Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-05-16
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



Methodist clergy takes stand against anti-LGBT bias
by Carrie Maxwell, Windy City Times

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Going against the wishes of the church hierarchy and doctrine, United Methodists in the Northern Illinois Conference (NIC) recently signed a pledge of resistance and non-cooperation towards the church's discriminatory policies against LGBT people and their allies.

NIC members made the commitment "to resist evil, injustice and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves" and embrace the higher law of "biblical obedience" at their annual conference "Celebrate God's Amazing Work" held June 6-9 at the Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, Ill.

The NIC's pledge of resistance comes on the heels of the worldwide general conference for Methodist clergy. The conference was held this past spring in Tampa, Fla. and during the conference—which is held every four years—the global denomination voted to continue its discriminatory policies against LGBT people.

Speaking out against the anti-LGBT policies that the wider Methodist church voted to uphold at the conference, the "Love Your Neighbor" Common Witness Coalition held an event, "Altar For All—Celebrating Marriage: Witnessing God's Inclusive Love," to affirm its support for marriage equality.

Currently, the United Methodist Church (UMC) prohibits clergy from performing same-sex weddings and recognizing same-sex couples. More than 1,200 Methodist ministers have already pledged to fulfill their ordination vows to minister to all people and they are calling for more United Methodists to pledge their support for marriage equality.

The groups that make up the Common Witness Coalition include Affirmation: United Methodists, Black Methodists for Church Renewal, the Methodist Federation for Social Action, the National Federation of Asian-American United Methodists, the Native-American International Caucus of the United Methodist Church and the Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN). According to their website the coalition "works for a more inclusive church for LGBT people, always in a broader context that strives for justice around issues of race, gender, global partnerships, peace, stewardship of creation and economic justice."

According to their website the RMN is "a growing movement of United Methodist individuals, congregations, campus ministries and other groups working for the full participation of all people in the United Methodist Church. We have mobilized United Methodists to create full inclusion of all God's children regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity since 1982."

Chairperson of the RMN board and lead pastor of First United Methodist Church in Arlington Heights, Ill., Rev. Bonnie Beckonchrist remarked that there are more than 500 RMN congregations and communities nationwide—30 of which are in the NIC. However, she noted that "the church's witness is critical to those places where the church's official stance continues to do harm."

RMN Executive Director the Rev. Troy Plummer said, "We are building relationships in tough states like Mississippi, Tennessee and Georgia and we are also advancing equality in Minnesota, Washington and Iowa. In Tennessee, United Methodists passed an anti-bullying commitment, and over 70 percent of our Minnesota United Methodist voters oppose the anti-gay marriage amendment coming to the ballot in November.

"This past year, we also reached out to United Methodists in the Philippines and Africa where LGBT people can be incarcerated and executed. Across the spectrum, we are helping people take the next step wherever they are to foster the inclusive church we know Christ calls us to be."

The Rev. Marti Scott, pastor at Euclid Avenue UMC in Oak Park, said, "We must refuse to obey unjust laws. In northern Illinois, our congregations are filled with LGBT persons who are in our Bible studies, leadership committees, and every aspect of ministry in the church. Our declaration in favor of LGBT people affirms the ministry we are already dedicated to and practicing."

Rev. Lois McCullen Parr—pastor at Broadway UMC in Boystown—added, "It's a luxury to be in northern Illinois and to serve in an open and affirming congregation filled with LGBT folks in leadership and ministry. I know there are people who left Tampa and went back to places that are hostile and do harm. I think that clergy members like myself need to be a witness to the wider church with the work that we do as members of the RMN."

Of the RMN and its work, Ann Craig said, "As a lifelong United Methodist and the daughter of a minister, I know that Reconciling Ministries has opened the hearts, minds and doors of so many United Methodists.

"In my home church one young person recently came out and her parents were able to turn to their minister for support—largely because RMN has educated pastors across the country on the life-saving importance of welcoming everyone. At this General Conference we did not vote a policy change, but the church was changed. I believe we will see the United Methodist Church be more open, less punitive and more willing to set aside unfair—and even un-Christian—rules in favor of living out core values of love and service."

See, and for more information.

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

WORLD Pope Francis, Jamaica official, Pakistani trans murder 2018-04-24 - Pope Francis has invited a gay man from Chile who was sexually abused by a priest to meet with him at the Vatican, ...

Gay News

Racial-justice workshop April 28 at Univ. Church 2018-04-24 - A free, interactive workshop that offers a new perspective on working for racial justice will take place Saturday, April 28, 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., ...

Gay News

Free Interactive Workshop on Racial Justice, April 28 at University Church 2018-04-19 - A free, interactive workshop that offers a new perspective on working for racial justice will take place Saturday, April 28 from 9:30 am ...

Gay News

VIEWPOINT Catholic LGBTQIs see mixed record in first five years of Francis papacy 2018-04-18 - Marianne Duddy-Burke, executive director of DignityUSA, recently issued the following statement in conjunction with the fifth anniversary of the election of Pope Francis: ...

Gay News

Ex-Focus on the Family daughter refocuses her life mission 2018-04-11 - In her authentically jarring memoir Refocusing My Family: Coming Out, Being Cast Out, and Discovering the True Love of God, author and activist ...

Gay News

VIEWPOINTS Cardinal Cupich, Church and families 2018-03-28 - Cardinal Cupich says Church should learn from families. We hope it will learn from all families. In a recent address at the ...

Gay News

WORLD London posters, gay clergyman, 'Call Me By Your Name' 2018-03-27 - Posters featuring Black same-sex couples are going up on high streets across London, PinkNews reported. The campaign from gay men's health charity GMFA ...

Gay News

Gun-control activists meet with Pfleger 2018-03-21 - A group of gun-control activists—including outspoken Parkland, Florida, survivor Emma Gonzalez, an out bisexual—met with Chicago's Father Michael Pfleger at Saint Sabina church, ...

Gay News

LGBTQI Catholics See Mixed Record in Five Years of Francis Papacy, Offer Dialogue 2018-03-13 - March 9, 2018. Marianne Duddy-Burke, executive director of DignityUSA, issued the following statement in conjunction with the fifth anniversary of the election of ...

Gay News

Anti-LGBTQ "First Amendment Defense Act" proposed by GOP senators, HRC responds 2018-03-08 - WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer ( LGBTQ ) ...


Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.