Thursday, October 11, 2012

RMN Flashnet -- Spirit Day, Eight new Reconciling Communities and more!

Reconciling UM's and friends in NE and beyond!  Another year of GREAT spiritual awakenings! 

See Facebook for coming events in NE :  Nebraska Statewide Reconciling Network
Blog :      RMN website :

Here is the lastest RMN Flashnet below :  you can get it monthly by email :  by going online to www.RMNetwork to sign up for it, see katalyst news and become a Reconciling UM by going to JOIN US ;  see all churches listed that are Reconciling Communities and where other Reconciling communities are in your state or conference!   See Stories, Resources and more!

Remember you can start a Reconciling COMMUNITY :  it can be a SS class, a choir, a youth group, a campus ministry, a UMW or book study, Missions committee, Coffee group or Support group! Let us know if you want to start a Reconciling community this fall!

We have the following Reconciling Communities in NE :   CELEBRATE FIVE Reconciling Communities in NE and see the new EIGHT Reconciling communities in the Flashnet!

1) Celebrate the Sixth Anniversary for Open hearts Reconciling Community and Support group in Nov!   Open hearts meets at Trinity UMC, G Island about once a month or has other events once a month!  We meet next Oct 14 at 2:30 PM, Nov 11 at 4 PM Telling our stories this fall: Coming out as Allies!   Contacts : Maureen Vetter, Mena Sprague

2)  Omaha First UMC over ten years and going strong!  Contact, Pastors Jane Florence and Deb McKnight
Coming out day rally today at 5:30 :  we hope it is going well!   It was at Omaha first umc today!  Send an email telling about it!

3)  RUMOLA, Lincoln :  contact Liz Bady, 15 years old this last summer!   HOORAH!

4) Nebraska Statewide Reconciling Network :  over six years!

5)  AWE or Affirming and Welcoming Everyone :  Christ UMC, Lincoln  Contacts  Wendy smith, Liz Bady, Cheryl Moncure, Jim Miller pastor

-------- Begin forwarded message --------
Subject: Spirit Day, Eight new Reconciling Communities and more!
Date: 10/11/12 5:36:15 PM
From: "Reconciling Ministries Network"
To: "Maureen Vetter"

 If you have trouble reading this e-mail, please click here

October 11, 2012
Dear Maureen,

In a recent RMN Blog post, Michael Overman shared his heart breaking story of being told in his ordination process that he would have to hide who God created him to be if he were to proceed with his journey in The United Methodist Church. Here is an excerpt: My identity [as a gay man] and relationship [with my partner] are something God loves and finds joy in and takes pleasure in. I am God’s beloved in the entirety of who I am, and God has not asked or called me to change. I am worthy because my Creator has called me worthy…
October is LGBT Heritage Month, a time to celebrate the diversity of our sexual orientations and gender identities and who God has really created us to be.  We participate together in these secular practices because, as people of faith, we
 believe God occupies the ordinary and makes it sacred.
Coming out and being who God created us to be takes a community. As the Eucharist reminds us, and as Michael tell us again in his story, "Though we may feel divided, we are one with Christ, one with each other, and one in ministry to all the world."
May it be so, as we come out together.

Happy National Coming Out Day! Challenge: If you feel able, come out today to your pastor, church community, law makers and/or friends and let them know you are LGBTQ, an ally, a person of faith or whatever you think is important for them to know. Then let them know you expect their support and full inclusion. Share your stories on our Facebook!
National Coming Out Day History: On Oct. 11, 1987, half a million people participated in the March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.  Read more»


Spirit Day Spirit Day was founded in 2010 by high school student Brittany McMillan. This October 19th, millions of Americans will wear purple to speak out against bullying and as a sign of support for LGBT youth. We need your help to help spread the word! GLAAD has put together a resource kit so that you can ask your local news, schools or elected officials to participate: more »


