Faithful & Inclusive Study

As you may know, for the last few months, we've been discerning what it means for us to be a welcoming and inclusive congregation, especially as it concerns people who are LGBTQ+. Several weeks ago, we had a fruitful q&a session after worship. Before we make any kind of decision, we're going to spend the next few weeks studying some of the relevant biblical passages and theological issues surrounding LGBTQ+ inclusion. For 6 Sundays beginning Oct. 6, instead of our regular Sunday School classes, the whole church is invited to take part in a video study produced by Rev. Rob Fuquay called "Faithful & Inclusive". We'll be meeting at 9 am before worship for viewing and discussion, either in the parlor or the fellowship hall (depending on attendance). You aren't required to purchase any materials.

As we move forward in discernment, I hope to see you all on Sunday mornings.

God's peace!

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September 2019 Pastor's Corner

Greetings in Christ!
On August 18, Broadmeadow's Board of Stewards met and made the decision to enter into a time of discernment over whether our church will become a Reconciling congregation.
For those of you who don't know what that means, the Reconciling Ministries Network is a group of congregations, individuals, and organizations within the United Methodist Church who are publicly fully-affirming of LGBTQ+ people and ministries. As you probably do know, the United Methodist Book of Discipline states that same sex relationships are "incompatable with Christian teaching" and bars "self-affirming homosexuals" from serving as clergy. Becoming a Reconciling congregation would mean that we, as a congregation, publicly and intentionally disagree with the denomination's position and seek to welcome LGBTQ+ persons into our faith community and work for inclusion within the wider denomination. It would not affect our standing or membership within the United Methodist Church.
I think we are all aware of the disagreements within the UMC over how we minister to and with LGBTQ+ persons. These disagreements have, at times, been acrimonious in ways that do not become the Church of Jesus Christ. It has been my experience, so far, that Broadmeadow is able to navigate disagreement with a spirit of mutual love, and it is my prayer that we continue to do so.
This decision will ultimately be up to the entire congregation. We will be having a church-wide meeting on Sunday, Sept. 15, after worship to answer questions and discuss how to move forward with our discernment together. We will not be making any kind of decision that day. I hope we'll see you all there.
In the meantime, please feel free to go to the RMN's website: www.rmnetwork.org to find out more; go straight to http://bit.ly/RMNInfo to download some helpful tools (much of which is currently found in the narthex for you to take), or shoot me a message. I'll be glad to have a conversation and answer any questions.
Most of all, please be in prayer for discernment for all of us.
God bless!

Sermon Series: "Action Required"

Many people of faith have no problem talking about what God has done for us and for our salvation, but have a problem when it's time to tlak about what God requires of us. God's claim on our lives calls on us to engage in a radically different way of loving, seeing, and doing in the world. Our sermon series over the next 4 weeks will challenge us to discover the importance of acting on what we believe. You're invited to join us for "Action Required."

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Easter Sermon Series: Surprise! The Unexpected ACTS of God

As the Easter season continues, Broadmeadow will be focusing on surprising acts of God in the book of Acts. We all know he excitement & disquiet that come with the sudden reversal of our expectations. The early Christians whose stories are told in the book of Acts have no shortage of surprises. The resurrection sets off a host of unexpected events and changes for Jesus' followers, even changes within themselves. If our own spiritual lives have come to seem humdrum & everyday, these stories will awaken in us a new desire for God's work int eh lives of unsuspecting, ordinary people like ourselves. As we explore the journey of surprises in these texts, we will learn the spiritual habit of welcoming an unpredictable God and coming to expect the unexpected.

You're invited to join us for our Easter season sermon series: "Surprise! The Unexpected ACTS of God.

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God On The Move

Jesus didn't say in one place for long. His earthly ministry was one of moving fro one place and encounter to the next. He also move through every part of the human experience, encountering everything fro temptation, to joy, to suffering, and even death. Our Lenten sermon series helps us reclaim the movement of Jesus' ministry from temptation to condemnation, through his teaching and miracles, and finally through the story of his death and resurrection. As we encounter the life and ministry of Jesus, we cannot stay the same. We ourselves are moved to grow and change as followers and imitators of the gospel.

We find that we are not alone. God is still on the move in our lives, walking with us every step of the way. You're invited to join us as we experience "God on the Move"

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March 2019 Pastor's Corner

I write this the day after the end of the United Methodist Church's Special Called General Conference in St. Louis. The meeting was called specifically to address legislation around sexuality and the Church's stance on ordination and marriage of individuals in same-sex relationships.
First, let me lay out what happened:
General Conference, by a vote of approximately 53%-47%, rejected the One Church Plan, which would have allowed local church bodies and pastors to choose their own paths. This was the legislation that was supported by a majority of the bishops of our Church. With about the same percentage, the body adopted the Traditional Plan, which reaffirmed the current language around sexuality ("incompatible with Christian teaching") and the bans on ordination and marriage. The plan would have also set minimum penalties and established enhanced enforcement. However, before the voting even occurred, the Church's highest court ruled the penalties and enforcement incompatible with the Church's constitution. This means, for all intents and purposes, the United Methodist Church reverts to the previous status quo.
I'm going to be honest with you all. I'm still processing all of this. There are a lot of people hurting after a contentious three days of debate. What this means for the future of the United Methodist Church, I simply don't know. 
But, I can tell you a few things: I'll still be here this Sunday. Broadmeadow is still open to anyone and everyone who wants to be here. And God still loves ALL of us. That's not up for a vote.
God bless.

December 2018 Pastor's Corner

Advent is an in-between time of year. It's not just between Thanksgiving & Christmas, though that's when it occurs. Advent is all about what was and what is to be, about what has already happened and what has yet to occur. It's a time of anticipation, of expectancy. To live the Christian journey with expectancy at a most basic level is to e a resident of two worlds. We live fully in the here and ow, with all the joys and sorrows, victories & setbacks of incarnate life. We love, laugh, get tired, make mistakes, hurt, rejoice, and grieve in the journey through this wonderful creation & re-creation given us by God. And we live with anticipation in the life to come, having entered into the near end of the eternal journey through the waters of baptism & belief, faith, & practice. We are in between the coming of Christ & his coming again, living the "now" with hopeful expectancy that empowers and sustains us.

You're invited to join us throughout December as we explore living in the in between time.

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November 2018 Pastor's Corner

November is usually the time of year when Broadmeadow emphasizes stewardship. This year is no different. I'm aware, as always, that stewardship is not the topic that gets most of you super excited. 
But, I want our focus to be a little different this year. We're going to hone in on what it means to give in love. 
"Love" is an overused word. And its overuse leads to its watering down. But, when Scripture talks about love, it's not just talking about a nice feeling toward someone or something. To love someone means to take drastic action to do good for them. It means living sacrificially so that your neighbors, strangers, and even your enemies have what they need to live abundantly. It means forming communities that work for the betterment of everyone.
So, all this month, we'll be talking about Gifts of Love. And, yes, I hope by the end you'll make a commitment to support Broadmeadow through the coming year, not just with your money, but with your actions, faithfulness, and love.

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The Upside-Down Kingdom

During worship this October, we'll be studying the 10th chapter of Mark. Jesus and the disciples are making their final journey to Jerusalem, and he is elaborating on what following him requires. This chapter contains a collection of teachings, sometimes very difficult ones, about the nature of true discipleship. It's based on a life contrary to the perspectives and priorities of the world and is more in line with the kingdom of God. In a sense, the values of the kingdom seek to turn the world upside down. Each of the texts we' be reading reveals a different way that God inverts the culture at large and requires us to live a life "upside down."
We'll see you in worship this month for "The Upside Down Kingdom".

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