Reconciling Ministry

Fairlington UMC Welcoming Statement

“Fairlington United Methodist Church proclaims without reservation God’s unconditional love and grace, and affirms the dignity and worth of every person as created in the image of God.  We commit to extend Christ’s gospel hospitality, creating a place of safety and spiritual sanctuary for all people.  Therefore, this community of faith welcomes into membership, participation and leadership all persons regardless of age, race, ethnicity, gender, family structure, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, economic background, political affiliation, physical or mental ability, faith history, or life experience.  We recognize among us differences in theology and biblical interpretation, and covenant to accept, respect, and love one another along our faith journeys.  As God loves us, so let us love one another.”

 

Upcoming Events & Current News:

Reconciling Anniversary, Sunday February 5, 2017 at 9:30am and 11:00am: Join us as we celebrate Fairlington's four year anniversary as a Reconciling Congregation, intentionally welcoming all people, including LGBT persons, as beloved children of God. We are happy to have the Rev. Dr. David McAllister Wilson, President of Wesley Theological Seminary, as our guest preacher as we joyfully proclaim “We Are One.”  We ask all FUMC members to invite a friend to be a part of this special Sunday and experience God's gift of love and reconciliation for all.  Also on that Sunday, we ask you to either wear a reconciling stole or T-shirt, or something in a primary or solid color.

A Dialogue – Christian Faith and Gender Identity:   Join us Sunday, November 6 at 12:15pm in the Fellowship Hall to hear Raymond Eck, representing Equality Virginia's Transgender Advocacy Speaker's Bureau.  As a reconciling congregation welcoming all regardless of gender identity, this is an opportunity to build a better understanding of transgender life through storytelling and candid dialogue.  Raymond will share his personal story and journey as a transgender person, followed by a Q&A where your questions will be welcomed with openness and honesty.  A light lunch will be served, and the program will last one hour.  No need to RSVP.  Just come!   Contact:  Mark Elder (markuselder@gmail.com).

Screening of "An Act of Love:"  On Sunday, April 24, 2016, Fairlington and Mt Olivet UMCs co--hosted a screening of the documentary, “An Act of Love,” with over 115 people in attendance.  “An Act of Love" is an award-winning, inspiring story about the Rev. Frank Schaefer and other Methodist pastors those who have fought for LGBTQ inclusion in the United Methodist Church. Rev, Schaefer had his ministerial credentials revoked in December 2013 after officiating his son’s same-sex wedding.  See  http://www.anactoflovefilm.com for more information about the film. 

 

LGBT Repression in Christian Africa:  On Saturday, April 9, 2016, Dennis Akpona, Coordinator for African Central Conferences at the Reconciling Ministry Network, shared his personal story as growing up as a gay man in Nigeria, his journey to get asylum status in the United States, and RMN’s outreach efforts to African United Methodists in advance of General Conference. 

Summary of Dennis Akpona Event on April 9 2016

actice incompatible with Christian teaching.”

  

Reconciling T-Shirt Orders:  If you would like to order an FUMC reconciling T-shirt, cost is $15 payable to the Reconciling Fund at FUMC (cash or check, payable up front or upon delivery).  Sample below.  Click here to see sizes and all 6 available colors.  Email markuselder@gmail.com with your order.

A Way Forward: On June 5, 2014, hundreds of United Methodist pastors signed on to a proposal aimed to keeping the church from splitting over the issue of homosexuality:  https://awayforward.net/#/home.  David McAllister Wilson, President of Wesley Theological Seminary, was an original signer along with Adam Hamilton.  2,300 people had signed onto the proposal as of June 16.  This proposal would allow local congregations and Annual Conferences within the UMC to make up their own mind on issues regarding same sex marriage and ordination of gay lesbian pastors.  “A Way Forward” was developed as a response to a proposal released by Good News (a UM caucus group advocating more orthodox polity in the church) in May suggesting the UM church split over this issue:  http://goodnewsmag.org/2014/05/regarding-united-methodisms-future/

  

Stop the Trials:  If you are concerned about church trials against United Methodist pastors working toward full inclusion of LGBT persons in the church, then you are invited to write letters to our Bishops asking them to stop these trials.  It should take only 10-15 minutes per letter.  We provide sample language and addresses for all the Bishops.  If you have questions, contact Sue Gunter at suegunter@msn.com or Susan Batchelder at susan.batchelder@longandfoster.com.   Click HERE for more details on who and what to write.  You may also want to check out these FAQ's on the subject.

