- by Laura Young, RMN Regional Organizer -
LGBTQ United Methodists and welcoming churches probably isn't he first things that come to mind when you thik of Texas. The times, they are a changin'. This past weekend, several Reconciling United Methodists (RUMs) took a special training designed to help them coach churches through the process of becoming Reconciling.
Travis Park UMC in San Antonio (Southwest Texas Conference) hosted the first RMN Process Coach training in the South Central Jurisdiction. I appreciated the timing as a prelude to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The warm Travis Park welcome literally began in the parking lot as they designated RMN parking in the midst of their busy downtown location.
learned from Institute for Welcoming Resources trainer Rev. Vicki Wunsch, and gained insight from the sharing of their own experiences in their local churches and Reconciling conversations. They left with new friends and helpful skills needing for coaching area congregations and communities who are ready to begin the Reconciling process. Those who joined us for the dessert and coffee on Friday night heard moving stories, got caught up on the exciting happenings in the national Reconciling movement, and enjoyed some delicious (and very creative) desserts.
Southwest Texas is a vibrant area of the South Central Jurisdiction and, as you’ve probably noticed on Facebook and in Flashnet, is steadily producing new Reconciling communities. It’s pretty impressive! Several new communities are planning to begin this meaningful journey in 2013 and I’m happy to say that they will benefit from the support and resources that these new Process Coaches are ready to provide.
Southwest Texas isn’t alone. Exciting things are happening in many conferences around the nation. In this pilot year, we’re training Process Coaches in 10 annual conferences throughout the US. If you’re interested in learning these skills and being a Process Coach for a prospective Reconciling community in your area, please use this link for more information and contact the Regional Organizer assigned to your jurisdiction about training opportunities near you. http://www.rmnetwork.org/coach/
As of today, we have 531 Reconciling Communities. Is your congregation ready to begin this amazing process? Is your Sunday school class interested in this meaningful conversation? What about your UMW chapter or your campus ministry? Let us hear from you so that we can offer guidance, support, and prayer. Call us so that we can continue to grow this movement, love our neighbors, impact our United Methodist Church, and transform the world.
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Laura Young is a partner, mother, outspoken advocate for social justice, and has been volunteering with RMN since 2007. She is a member of the Texas Annual Conference, but is currently living in the North West Texas Annual Conference, where her partner serves as the senior pastor of St. John’s UMC in Lubbock. Laura chairs the board for Perkins Lay School of Theology, and co-chairs Breaking the Silence – a voice for full inclusion in the Texas Annual Conference. She was the Legislative Coordinator for Church & Society B at the 2012 General Conference, and served as a lay delegate to Jurisdictional Conference. She enjoys live music, Houston Astros baseball, and collects giraffes.