8 New Reconciling Communities Beverley Hills Community United Methodist Church (Alexandria, Virginia): Rev. Sara Manner and Lay Leader Karen Beasley are proud to announce the joining of BHCUMC with other churches across the country to “live out the teachings of Jesus Christ, who welcomed all people to his love, care, and grace.” On July 1st they voted to become a Reconciling Congregation!  Read more »

Meet the New Regional Organizers! RMN’s Regional Organizers are facilitating trainings in your area. If you want to help coach congregations and communities through the process of becoming a Reconciling Community, please contact you regional organizer.Read more »

Save the Date! The 2013 Reconciling Convocation has been scheduled for Labor Day weekend. Tell your friends, and plan to bring a group!  Reconciling Convocation Labor Day Weekend 2013 August 30 – September 2;  4-H Youth Conference Center Chevy Chase, Maryland (Washington, DC Area)

Sojourner's Voting Guide for 2012
You may have to enter your email address to see this, but you can uncheck the box that lets Sojourners put you on their mailing list (although they send out really interesting things to read)
More information at

Importance of ENDA

This speaks directly to the misinformation so many people seem to have about whether GLBT persons already have protections against discrimination.  The map might help some uninformed people to see why there's a need for things like the GI non-discrimination ordinance, and more nationally, ENDA.

*Dear Judith,*

Today, October 11, is National Coming Out Day – started in the late
1980's to raise up the lives of those who openly identified as LGBT and
to give hope to people who hadn't yet come out of the closet.

I've been privileged to spend most of my adult career working on LGBT
issues and in environments where my sexual orientation wasn’t an issue
at all. But many people don't have the privileges or freedoms in the
workplace I've taken for granted for so many years. *Despite the
remarkable progress made by the LGBT community there are still no clear
protections for workers, meaning it's still risky for many to be out in
the workplace*.

That's why the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) is so
important to protect people in the workplace based on sexual orientation
and gender identity. ENDA isn't about special rights – it would protect
non-LGBT people as well – it's about leveling the playing field to
ensure that applicants and employees are judged based on their
qualifications and performance and not who they are, how they present
themselves, or who they love.

On this National Coming Out Day, stand up for an America where everyone
can be out at work without fear of losing their job because of who they
are or whom they love – *share the image below on your Facebook profile*

and***sign our petition to pass ENDA*




And, if it feels right and safe, be honest with your co-workers when
having conversations in the workplace. The more people who have visible
LGBT colleagues the more people will accept us as equals.

Rea Carey       Sincerely,

Rea Carey, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force builds the power of the lesbian,
gay, bisexual, and transgender community from the ground up. The Task
Force is the country's premier social justice organization fighting to
improve the lives of LGBT people, and working to create positive,
lasting change and opportunity for all. The Task Force is a 501(c)(3)
corporation incorporated in Washington, D.C. Contributions to the Task
Force are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law. © 2012,
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, 1325 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Suite
600, Washington, D.C., 20005. Phone 202-393-5177. TTY 202-393-2284.

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
1325 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Suite 600
Washington, DC 20005



*Spread the word



National Coming Out Day--Today!

Reconciling UM's in NE :  Coming out day is almost here :  see NE RUM events on Facebook :  Nebraska Statewide Reconciling Network

Interfaith Rally at Omaha First UMC :  Oct 11 on Coming out day!   See Omaha First or Omaha PFLAG for details!

Spirit day is coming Oct 19 :   tell your friends, folks at church and work!  Wear purple and urge our candidates to wear purple : read the story why from GLAAD!    Maureen and Wendy, Social network contaccts, PRN contacts, Main Email contacts, Local RMN contacts in NE

Sign up to be an RUM or Reconciling United methodist today for Coming out day!   go today!  Sign up and Sign on!

From GLAAD today:  visit their website, facebook and more!  Also Human Rights campaign, Soulroce, Church within a church and RMN or Reconciling Ministries network :  collaborate with other groups and start a support group in your town or area!

Tell the presidential candidates to join millions by wearing purple on Spirit Day

I'm Katy Butler. You might know me from my work to change the  rating of the documentary Bully to PG-13 so more young people could see it. Now  I’m asking President Obama and Governor Romney to take a stand against  bullying.

