The Governing Board recently spent time on a retreat considering the future of Roberts Park in light of the decisions taken at the 2019 General Conference regarding human sexuality. The Governing Board concluded that it would like to recommend to the broader church congregation that Roberts Park UMC considers becoming a member of the Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN) by becoming a ‘Reconciling Church.’ To do that,the entire church membership is invited to come on the 13th of October to consider the affirmation statement and vote. Please note all are welcome to attend the meeting, but only those who are formally members of the church are eligible to vote. You can read the the affirmation statement at the bottom of this post.
While a ministry of Reconciliation includes an intersectional approach to justice and inclusion, the essential requirement to affiliate with RMN is a public statement that clearly and boldly welcomes and affirms people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. The current Book of Discipline singles out lesbian and gay persons for harm, and because RMN is committed to ensuring that bisexual, gender-expansive, and transgender persons are equally valued and included, it is critical that the statement not only welcomes but explicitly affirms people of “all sexual orientations and gender identities.” Formal affiliation to the RMN requires a vote of at least 75% of those present and eligible to vote.
If after a time of deliberation and a there is a positive vote to affiliate with the RMN, we will take a photograph of those present to accompany the Roberts Park UMC reconciling statement and the completed New Reconciling Community Form.
In preparation for the vote, Rev. Dan Gangler will be offering a time of discussion after the second service on October 6 for any who would like to hear more about the RMN and ask more specific questions about what it means to be a part of the organization. You can also find more information on the RMN website at www.rmnetwork.org If there is enough interest in having a second meeting to discuss becoming part of RMN, I will hold a meeting on Wednesday, October 9 at 7.00 p.m. in the chapel. There will be a sign-up sheet in the fellowship hall for those who would like to attend.
I would encourage you to attend on the 13th.
Shalom to you my friend,
Statement of Affirmation
Whoever you are, whatever your condition, wherever you are on your spiritual journey, you are a beloved child of God, and without exception, you are welcome here.
Roberts Park United Methodist Church embraces the wider Methodist understanding that God’s grace is given to all. We are committed to creating a community of grace where all feel welcome and respected regardless of age, economic condition, race, color, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, mental abilities, family configuration, or place on the spectrum of progressive, centrist, or conservative theological belief.
Our welcome extends to those who have not attended a church in the past, those who have known the pain of exclusion and discrimination in the church and the community, and persons of all backgrounds, regardless of where they might be on the journey to a more fully God-led life.
We believe that all people are of sacred worth to God and that God loves us all. Emphasizing that we are loved and accepted just as we are, we affirm the dignity, worth and value of every person. We celebrate joyful diversity in the human tapestry that is our church, believing that contrasting lifestyles, experiences, and ethnicities teach us that we can all love alike even when we may not think alike on all issues. We believe Jesus’ teaching and example informs our lives as Christians today, but we are also not afraid to question and grapple with the learning and stories of our faith as we journey together.
Park exists to invite, encourage, teach, and support all people to become
deeply committed to a life with God. With Jesus Christ as our inspiration, we
strive to be the heart of downtown Indianapolis by serving others with
compassion, nurturing meaningful relationships and offering radical hospitality
to all. It is through our ministry in community that we move from not only
believing in Jesus Christ but also to becoming his disciples, transforming
ourselves and the world.
We invite all people to join in the life and ministries of our church as we journey together toward greater love, understanding, and mutual respect.