January 2020


“On entering the house, [the Magi] saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage;…And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their country by another road.”
Matthew 2:11a, 12 (NRSV)

At Christmas, United Methodists celebrate the birth of Jesus as the revelation of God’s inclusive, redemptive love made visible in human flesh. According to John’s gospel, God sent Jesus — the light of the world — so that all of humanity can know the fullness of God’s love.

But in 1972, United Methodist leaders voted that LGBTQ persons are not truly a part of God’s “people” we read about in Scripture. In fact, General Conferences over the years have limited clergy more and more from extending grace to LGBTQ persons. This means that, in order to be in good standing, United Methodist clergy are required to do harm in the name of Jesus.

Lest we forget, God has called and equipped all United Methodists, clergy, and lay, “to resist evil, injustice and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves.”

These days, they present themselves to the LGBTQ community in the forms of rejection, bullying, exclusion, trauma, cruelty, ridicule, abandonment, discrimination, isolation, spiritual exile, and sometimes even death. Some United Methodist clergy have resisted inflicting this harm and have paid a price for doing so, including facing charges and punishment. Some of their names are listed on this website.

These faithful resistors, like the Magi of Epiphany, chose a different path from the one ordered for them. This is our call: do likewise. We must hope that other United Methodist clergy will be encouraged and strengthened to do the same through the resources and opportunities of the Resist Harm movement.

January Advocacy Ideas

Worship Resources

Call To Worship: No Such Law

This Call to Worship prayer was shared by the Reconciling Ministries Network as part of the #NoSuchLaw guide, designed for use in local churches in anticipation of a Judicial Council ruling regarding several issues of consequence to LGBTQ+ clergy, including the election of Bishop Karen Oliveto.

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Prayer of Lament

This prayer is shared by permission of M Barclay, Co-Founder and Executive Director of enfleshed, a nonprofit creating and facilitating resources of spiritual nourishment for collective liberation. Visit enfleshed.com for additional resources.

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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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Blessing for a New Year

This Blessing is a part of the library of free liturgical resources available on enfleshed.com.

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Wesley’s Covenant Prayer, revised

This prayer was designed for use in a post-Christian context, with updated, accessible language. You can read more behind the author's intent on his blog, http://hackingchristianity.net/2016/12/wesleys-covenant-prayer-in-a-post-christian-context.html.

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Act of Resistance Rainbow Processional

This idea comes from Los Altos UMC in Long Beach, California, USA.

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January Sermon Series: Resisting Evil, Injustice and Oppression in 2020

A group of six Omaha-area Reconciling (or actively discerning) churches have joined together to promote a shared sermon series in January 2020. We will all share advertising/promoting, based on our United Methodist baptismal covenant.

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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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Song Suggestions

These suggestions are of songs and song books that give voice to our January theme: Resist.

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Epiphany Resist Harm Worship Graphics

These graphics are available to use for Epiphany-themed worship.

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Epiphany Communion Prayer

Created by enfleshed.com. Free to use with attribution to the author.
This Communion Prayer is a part of the library of free liturgical resources available on enfleshed.com.

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Epiphany Worship, with baptismal renewal, letter-writing & story telling

These practical suggestions and advice are shared to help you plan worship that's attentive to your context and connected to our movement.

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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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Epiphany Resistance image

This could be used on PPT, bulletin covers, FB, signs, etc
Jpeg available on ResistHarm website or save pdf as a jpeg

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Epiphany desert image

For Epiphany with the theme #ResistHarm
Magi were already complicit in a system of oppression but now have a choice of how to proceed from here. They choose to minimize harm even if it means going out of their way. How can we go out of our way to resist and minimize harm in an oppressive context.

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#ResistHarm Signs

Signs are available at resistharm.com's Communication tools section. They may be printed on church printer or sent to a print shop. One church has printed them on dry erase boards and another made yard signs. The blanks give people the chance to especially love the people they know.

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Celebration of Our Diversity and Resistance to Harm

Worship service involving a diversity of people in the community including many people from the LGBTQ community.

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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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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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Repent and Resist - Ash Wednesday

Use all of these resources or just one for a time of silent prayer or corporate worship. A service of Ashes is also included.

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An Act of Resistance for Clergy

This could be used by any congregation who has multiple clergy or it could be done by lay people using colorful bands of cloth.

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Black Lives Matter resources

Litany for Black Lives Matter and violence against POC

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Blessed are Those...In the Times of Coronavirus

This Blessing is a part of the library of free liturgical resources available on enfleshed.com.