Once, when I was in 7th grade, a few guys came up behind me  while I was putting my books in my locker. They called me names and asked me  why I even bothered to show my face at school because no one wanted to go to  school with a lesbian. When I went to leave, they pushed me against the wall.  Then they slammed my locker shut on my hand, breaking my finger. I held back  tears while I watched them run away laughing. I didn’t tell anyone because I  didn’t know whom I could talk to about being gay.

This was long before the start of Spirit Day, and before it felt like our  society really started taking bullying seriously.

I, and kids just like me, have spent years of our lives afraid  to say anything about bullying, because there was no effort to publicly show  support for us. I've been there. I felt like no one cared. I felt alone and we all need to work to ensure that LGBT young people don’t  feel that way any more.  

Katy Butler
Spirit Day Ambassador and Anti-Bullying Advocate message was sent by GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation)
5455 Wilshire Blvd, #1500, Los Angeles, CA 90036 | (323) 933-2240
Read  our privacy policy. If you no longer wish to receive GLAAD emails, you can click here to change your email preferences..
GLAAD is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that depends on  your support. If you are a member, please accept our thanks. If you would like  to support our important work, please visit  our website.

Open Hearts Fall events

Open Hearts folks and friends :   SEE ARTICLE ON GI CITY COUNCIL at the end of the EMAIL :  see you this fall!

Thanks to all who walked in the Harvest of Harmony for pride groups : and ALL who went for support last night to speak out on GLBT rights at the city Council meeting!   We really appreciate your witness and efforts for a safe Central NE!  The article link is below!

Don't forget upcoming dates to get together to create SAFE PLACES for all God's children :  COMING OUT Day and month in October!

Oct 11 : Coming out day :  Interfaith Rally at First umc, Omaha

Oct 12 : Art Opening for Ken and others :  5:30 PM, Prairie Winds Art Gallery, downtown GI

Oct 13 :  UM4GI Mission fest and Mission Marketplace :  First UMC, GIsland, 9:30 to noon First umc F Island : help others in the community and do mission :  I love yarn for Mission marketplace, bring $5, a crochet hook and yarn!  Missionfest events: First umc, W capital ave, GI

Oct 14 :  Dr Seuss Bucket for Hassan fund :  bring your change and look for the orange bucket at TUMC!  Reading Challenge for Hassan!

Oct 14 :  OPEN HEARTS RECONCILING COMMUNITY and SUPPORT GROUP : Fellowship at 2:30 PM, bring a snack to share!
3 PM : Telling our Stories :  Coming out as Allies with Maureen Vetter sharing her story :   sharing about GLBT events and more!
Come early at 2:30 if you are new to the group to read Support group guidelines!   Bring a friend and come to create safe places!
Bring baking items for our OPEN HEARTS Holiday Baking Basket for Baskets of love for two HIV AIDS offerings!  Offerings for RMN!

Oct 15 :  UM4GI HIV AIDS Task force, 11:30 am, Gathering place, TUMC, bring your own lunch, Grant due nov 1 and planning for events
Oct 15 :  NE UMC HIV AIDS Task force, 1 - 3 PM, Gathering Place, Trinity UMC, G I :  for AIDS Ambassadors in NE or folks who want to know more about becoming an AIDS Ambassador promoting the Special Offering Dec 2 for UM Global AIDS fund, other fundraisers!
Bring Chocolate bars for our Bear and Chocolate Basket for BASKETS OF LOVE for Dec and Baskets of love, create a basket yourself!

Oct 19 : Spirit Day :  wear purple to end bullying!

Nov 1 :  Celebrate DIVERSITY :  Multicultural Coalition One day Conference : Grand Island, contact Multicultural Coaltion offices, GI

Nov 2 :  10 am, Coffee and Conversation on UM Global AIDS fund, being an AIDS Ambassador or if you are one to share stories and info!   Baristas, Webb Road, Grand Island, look for Mandy, Sarah and Maureen   COME JOIN US!

