By Lynne Onishi
Happy Spring from the Innovation Hub team! We’ve had an exciting month of ministry together. The young adults recently engaged in some friendly competition while playing a lively game of whirlyball (see photo). This young adult activity group is hoping to venture back outdoors for some beautiful Spring and Summer hikes. Please stay tuned for updates!
We also recently wrapped up a short Bible Study series that helped us to examine what it means to be faithful to scripture and inclusive of all people. We discussed different modes of Biblical interpretation and then looked at texts that have been used as weapons against LGBTQIA+ folks. It was quite an intellectual, spiritual, and emotional journey as we learned about cultural and historical contexts, church tradition, the difficulties around translation of Biblical texts, and our own unique relationships to the Bible.
Reconciling Ministries Q and A:
We are bringing back our Reconciling Ministries Q and A series this month! In previous newsletter articles, we explained what the Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN) is, and we shared updates about our reconciling process at Blaine Memorial thus far.
Q: What are we voting on? What is the Reconciling Statement?
A: Churches join the RMN by voting to adopt a reconciling statement, which must receive support from 75% of the congregation.
This statement is a declaration to both one another and the public that our congregation is committed to inclusivity and justice. Before we take a final vote, we will take a closer look at the Reconciling Statement:
We celebrate God’s gift of diversity and value the wholeness made possible in community equally shared and shepherded by all. We welcome and affirm people of every gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation, who are also of every age, race, ethnicity, physical and mental ability, level of education, and family structure, and of every economic, immigration, marital, and social status, and so much more. We acknowledge that we live in a world of profound social, economic, and political inequities. As followers of Jesus, we commit ourselves to the pursuit of justice and pledge to stand in solidarity with all who are marginalized and oppressed.
As you read this statement, what questions or reflections are you having? What makes sense to you? What seems confusing? How might Blaine Memorial commit to this vision of a radically inclusive and diverse faith community? We hope that you take the time to engage in conversation with one another and discuss how this reconciling statement fits with our mission and ministries at Blaine Memorial UMC.
By voting to adopt this statement, we are pledging to live out a life of faith that aligns with Jesus’s radical love for the world. We are excited to be going on this journey as a community! The IH team and RM Task Force are always looking for new folks to join us. If you feel called to lend your voice to these important ministries, we invite you to join us at our next team zoom meeting. Please contact Lynne or any of the other team members for more information.
Contact Lynne Onishi with questions about the Innovation Hub team or Reconciling Ministries, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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