Masters in Theological Studies from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. Currently, Allen is the CEO of the Chicago Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights. All are welcome.

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Great Plains Resist Harm Kickoff

January 4, 2020 10:00 am
Countryside UMC
3221 SW Burlingame Rd, Topeka, KS 66611
Hosted by: Great Plains UMCNext, Mainstream UMC and Reconciling Ministries Network

We will gather for Epiphany worship at Topeka Countryside UMC followed by a trip to the Great Plains Conference office to deliver the letters to Bishop Saenz from the GP UMCNext letter writing campaign. To send a letter, be sure to check out the instructions in the November issue of the GP UMCNext News: https://us3.admin.mailchimp.com/campaigns/show?id=3756829 More info to come.

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Meeting with Bishop Graves

January 6, 2020 9:00 am
AWF Episcopal Office
4719 Woodmere Boulevard Montgomery. AL 36106
Hosted by: AWF RMN Groups and others who want to ResistHarm

On January 6th a group of laity and clergy will be meeting with Bishop Graves. This meeting has been set up with Bishop Graves for 9:00 AM. We appreciate Bishop Graves meeting with us even though he is hosting the SEJ Bishops later that day. Please join us as we meet with him, ask him to be supportive of a more inclusive church, ResistHarm, and so many United Methodists who are opposed to the Traditional Plan and the other discriminatory language of The Discipline. We will also ask him if we could pray for him. This is a difficult time! We need as many people as possible to participate! Please come and be supportive!

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Resist Harm is organized by everyday United Methodists in every corner of the connection and is supported by a number of organizational partners.* To learn more about our partners, visit their websites:
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*The tools, resources, and opportunities posted on Resist Harm have been suggested by people or organizations associated with the movement. They are not necessarily endorsed by all of the partners.
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