February 2020

Love

“Beloved, let us love one another because love is from God: everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love God does not know God, for God is love.”
1 John 4:7-8 (NRSV)

United Methodists believe that God is Love. We believe that every human heart longs to be loved and to love. We yearn to be assured that God loves us, and we seek to grow in our love for God. Therefore, it is all the more tragic that the inclusiveness of God’s love has become the source of division within our Church.

Some United Methodists take the position that the means of God’s grace are available to all people while others believe that some means of grace should denied to LGBTQ persons.

In John 21:15-17, the resurrected Jesus asks Simon Peter three times, “Do you love me?” Three times, Peter replies, “Yes, Lord, you know I love you.”

Jesus instructs: “Feed my lambs. Take care of my sheep. Feed my sheep.”

Not “some of my lambs” or “some of my sheep.” Jesus’ love is radically inclusive, and Jesus teaches his disciples to love the same. His questions to Simon Peter are the same that he asks to all United Methodist clergy.

“Do you love me?”

Every time a clergy person says “yes,” Jesus calls us once again to take care of his lambs so that no harm comes to them. This month the Resist Harm movement is focusing on love. May our love for Jesus and Jesus’ love in us transform our harm into care for LGBTQ children of God and everyone that has been pushed to the margins.

February Acts of Love Ideas

Worship Resources

Song: "We Are"

This song was written for St. Stephen's Norman, a Reconciling congregation, as a Benediction song.

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Recommitment of Baptismal Vows

Reaffirming our baptismal commitments to resisting evil, injustice and oppression is a powerful way to ground our call to resist harm sacramentally; we think it would be especially powerful at the start of the new year.

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Blessing for Marriages (during Sunday worship)

First UMC in Austin, TX uses this blessing during Sunday worship to as a way of praying for all couples. It's designed for use with same-sex couples as well as opposite-sex couples.

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Collection of hymns at queersacredmusic.com

These hymns may be used as appropriate in worship; some of the rounds could be sung at protests. Congregations are welcome to modify lyrics to enhance inclusion as desired.

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Liturgical Greetings

These liturgical greetings are to be used at the beginning of a worship service and can be led by a liturgist or a clergyperson. Each greeting contexts the service with inclusive words of hospitality.

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Jan 5 , 2020 Resist Harm Worship Service

Three similar worship services will be happening in Oklahoma the evening of January 5 as a way to bring our community together and make a statement that the harm inflicted by the Traditional Plan is not acceptable. Through this worship service we will lament, resist, act and hold tightly to hope.

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Covenantal Celebration of Holy Marriage

Use as a separate vow renewal service

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A Liturgy for the Festival of the Christian Home: A Blessing for All People and All Families

This Blessing of Families liturgy, in which we, as individuals, couples, families of choice and families with children, are invited to come forward to be anointed. This ritual as a way to recognize the covenant relationships that existed, but had never had the opportunity of being blessed.

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I Choose Love - Mark Miller

For use by choirs and/or worship ensembles.

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Water Image

This PDF file can be easily converted to a jpeg file

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Blessing of Unions

Use this resource to get ideas on how you could do a vow renewal service/family blessing service. This is a full worship service with Prayer of Confession, Proclamation, Great Thanksgiving and Family Blessing.

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African American Lectionary - LGBTQ+ Sunday Resources

Although this resource is intended for a June celebration, it fits the intersectional themes of resistance to the Traditional Plan, the February ResistHarm theme of Love, and Black History month.

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MLK's sermon "Loving Your Enemies" (and "Only Love Can Do That" by Mark Miller)

Ideas from MLK as sermon inspiration and an anthem from Mark Miller--shared as one way of connecting Black History Month, the theme of love, and our work to resist harm.

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Other Posts

Derick and Tyler

This video was originally produced by Church of the Resurrection for Leadership Institute 2019.
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February 2-8

Gracious God of overwhelming love, tune our hearts to sing your grace. In this season of holy and active waiting, we pray that your unconditional love would provide the very foundation for resisting unjust rules, systems, and structures, which diminish our witness to all your children. Help us boldly proclaim the love you have for […]
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February 9-15

God, your love is everlasting. We can never exhaust it. The more we experience it, the deeper and wider it grows. The more we use it, the more abundantly it flows. Teach us to see every person as someone to love. Give us the will and the opportunity to love generously. Amen. Scripture Readings (Common […]
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February 16-22

Gracious and loving God, we give thanks for the abundant love that you have poured out on us and on all creation. Quicken our hearts and strengthen our wills as we seek to pour out your love and grace on all people. Give us courage to resist those who would narrow your love and limit […]
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February 23-29

Holy God, Creator of love, teach me to love! Where I lack love for you, God, shine a light and sit with me. Where I lack love for my neighbor, shine a light and beckon me forward. Where I lack love for my enemy, shine a light and call me to lay down my arms. […]
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Events

External Resources

Theological Declaration from the Western Jurisdiction

Affirmed at a Western Jurisdiction Summit in November 2020, this theological declaration uses rich biblical and liturgical language, and can be adapted for use in local settings. Read the declaration here.
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Songs for the Holy Other

The Hymn Society has edited and shares this free volume of hymns affirming the LGBTQIA2S+ community. Visit their site to download.
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Liturgy from enfleshed

With a commitment to spiritual and theological depth and the centering of marginalized experiences, conversations, and communities, enfleshed seeks to provide liturgy, devotionals, curriculum, preaching, training, and pastoral care that addresses honestly, tenderly, and directly, the beauty and pain of living enfleshed lives.
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