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Other Posts

Resist Harm Movement Kicks Off

For immediate release: December 5, 2019 (updated December 9, 2019)Contact: Pat Luna, 334-202-9440, patluna@me.com Download this as a PDF. Resist Harm movement kicks-off, launches web tool for faithful resistance to the anti-LGBTQ Traditional Plan. United Methodist Church leaders have come together under the moniker Resist Harm to oppose the discriminatory Traditional Plan through prayer, education, […]
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A Short History of Resistance

Resisting evil, injustice, and oppression is integral to our spiritual DNA as United Methodists. It’s part of our Scriptural story, our church tradition, our Wesleyan heritage, and our denominational future.
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I am Ophelia Hu Kinney

I am Ophelia Hu Kinney (she/her), a queer United Methodist lay leader serving HopeGateWay in Portland, Maine, the Communications Specialist at Reconciling Ministries Network, and a member of the New England Annual Conference. I grew up an atheist in a non-Christian household, became a Christian as an adult, and joined The United Methodist Church when […]
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I am Rev. David Meredith

Even so, come, Lord Jesus! Rev. 22.20 In the waning hours of Advent, this is my prayer. Often it is that the final edit of the Christmas Eve message is saved and printed. Often it is that the final substitution of personnel for the Christmas Eve services has been settled. Often it is that the […]
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I am Karen Garcia Prudente

My name is Karen Garcia Prudente (ako/ikaw/tayo), a queer lay member of Christ Church United Methodist (NYC) where one thrives as a beloved child of God. I served as Chair of Methodist in New Directions (MIND) and stood on the GC2019 floor, as a member of the NYAC delegation, to affirm The Simple Plan which […]
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I am Rev. Dr. Valerie Jackson

I am Rev. Dr. Valerie L. Jackson (she, her, hers) and I am an apologetic Womanist homiletician; visionary faith and community leader; and author. As an ordained elder in the United Methodist church, I live into my calling as a voice for uncensored and unconditional love, inclusion, justice and fullness of life for all human […]
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Life in a conservative area

My Name is unfortunately redacted as I serve in a place where it is not safe for me to post a name or picture. As an Ordained Elder serving in a conservative church in one of the most conservative conferences, the depressing reality is that I am unable to speak publicly without reprisal in a […]
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Hollywood UMC #ResistHarm

Watch this sermon from Hollywood UMC.
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Michael Roberts will Resist Harm

In my pastoral prayers, I often use the phrase “those whom each of us name in our hearts before you.” Since the Special General Conference last February, I name in my heart those in my current congregation and throughout the United Methodist connection who strive for faithfulness and fruitfulness, and who are directly harmed by […]
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Ole-Einar Anderson from Norway will Resist Harm

I’m Ole-Einar Andersen (he, him, his). As a lifelong (70 years) Methodist in Trondheim, Norway, I strongly support #ResistHarm and all efforts towards a fully LGBTQ+ including and affirming (United) Methodist church. All Methodists of good will must fight and defeat the brutal and merciless “theology” represented by Traditional Plan. Norwegian law accepts, respects and protects LGBTQ+ […]
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Rev. Jen Logsdon-Kellogg will Resist Harm

A Testimony From Rev. Jen Logsdon-Kellogg and an invitation from Boston Avenue United Methodist Church, Tulsa for ALL God's Beloved: I resist the injustice and oppression done to the Queer community, allies, and also to the United Methodist Church by the adoption of discriminatory language in our Book of Discipline in 1972, and its vise […]
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Rev. Effie McAvoy will Resist Harm

A testimony from Rev. Effie McAvoy (She, her, hers): Recently my church, The United Methodist Church York Ogunquit finished a Biblical study on Hebrews, James, 1st and 2nd Peter, and 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John. The power of this study has moved us more closely to one another AND has caused us to question how […]
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Nancy Malcolm will Resist Harm

My name is Nancy Malcom (she/her/hers). While I’m not a cradle Methodist, I am a long-time member of Pittman Park UMC in Statesboro, Georgia, where the church’s Wesleyan vision of Christianity anchored in scripture and informed by tradition, experience, and reason upholds me in my spiritual journey. My family is the driving force behind my […]
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Tom Lee loves his daughter and will Resist Harm

I used to call her my girl, but that was before she became a 19-year-old young woman. She’s still my daughter, Virginia, however, and I’ve never been more amazed by this college sophomore—and more called to the work before us in the United Methodist Church to #ResistHarm—than right now. My name is Tom Lee (he, him, […]
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Prayer of Resistance

Pray For all God’s people, that we may have the courage to resist. For the Church, that we may resist the temptation to settle for easy answers to hard questions. For our LGBTQIA+ siblings that they may draw strength from the willingness or all God’s people to stand together to resist the forces of exclusion […]
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Meeting with Bishop Graves

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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Great Plains Resist Harm Kickoff

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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#resistharm worship service

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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A Different Way

#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 Prayer Event - Ash Wednesday 2020 - Repent and Resist

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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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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