On October 17th, 2019, Bethesda United Methodist Church voted with an overwhelming majority to affiliate with the Reconciling Ministries Network as a commitment to our existing Welcoming Statement to “support the inclusion of all in every aspect of the life of the church.”
We are grateful to everyone who guided and participated in this process.
See below for a history of our process.
At the June 2019 Church Council Meeting, the BUMC Church Council voted to enter into a discernment process about joining the Reconciling Ministries Network, and to create a Steering Committee to lead this process.
The Members of the Steering Committee are: Caroline Jagger, David King, Lynn Koenig, Joanna Miller, Sarah Moore, Nancy Smith, Van Yeutter.
Over the summer we held several events.
- June 2 Info Session and Q&A in Founder’s Hall to find out more about the Reconciling Process and hear any updates from the Baltimore Washington Annual Conference Session.
- June 17, Dialogue & Q&A Rev. Julie Wilson and Rev. Health Wilson, a clergy couple in the BWC, joined us to provide differing perspectives on issues of human sexuality in a UMC context. Revs. Wilson and Wilson shared their individual (and differing) perspectives on this topic and there was time for Q&A.
- Bible Studies – Total Participants about 53
- Held on June 30, July 14, August 14, September 12
- Small Group Dinners & Conversation – Total Participants about 60
- Held on June 19, June 25, July 8, July 16, July 29, August 19
- September 15, Congregational Meetings in Founder’s Hall to update the congregation on the Discernment Process and what our next steps are.
To conclude our process, we help a Church Council Listening Session on October 9, 7:30 pm where everyone in the BUMC community was invited to share their thoughts and stories about inclusion and human sexuality with the Church Council at the Council’s October meeting.
Our last step in the process was our Reconciling Church Conference – October 16, 7:30 pm with Rev. Gerry Green, District Superintendent as the Presiding Elder. The motion before the conference was:
Bethesda United Methodist Church will affiliate with the Reconciling Ministries Network as a commitment to our existing Welcoming Statement to “support the inclusion of all in every aspect of the life of the church.”
The follow guidance was provided to our members.
- Only members of BUMC are eligible to vote
- Members must be present to vote
- Child Care will be available.
- Please contact the church office by Tuesday, October 15 if you need help with transportation.
For more information about the Reconciling Ministries Network and their work, please visit their website: rmnetwork.org