Nov 10 :  2 PM, Coffee and Conversation, Blue Moon Coffee shop, Hastings Downtown : UM Global AIDS fund and being an AIDS Ambassador or meeting other AIDS Ambassadors and sharing info, stories etc.    Look for Cindy Karges and Maureen Vetter   Does your church have an AIDS Ambassador? The special offering sunday is Dec 2 in the NE UMC!

Nov 11 :  OPEN HEARTS RECONCILING COMMUNITY and SUPPORT GROUP :  4 PM in the GATHERING place, TUMC :  6th Anniversary Celebration!   Bring a celebration snack and hear Rev Bob Rhodes share his story :  Telling our stories, Coming Out as Allies!
NOTE THE TIME IS DIFFERENT than usual as SCREENING for the film THE QUILTED CONSCIENCE is at 2 PM at the GRAND theater downtown GI, FREE to public!  Come celebrate with this double header for Celebrating DIVERSITY!   Fundraisers for RMN too!

Dec 1 - 16, BASKETS OF LOVE Fundraiser for two HIV AIDS funds : Dec 1 - 16, 12:10PM, let us know if your church can do BASKETS OF LOVE!
GOODIES OF LOVE:  Dec 15, 16 only :   bring goodies in tins, on plates, in bowls or baskets covered in saran wrap :  Dec 15 and 16 only

Dec 1 : WORLD AIDS DAY, Special offering for our two HIV AIDS funds:  UM Global AIDS fund, TUMC Emergency HIV AIDS fund
Dec 2 : Special offering in Worships for UM Global AIDS fund, Baskets of love starts and ends Dec 16, 12:10 PM after worship!

Need others to help and lead in 2013 with Open Hearts monthly gatherings :  Ugly Sweater party january, Movie meeting Feb, Sharing meeting, march, BBQ or picnic in april,  May coffee,  Summer coffee, Pride events summer and Annual Conference tables, Potlucks in Hastings to support Hastings college alliance :  april and sept, Coming out day Oct and Telling our stories, Thanksgiving meeting nov and World AIDS day Dec : contact Maureen vetter if you can be on an OPEN HEARTS leadership team 2013!

BREAKING NEWS : City council meeting oct 9 to protect GLBT rights : voted down by vote of 8 to 2

CWAC: National Coming Out Day

This reflection is from Vernice Thorn, pastors at Broadway UMC and Church Within a Church Movement brings us HOPE and AWAKENING!
Share it with others and yourself as Coming Out day for allies and for Gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual, queer and questionning folks!

Maureen and Wendy, Contacts in NE for our network with Main Email contacts and others!  We are almost 400 strong in NE as RUM's!

Go to our Facebook page :  Nebraska Statewide Reconciling Network    Our blog :
Website for Reconciling Ministries Network:   www.RMNetwork       Website for Church Within a Church :

See you at evente in october and this fall :  Interfaith Rally today for Coming Out Day at Omaha First UMC, 5:30 PM  ( see omaha first umc website, Omaha PflAG website )

Oct 14 : Open hearts Reconciling community, Trinity UMC, G island, 2:30 pm fellowship time, bring snacks to share : 3 PM  : Tellikng our st stories and coming out as allies!

Oct 15 :  PFLAG Hastings meeting ;  see website for info

Oct 15 :  HIV AIDS meetings, Trinity UMC, GI, 11:30 am Um4GI task force, bring your lunch;   1 - 3 PM NE UM Global AIDS fund task force. both meetings in Gathering Place, Trinity UMC, 511 N Elm, GI NE :   use WEST doors as they are the main doors now!

Oct 19 :  Purple Day and Spirit day : wear purple to end bullying!

