“Love Your Neighbor is not an option. It’s a commandment. Not to love is a sin. Christ is calling us to be neighbors to immigrants.” The Rev. Rosanna Panizo, academic dean of the Methodist Seminary in Peru, made these comments during her statement yesterday at the Immigration Vigil, which was held to emphasize the importance of immigration to the United Methodist Church as its leaders gather to vote on related legislation. 14 United Methodist Bishops were present at the rally, along with more than a hundred demonstrators...Read More
Most of my life I’ve felt like an outsider. But over the years, I have noticed that most of the true advancement in science, medicine and culture were made by those who perceive themselves to be outsiders and outcasts. The margins can be a very creative place. All of us who feel marginalized and invisible in the United Methodist Church can understand each other and empathize with joy, pain, frustration, passion and calling to serve as a disciple of Christ with integrity.
The term “Methodist” was originally used to mock John Wesley who was considered to be a spiritual outsider. This guy was riding a horse back and forth across the country believing he can build a faith community based on scripture, tradition, reason, and experience. What a wacky idea! At some point in time, John was able to embrace the term “Methodist” that was intended to mock him. It became the name of his movement. The huge growth of our church in the early days can be attributed to the meeting of many who saw themselves as marginalized by the religious establishment of the day...Read More
I am the 1%. According to the Pew Research Center “Religious Landscape Survey” of 2015, within the United Methodist Church 94% of Methodists identify as white, and among the remaining 6%, 1% identify as black. While this of course does not account for the rapid growth of the UMC in Africa (about 30% of the 864 delegates at this year’s General Conference come from the continent), it does place Black American United Methodists in a unique minority position within the Church.
As a black and queer person within the UMC, that demographic gets even smaller as the historical tensions underlying our relationship with the Church increase. The relationship between the Black community in the United States and the United Methodist Church is long and fraught with tension - combined with the intersection of queerness it becomes even more complex...Read More
God is asking us to be good stewards of this earth and all the life that lives on it. And the United Methodist Church is answering. Last night at the General Conference Climate Vigil, we came together in solidarity. We prayed for all of God’s creation, grieved the ways that climate change is already impacting us, and rejoiced in the beauty of the world around us.
United Methodists from the Pacific Northwest had decorated hundreds of handmade lanterns to light the night. These lanterns were lit with solar powered LED lights. After the vigil, the lights were distributed to partners in the global south with limited or no energy access and to Central Washington families living without electricity as they recover from extreme wildfires...Read More
Tich’s parents divorced when he was two years old. He was the third born of four children. After some years, his mother remarried. She was married as a second wife (to a man who had one other wife already). Soon after his mother’s marriage, Tich was called to ministry. Soon after his case was reviewed by the official board for clergy candidacy, some members of the board told him his candidacy could not be considered due to his mother being a second wife.
Tich’s name was submitted to the board repeatedly by his local pastor, who believed Tich could make a difference as a minister of the gospel. Finally, one of the board members had the courage to pose the question. Who are we recommending for candidacy: the young man who was president of the UMYF, lay leader, and a district youth representative… or his mother? And what difference does it make in the grand scheme of things?Read More
I was serving my first parish out of seminary in a small, farming and brickmaking, community. When one of the members of the church I served heard I was interested in sexuality education for high school age kids, his quick comment was, “Just bring them out to my farm. I’ll teach them all they need to know.”
Reproduction is only one aspect of sexuality, however. Every culture shapes human behavior—including gender expression. Religious practices and traditions are associated with gender and reproduction while ecstasy and union not only become metaphors for relationship with God, but in some religions, with each other as well. Jesus, in fact, often talked about the bridegroom having union with the bride as a metaphor for God and God’s people.Read More
“Stop the Killing. Save Our Schools. Protect Indigenous Life.” In a “flash tabernacle” gathering of nearly 70, representatives from among the Lumad people sought the solidarity of gathered United Methodists, and shared their sacred stories and experiences of discrimination, displacement, and dignity in the south Philipines island of Mindanao. In their journey “for peace with justice,” they called upon United Methodists in particular to support Resolution 6118 –Philippines: Democratic Governance, Human Rights and the Peace Process during General Conference—in part, calling for a stop to US military aid to Philippines. Those gathered at the tabernacle heard from Kerlan Fanagel, chairperson of PASAKA Confederation of Lumad Organizations in Southern Mindanao Region; Matanem Monico Cayog, chairperson of Kalumaran Mindanao and community chieftain/elder; and Bai Norma Capuyan, chairperson of ASLPC Apo Sandawa Lumadnong Panaghiusa Cotabato. Together, they spoke out against ramped militarization, deprivation, and neglect by the government in defense of their ancestral homeland, not only for the sake of indigenous peoples, but “for all humankind.”Read More
A phoenix is a mythical bird that at some point in its life builds itself a nest of twigs that then ignites. Both nest and bird burn fiercely and are reduced to ashes, from which a new, young phoenix arises, reborn. The new phoenix is stronger, better, and destined to live a long life.
Like the phoenix, our beloved church is on the precipice of a great transition. To most, it will feel like a fierce fire. What fire, you ask?Read More
After over 20 years of being denied the United Methodist Church’s recognition of God’s calling in her life, Susan J. Laurie was ordained yesterday in a grassroots ordination during the 2016 General Conference in Portland, Oregon. Sue, who earned a Master of Divinity from Garrett-Evangelical in 1995, has not been welcome in the candidacy process for ordination because she is an out Lesbian.
