May 2020

Witness

“…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Acts 1:8 (NRSV)

In this month of General Conference, we have a responsibility and opportunity to witness to the power of God’s unconditional and redeeming love — a love that we have no power to withhold from LGBTQ persons in The United Methodist Church. To that end, our witness must be authentic and Christ-like.

False Christian witness has no power to make disciples of Jesus when that witness shrilly disagrees over church property, money, and trials.

The United Methodist Church’s claim to witness to God’s inclusive grace is in jeopardy. But “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1, NRSV).

This month, may we reacquaint followers of Jesus with a faithful witness that is centered and sustained in the love of God from which neither LGBTQ people, people of color, nor any other child of God is excluded from the fullness of God’s love. “You will be my witnesses,” Christ commands us, and so we must be in God’s Church.

Worship Resources

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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Great Thanksgiving for Pride Season

This liturgy was originally written for use at the 2019 National Capital Pride Coalition witness at the Washington, D.C. Pride Parade. Participants were queer-identified clergy from across the Baltimore-Washington Conference, alongside Bishop LaTrelle Miller Easterling.

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God Rest Ye: New Verses

New inclusive words for a traditional hymn. Hollywood UMC found these words and used them in worship, to great response.

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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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Act of Resistance Rainbow Processional

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

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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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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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Other Posts

I am Pat Luna

I am Pat Luna (she/her), a cradle United Methodist, lay person, and member of Point Washington UMC in Santa Rosa Beach, FL (AWF annual conference). I’ve been a Jurisdictional and General Conference Delegate, involved in Emmaus, Chrysalis, Kairos, Epiphany, Disciple Bible Study, UMCOR and The Academy for Spiritual Formation, among other ministries. I have participated […]
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I am Rev. Israel Alvaran

I am Rev. Israel Alvaran (he/him), a United Methodist elder and member of the Philippines Annual Conference. Currently, I am the only out gay clergy from a central conference that is part of the United Methodist Queer Clergy Caucus. An immigrant and political refugee in the United States, I am under episcopal appointment to serve […]
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I am Rev. David Wiggs

I am Rev. David Wiggs (he/him), Senior Pastor at Boston Avenue United Methodist Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Boston Avenue is a historic downtown congregation of nearly 8,000 members. Our reach also extends via our television ministry to four states every Sunday morning. Immediately preceding this appointment, I served as a District Superintendent in my conference. […]
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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 Rev. Curtis Brown

I am Rev. Curtis Brown (he/him). I’m a United Methodist pastor, coach, consultant, and denominational executive. My work has given me the opportunity to meet and work in new church planting, congregational development, and entrepreneurial leadership alongside thousands of United Methodists all throughout the connection. Currently, I serve as Director of Connectional Ministries in the […]
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I am Rev. Will Ed Green

I am Rev. Will Ed Green (he/him), Pastor & Director of Discipleship at Foundry United Methodist Church in Washington, D.C. where I help to coordinate small group, fellowship group, adult education, retreat, and leadership development ministries. Over the course of my ministry I’ve served churches in Arkansas and Illinois, in addition to serving as a […]
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I am Rev. Molly Vetter

I am Molly Vetter (she/her), an ordained elder in the California-Pacific Annual Conference and Senior Pastor of the Westwood UMC in Los Angeles, CA, USA. I am grateful to be a part of the work of #ResistHarm, as it connects us together in the shared work of the church, grounded in Wesleyan commitments and our […]
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I am Rev. Dr. Michael Bowie

I’m Rev. Dr. Michael Bowie (he/him) and I’m the pastor of St. Luke “Community” United Methodist Church located in east Dallas, TX. As Senior Pastor, my job is to be prophetic and to cast a vision and then have the boldness and courage to implement the vision. Our vision at St. Luke is to be […]
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Kim and Karen

This video was originally produced by Church of the Resurrection for Leadership Institute 2019.
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I am Rev. Lisa Schubert Nowling

My name is Lisa Schubert Nowling (she/her), and I’m a clergyperson joyfully serving First United Methodist Church in Bloomington, IN. I feel called to #ResistHarm of the Traditional Plan because of my baptismal vows to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves, in this case to my UM siblings who are […]
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I am JJ Warren

Though the angry photo of me from #GC2019 went viral, it’s this relationship-building across continents—relationships that allow for grief, pain AND reconciliation that convicts my heart Whatever the The United Methodist Church becomes, I hope we at least confess the harm we have done to our siblings of color, queer siblings, and the other communities […]
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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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