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It's time for change
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United Methodists Gather in Portland for General Conference Briefing

Last week, nearly 400 delegates, agency representatives, and communicators gathered in Portland, Oregon for a briefing on General Conference legislation and practices. Alongside other important legislative conversations on fossil fuels, global restructuring, and an alternative legislative approach, discussion of policies regarding LGBTQ persons were front and center.

On Friday, January 22nd, the gathered heard a panel on "Conversation about Topics Related to Human Sexuality." Dr. Dorothee Benz, representative of MIND in NY, opened by reminding those listening that a more apt title for the panel would be "Whether and how The UMC will continue discriminate against LGBTQ people." The diverse panelists were given the opportunity to share their convictions, answer questions, and respond to one another.

Dr. Benz was a courageous presence on the panel as the only queer voice. She used the opportunity not only to share about her own call to ministry being denied in the church, but to also lift of up the stories of LGBTQ asylum seekers facing violence in their home countries and youth struggling with suicide because of church teachings. Benz was also able to articulate a precise and compelling explanation of why acts of Biblical Obedience are the most authentic way forward for those who are invested in justice for LGBTQ persons in The United Methodist Church.

The full panel is now available for viewing here. We invite you to tune-in to this important conversation and then visit our website to tell your delegates to let them know your own conviction, story, and response.  

Successful panels are important for expanding education and building relationship, but after over forty years dialogue and discrimination, #ItsTime for change.
Write your delegates now

Get involved today in making change in The UMC

We are one fifth of the way to our goal of hosting 50 screenings of "An Act of Love" across the country before General Conference 2016. Will you help us ensure everyone can see this important film by hosting a screening at your church or community center?
Fearfully & Wonderfully Made: Erica West, a college student called to ministry and advocating for change in The UMC, is one of the latest to share her story for the #ItsTime campaign. Read her great piece and share your own!
RMN Board member, Rev. Dr. Pamela Lightsey, will be featured Thursday, Jan. 28 at 9 p.m. ET on the most recent segment of "Vital Conversations" on the realities of racism produced by the General Commission on Religion and Race. She'll be discussing the intersection of oppression and her experiences in Ferguson, MO. Register here.

Katalyst on Gender Identity & Expression

In case you missed it, our latest issue of Katalyst has been a big hit! This issue features all trans writers and is a great resource for expanding your understanding of how the church can be welcoming to trans and gender non-conforming members. Download the PDF here and make sure your friends have signed up as Reconciling United Methodist to receive future issues of Katalyst Magazine at their home.
Download the PDF of Katalyst Magazine

Dear Church - It's Time!

Thanks to St. John's UMC in Lubbock, TX for these fantastic pictures and for telling The United Methodist Church It's Time to stop discriminating against LGBTQ persons. If your church or community is creatively engaging the #ItsTime campaign, please send your photos and stories to M, RMN's Director of Communications, at m@rmnetwork.org.
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