Reconciling Ministries Team
Celebrating God’s Gift: Diversity
By Lynne Onishi
Greetings from the Reconciling Ministries (RM) team at Blaine! The RM team is a lay-led group of congregation members who are passionate about LGBTQIA+ inclusion in the church. We are here to help guide this church through a process of discernment as we consider affiliating with the Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN).
To affiliate with RMN, our church must vote to adopt a Reconciling Statement. We want to hear what you think about this statement before we take a final vote, so we are conducting a straw poll on May 21. As we prepare to take a straw poll, we invite you to look at the Reconciling Statement below:
“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.”
Why are you a part of the team?
I am a member of the Reconciling Ministry Team because I know a family whose son is non-binary. I have seen their fear when prejudice and hate were directed toward their child. And I have seen their reaction to be one of honesty, courage, and love. I believe the church can come alongside families like this to provide support and community.
I am part of the Reconciling Ministries Team because I grew up in this church and have always felt included, yet also off to the side, and want to see a place that is welcoming and affirming to all.
Dale H. Watanabe
I am a member of the Reconciling Ministries Team because we, as a church, love God and God’s people. We can show our love by openly expressing welcome to our friends who are often marginalized and hurt, even though that may not be our intention. As a teacher, I worked with many youth who suffered pain and rejection because of their sexual identities. Sometimes, the pain was too much to bear. Offering an accepting (Christian?) community can metaphorically and literally save lives.
Reconciling Ministries Team
Yoshi Kuramoto, Arlene Naganawa, Lynne Onishi, Lawrence Paltep, Terri Pittman, Mariko Ronan, Jarrett Shirouzu, Jenna Tong, Dale Watanabe, Malia Yamamoto
The Reconciling Ministries Team invites all who are interested to join in our work! Visit rmnetwork.org for more information.