CWAC logo JL 2010 rainbow flag National Coming Out Day established in 1987 October Devotion I believe coming out is a spiritual event
that happens over and over again in our lives.
Rev. Vernice Thorn  
October 11th is "Coming Out" day. As a counselor and one who sits with people to hear their stories, even as I tell my own, I believe coming out is a spiritual event that happens over and over again in our lives.
I am thankful for my gay sisters and brothers for claiming that phrase as an experience of authenticity. I hear it as a public declaration of our God given identity; an identity that God claims as good. And so this day gives us an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the gift of identity that God has blessed us to be. We are each made in God's image - that means gay, straight, lesbian, asexual, bisexual, black, brown, red, yellow, white, gender fluid, transgender, documented, undocumented, female, male...however we name ourselves God claims each of us as God's own.  Unfortunately, we live in a world where barriers often divide us by identity - and as a result we spend so much of our time and energy trying to visualize ourselves as wonderfully made and loved. That is why the need to come out and continue to come out is necessary. CWACM is a movement which provides safe space and community to live out a justice that says all of God's people are valued and valuable. I don't always feel that self-worth. So places like CWACM gives me the courage to confront and "come out" of those places of fear and self-hatred that I have ingested into my soul.
I have a vivid memory that is as fresh in my minds eye as though it happened yesterday. little black child
I was about six years old and was standing in the bathroom looking in the only mirror in the house.  I had this perplexed look on my face as I stared at myself.  I was thinking, something's wrong with the way I look.  My Barbie doll looks different. The people on the TV set look different. What's wrong with me? That image and that question have plagued me all my life. My family did not discuss race.  Our difference was neither acknowledged nor affirmed.  What I know now is without affirmation difference becomes "not normal." Beneath my quest for justice is a desire to be seen as "normal"; to not live in a reality where my difference makes me an outsider. That longing continues to influence the justice and inclusive ministry that is my life's work.
As we commemorate "coming out", I would request that each of us ask ourselves where are the places of fear that keep us locked up tight, those places that hinder wholeness? Is it our sexual orientation? Is it our ethnicity or skin color? (for those of us who have dark skin, there are still ways to be closeted around our identity) Is it our mental illness, or physical illness?  Is it our spiritual ambiguity?  Is it a relational or familial connection we would just soon no one know about? Is it an addiction we keep silent about, because of the mere shame of it?  Is it some type of abuse we are experiencing? Whatever painful circumstance we are keeping locked away, I offer this prayer for us.  
You, who open doors and dismantle barriers, help us to remember who we have been created to be. Open those closet doors that we might live a full and fulfilling life. Heal the wounds of exclusion and silence that we have experienced so that we can live as faithful neighbors, recognizing the spirit of love in each other. Open our hearts to the transforming power of that love so we can forgive and reconcile, so that we can make peace and live peace in the world. Amen.
For further reflection read:
The Joseph Story (Genesis 45:1-5) Coming out to reconcile with family
The Esther Story (Esther 4:13-16) Coming out to save a people
vernice thorn Vernice Thorn
The Lazarus Story (John 11:39-44) Coming out to New Life
Rev. Vernice Thorn
Associate pastor, Broadway UMC, Chicago, IL 
Co-convener, National Coordinating Team, CWAC Movement 
"Mimi" to granddaughter Jayla Rose   
Celebrating 10 years of Faith, Community and Justice
October 19-21, 2012. Chicago, Illinois

We are building the stepping stones 
stepping stones anniv 10 years of justice ministry. 10 years of making a difference for people especially excluded from full participation in the United Methodist Church. 10 years of growing, learning, creating, shaping, listening. Listening to the holy nudge through each of us who call the Church Within A Church Movement, home. We have much to celebrate and remember. We have even more to be grateful for. God is with us. God is around us. God is within us. We are profoundly grateful.

                    More Information
It's not to late to join the celebration. Don't delay, make your plans today!

About Us
The Core Valuesof the Movement.
The Theological Statementof the Movement.
The Newsof the Movement.
The Historyof the Movement.
core values logo CWACM Core Values
Church Within A Church Movement
P.O. Box 578524
Chicago, Illinois 60657-8524