Pointing out that many people are hungry for meaningful worship, Sue said, “I had a great day. We did good church.”Read More
In 2012, the Love Your Neighbor Coalition was known for its Tabernacle and its advocacy for the LGBTQI community. Now, in 2016, we still have a Tabernacle (it’s down at the Jupiter Hotel on 8th and Burnside and you’re invited), but now our mission has expanded. In these pages, you’ll read about inclusion, accessibility, environmentalism, racial justice, and more.
Why have we broadened our scope? Because we realize that many people are part of more than one marginalized group. This idea is called intersectionality. When LGBTQ organizations and racial justice organizations are in competition with each other, queer people of color are forced to choose which part of their identity they’re going to prioritize. This is a form of oppression.
The other reason we’ve diversified is that we want to stop the Oppression Olympics before they even start. Here’s what I mean by that...Read More
Originally posted by Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN), the letter below caused RMN's website to crash due to an overload of traffic just hours after the letter's release. We are honored to host a copy of this historic letter, and we stand in solidarity today with the 111 LGBTQI clergy and candidates below.
Dear United Methodist Church,
As we gather in Portland to begin the 10 day discernment of God’s leading for The United Methodist Church known as General Con-ference, we, your Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer/Questioning, and Intersex (LGBTQI) religious leaders–local pastors, dea-cons, elders, and candidates for ministry–want to remind you of our covenant with you...Read More
Many of our volunteers and leaders have expressed a desire to build relationships with international delegates. So, we're offering intercultural competency training! Rev. Dr. Derrick Spiva and PNW staffer Krsitina Gonzalez are helping to answer questions like...
- How can I avoid accidentally offending delegates from other countries?
- What kind of support is appropriate for us to offer, and what happens if a guest makes a request that we can't honor?
- How do I share my faith story with evangelicals?
Read more and watch the training video...Read More
We’ll be honest: when we asked for $40,000 two weeks ago, LYNC’s leadership team was really worried. We couldn’t figure out how we’d get the word out fast enough. Many of us went into today’s emergency budget meeting with weariness and trepidation, prepared for the worst. But instead, we witnessed a miracle.
More than $10,000 in online gifts started the ball rolling. This movement has some AMAZING friends and supporters-- more than we know. Seeing that report was incredible. Then, our largest partner made a new pledge to the coalition that put the wind in our sails. Our smallest partner organization came to the table and DOUBLED their pledge. Things snowballed from there...Read More
In the past week, we've reached out to our friends via social media with a special request. We asked for $40,000 in online donations to make our Tabernacle dream a reality. In 2012, our Tabernacle was a symbol of God's love and grace, and it was open to EVERYONE. We want to extend the same radical welcome in 2016.
So far, more than 60 people have chipped in, and we've raised $6,150. WOW! Thank you so much, friends!
We're confident that, if enough people heard about this need, we would raise the remaining $33,850 and beyond. But that means we have to keep telling the story. Can you help us spread the word? We've created a Twibbon campaign that allows you to...
- Add our logo to your Facebook profile picture
- Tell family, friends, and followers about us on social media
- Send an email to your contacts
Can you go public with your support for LYNC?Read More
The Love Your Neighbor Coalition has created a free event app to bring its fans and followers together before and during General Conference. The app contains a news feed, a calendar of upcoming events, a network of supporters, and more!
Get it today by downloading a free app called "Guidebook" on any mobile device, searching within the app for "Love Your Neighbor Coalition," and downloading the guide with our logo.Read More
If you want the United Methodist Church to become a more just and loving organization in the wake of General Conference 2016, there's good news and there's bad news:
The good news is, you can make a difference.
The bad news is, it's up to you.
The Love Your Neighbor Coalition (LYNC) is working to end the UMC's discrimination against people based on race, class, country of origin, gender, sexual orientation, and ability. But we can't do it alone.Read More
Churches across the United Methodist connection will take special offerings in the coming week to support the work of the Love Your Neighbor Coalition (LYNC).
LYNC represents a diverse partnership of thirteen United Methodist groups and caucuses. Its stated purpose is to work together for a "just, inclusive, and grace-filled denomination." At the 2012 General Conference, LYNC was best known for its Tabernacle, a huge outdoor tent that served free meals and hosted progressive speakers.Read More
The Love Your Neighbor Coalition wants to create a more just and loving church by advocating for a progressive agenda at General Conference 2016-- and we need your help! We still need to raise $150,000 in order to fund all the work that we believe God is calling us to. Will you affirm this call and support our work by taking a special offering?Read More
Portland, Oregon - February 4th 2016 - The Love Your Neighbor Coalition (LYNC) is delighted to announce a new funding partnership with the Oregon Idaho Annual Conference and The Collins Foundation. Among other things, a major grant paid to send eight delegates to four international briefing sessions in February. The grant will also provide scholarships for young adults who want to volunteer with LYNC as Legislative Advocates.Read More
A coalition of 13 official and unofficial United Methodist caucuses hope a letter responding to a statement from the African bishops opens a channel for working together— even as the church seems destined to butt heads over accepting or rejecting ministry with LGBTQ people.
“We must insist that peace is not going to come through ignoring the demands of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Christians for full inclusion in the church."Read More