* Scroll down for links to previous speakers
January 20, 2013
We have elected to adopt this Welcoming Statement as a congregation:
CVUMC is a faith community that welcomes all persons to celebrate their love of God and their birthright as children of God. We affirm Jesus' example of love without exclusion. We welcome into the life and ministry of CVUMC all persons of every race, ethnicity, age, faith history, sexual orientation, gender identity, economic status, marital status, family configuration, and physical and mental ability. We believe that a diverse community makes our faith stronger, our spirituality deeper, and our service more helpful.
Our "yes" vote approves this statement and connects us to the Reconciling Ministries Network so that our GLBT neighbors can find us easily.
Currently the Western Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church is calling all United Methodists to be inclusive. See the link above to keep current with breaking news and actions.
We pray that all neighbors looking for a safe and nurturing church home will find us.
Our conversation spanned 7 months, beginning on June 3rd, when we gathered to decide whether or not to pursue this conversation. Over 40 people agreed that the time had come and that our conversation would be important. From that sprang a wide variety of opportunities to pursue learning, listening, and speaking on a topic historically difficult for people of faith. Opportunities included:
* Testimonies in Worship - These were recorded and remain on our website. See the details and links below.
* Bible Studies - We took on the passages usually associated with discussions of homosexuality, reviewing different sides of the discussion and exploring our own faithful responses. Summaries of those Bible studies may be downloaded from this page.
* Times of Prayer & Discernment - We set up different times and types of prayer to bring our people together to discern God's will for our congregation and our world.
* Learning Opportunities - Rev. Peter Laarman of Progressive Christians Uniting led a session on human sexuality conversations across religious traditions, and Rev. Frank Wulf walked us through the history and dynamics of the UMC's deliberations. We were unable to load Rev. Wulf's presentation onto the website, but it is available to be checked out from the church office.
* Class on Civility and Conversation - During the summer we taught a 7-session class on how to articulate faith and values, and how to listen to others as they found their voices. The materials came from Logos Productions' Faith & Politics curriculum, which we highly recommend.
* Dinner in Homes - We invited casual conversation over dinner in homes.
On September 16, 2012Alex Morales shared his experience of Claremont UMC's Reconciling Process: "How My Mind Changed." You can listen to it HERE.
On October 14,2012 Vicky Cook shared her experience as the "out" Santa Ana District Lay Leader: "Welcome/Not Welcome." You can listen to it (albeit very quietly) HERE.
On November 4, 2012Rev. Julian Rush shared his experience of coming out as a gay United Methodist pastor: "Facing the Music." You can listen to it HERE.