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A Reconciling Congregation is one that adoptions a public statement, which can be inclusive of many people, but specifically welcomes individuals regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.   FUMC crafted and adopted a reconciling statement on February 10, 2013 that recognizes and is reflective of the vast diversity of our congregation, and extends a wide welcome that includes many individuals and groups that may not always feel welcome at church.

 

Reconciling Ministry Team:  A Reconciling Ministry Team has been established with a mission to:  extend Christ’s love to those who do not feel welcomed in the church; be intentional to practice and celebrate the words in our reconciling statement; and help our diverse congregation sit side-by-side and feel at peace.  If you feel called to envision, educate, and advocate for ways that FUMC can reach out to and share Christ’s love with LGBT, disabled, immigrant, minority and other individuals who do not always feel welcomed by the church, you are invited to join this Team.  The Team will accomplish its work by organizing a variety of education, outreach, advocacy, service, and fellowship activities.  If you wish to join or support the Reconciling Ministry Team, contact the chair, Mark Elder, at markuselder@gmail.com.

 

Our Reconciling Journey:  Fairlington UMC’s journey to become a Reconciling Congregation spanned about 20 months -- 6 months of planning followed by 14 months of discernment and decision makingThe Reconciling Ministry Team has compiled an archive of Reconciling Discernment Documents for those who are looking more deeply into what it takes to become a reconciling congregation.

 

Reconciling Fund:  Support the FUMC reconciling ministry by donating to Fairlington UMC and indicating Reconciling Fund on your contribution.

 

Reconciling Resources:

Outreach to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community

Reconciling Ministries Network (national organization for the United Methodist Reconciling movement)

www.rmnetwork.org

Many Voices Web Site (ecumenical):  www.manyvoices.org

Believe Out Loud (ecumenical):  www.believeoutloud.com

Parents Reconciling Network (extension ministry of the RMN):

www.rmnetwork.org/get-connected/extension-ministries/prn/#joinPRN

Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG):   www.pflag.org

MOSAIC (RMN extension ministry for young people):  https://www.rmnetwork.org/connect/extension-ministries/mosaic/

 

Outreach to Immigrants and Ethnic Minorities

Just Neighbors:  http://www.justneighbors.org/

English as a Second Language & Immigrant Ministry (ESLIM, based in Northern Virginia):  http://www.eslim.org

Grace Ministries (based in Northern Virginia):  http://www.graceministriesumc.org/

United Methodist Committee on Relief/Refugees:  http://www.umcor.org/UMCOR/Programs/Refugees

 

Outreach to those Living with a Physical or Intellectual Disability

United Methodist Committee on Disability Ministries:  http://www.umdisabilityministries.org/index.html

Faith Inclusion Network:  www.faithinclusionnetwork.org

 

Outreach to those Living with Mental Health Illness

Mental Health Ministries:  http://www.mentalhealthministries.net

National Alliance on Mental Illness: http://www.nami.org/Template.cfm?Section=Helpline1&template=/ContentManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=37162

The Arc (for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities):  http://www.thearc.org/

 Alexandria%20Mental%20Health%20%26%20Substance%20Abuse%20Services%20and%20Resources.pdf

Arlington Resources:  Arlington%20Mental%20Health%20%26%20Substance%20Abuse%20Services%20and%20Resources.pdf

Outreach to those Living with Addiction

Addiction Recovery Partners (United Methodist General Board of Church & Society):  http://calnevumc.org/pages/detail/1452

Alcoholics Anonymous:  http://www.aa.org/

Alcoholics Anonymous for Family Groups:  http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/

Overeaters Anonymous:  http://www.overeatersanonymous.org/

National Institute on Drug Abuse:  http://www.drugabuse.gov/

 

Outreach to those in Prison

Offender Aid and Restoration:   http://oaronline.org/

KAIROS:   http://kpmifoundation.org/index.php

Prison Fellowship Ministries:  http://www.prisonfellowship.org/

 

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