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Church Vitality

Greater NW Pride: Beyond the Rainbow Flag

Brett Webb-Mitchell

3/12/2019

Beyond the Rainbow Flag (Or “Once the Rainbow Flags Are Down, Then What?”)   Since the vote taken by the delegates at the United Methodist Church’s (UMC) specially called General Conference, my Facebook page with other UMC contacts exploded with images of rainbow flags, banners, bunting, pics of whirligigs, candles, hats, pins, ribbons, hair bows, and tassels. Everywhere I looked on various UMC websites, there were more rainbow memorabilia, with banners draping church signs, rainbows flags ...


Greater NW Pride: What St. Harvey Milk Has to Say to Queer UMC Folk

Brett Webb-Mitchell

3/7/2019

What St. Harvey Milk Has to Say to Queer UMC Folk   Above my desk in my office space in the OR-ID United Methodist Church Conference Center is a modern-day icon of St. Harvey Milk, one of my heroes in the LGBTQ movement, painted by the local artist Chris Haberman. In this moment of change within the United Methodist Church, I’ve asked myself, “What would Harvey do?” After all, he was in the nexus of change in modern American society, and his story, like many other stories of LGBTQ people in ...


Spirit Alive: It's Time to Get Real

Lowell Greathouse

3/3/2019

St. Louis 2019-- What Just Happened?


Greater NW Pride: Solidarity in Love for and with LGBTQ+ United Methodist Clergy and Members

Brett Webb-Mitchell

2/26/2019

Solidarity in Love for LGBTQ+ United Methodist Clergy and Members   In Paul’s letter to the Corinthian church, the pastoral part of Paul talks about the incredible nature of the body of Christ in terms of the interconnectedness and solidarity we are to practice with one another. What came to mind as I watched the decisions being made by the delegates of the United Methodist Church’s General Conference (UMC-GC), are these verses: “But God has so arranged the body, giving the greater honor to ...


Greater NW Pride: Prayer, Patience, and Perseverance

Brett Webb-Mitchell

2/21/2019

Prayer, Patience, and Perseverance In the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA), the lead up to our amending our Constitution (Book of Order) in 2011 to welcoming and affirming LGBTQ people as out and ordained as Ministers of the Word and Sacraments, Ruling Elders, and Deacons, was dramatic, long in coming, and drawn out. Our process of amending the Book of Order begins with an amendment beginning from a church’s session, followed by its approval by a Presbytery Committee (Conference), followed by ...


Greater NW Pride: Who's Going to Get It Right?

Brett Webb-Mitchell

2/18/2019

Who’s Going to Get This Right?   Something amazing is going on concurrently involving the LGBTQ community and the Church. More specifically, something is going on this week in both the Roman Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church and their respective relationship with LGBTQ people, having to do with the matter of including and integrating us into their largely cisgender and straight faith communities. In the Roman Catholic Church, columnist Frank Bruni of the New York Times focused on...


Greater NW Pride: Valentine’s Day in the LGBTQ+ Community

Brett Webb-Mitchell

2/14/2019

Valentine’s Day in the LGBTQ Community   My partner Christian and I celebrated Valentine’s Day early this year because he was going to be in Hanoi, Vietnam, on Valentine’s Day, and I was going to be in Portland. It was also our first Valentine’s Day as a couple! I surprised him with chocolate, red wine, a card, and an orchid, and he gave me a card last week, along with numerous gifts of shirts, meals out, and love! The card was huge, as he said to me after I opened his card to me, “I usually ...


Spirit Alive: Where Is Your Church's Heartbeat?

Lowell Greathouse

2/9/2019

Without a Heartbeat, There Is No Pulse....


Greater NW Pride: Inclusion, or Who is Including Whom into Which Community?

Brett Webb-Mitchell

2/6/2019

Inclusion, or Who is Including Whom into Which Community?   “Inclusion.” Noun. Mirriam-Webster on-line dictionary defines inclusion as the act or state of being included.  “Include” is a transitive verb. It means to enclose; to shut up; to take in or comprise as a part of a whole or group; to contain between or within.   In the previous blog, I focused on the act and art of hospitality, of welcome. To act hospitable, or to welcome is the first move towards inclusion and, finally, integration. ...


Greater NW Pride: Hospitality: Welcoming People with Disabilities and LGBTQ+ People in the Church

Brett Webb-Mitchell

1/31/2019

Hospitality: Welcoming People with Disabilities and LGBTQ+ People in the Church In the Rule of St. Benedict, we read that “all guests who arrive (are to) be received like Christ, for he is going to say: I was a stranger and you welcomed me (Matt. 25:35), and to all let due honor be shown, especially to those who share our faith (Gal. 6:10) and to pilgrims…In the reception of the poor and pilgrims, the greatest care and solicitude should be shown, because it is especially in them that Christ is...


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