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Devoted with PRIDE Week 1

This page will list each day's scripture, devotion, question(s) to ponder, and a short bio of each author for the first week of the Mountain Sky Conference Devoted with PRIDE. Participants on the journey will receive a daily email with this same content. 


 

Devoted with PRIDE

June 1

Celebrate pride this year through daily devotions created by clergy and laity throughout the Mountain Sky Conference and beyond!


Scripture: 

1 Corinthians 12:4-57, The Inclusive Bible


"There are a variety of gifts, but always the same Spirit.  There are a variety of ministries, but we serve the same One. There are a variety of outcomes, but the same God is working in all of them. To each person is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good." 


Devotion:

We Know.

We have always known. We have always known that we have the power. The power to say yes to each other and to God. The power to open and share that space that makes us feel alive, that brings delight to us and delight in sharing. Delight in loving and being loved for our joy-filled, authentic selves.

Before we sang to Meg and Cris and Teresa and Holly and Amy and Emily. Before. 

Before we played softball together. Before we went in groups to “the bar.” Before we danced together. Before we jumped apart when men in suits and dark glasses entered the bar. 

We knew. We knew all along that we have the power. The power of Love.

Before we knew the letters LGBTQAi. Before we were told that the sum of the parts of us were “not compatible with Christian teaching”. Before then. We knew.

Before then, we knew. Before then we knew that we were loved. Just as we know now that we are loved by God for just who we are, just as we are. Just as we know now that our love, God’s love is demonstrated in our connection. We remember. We know. We have always known.

"Do you know the path of those gone before? Are you setting a way for those yet to come?


Bio:

I am Rev. Sharon Langfeldt and my pronouns are she/her/hers.  I serve central Denver at Christ Church United Methodist. A cradle Methodist, I am committed to working with the UMC to invite ALL in to share lives, loves, food, and the wonderful uniqueness of ALL cultures.


Join the Conversation:

Join us on Mountain Sky Ministry Crossroads for a daily opportunity to interact with others as you engage with each daily devotion. Mountain Sky Ministry Crossroads is a new collaborative platform with resources for ministry and network with others for ministry support and innovation! Sign up here to become a member of Crossroads, and join the “Devoted with PRIDE June 2021” Workshop!


Devoted with PRIDE

June 2

Celebrate pride this year through daily devotions created by clergy and laity throughout the Mountain Sky Conference and beyond!


Scripture: 

John 15:12, NRSV

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”


Devotion:

Growing up I was exposed to a more evangelical conservative path of Christianity. I was told many things about what the Bible said as filtered through this lens. A few years ago, I started reading the Bible instead of listening to what people told me it said. I was confronted with a very different Bible. I found a Bible that was filled with love, care and welcome to the stranger. It took a while to figure out that stranger was me. As a white cisgender male, I have always “known” I was welcome and part of the group. It was extremely confrontational to read that I was the outcast in Scripture. I was the one filled with hate and exclusion. I was working to build and sustain a church that was polar opposite to John 10:10: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they might have life and have it abundantly.” It was a process to deconstruct thirty years of learning. I had to admit I was wrong (which is NOT easy for me.) I had to own the harm I caused by both my action and inaction. I am still learning and growing, because muscle memory is hard to rewire. I had to allow space for myself, and to have grace and a place of wonder. I thought of myself as intelligent, good and worthy of love. I was confronted with my ignorance, hate and lack of love. I had to move to a place where things are not binary. I am intelligent but I have so much more to learn so I must move from certainty to wonder. I am good but I cause harm sometimes. I am worthy of love and I need to extend that love to all God’s children.  As John 15:12 says, “This is my commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you.” They will know we are Christians by our love.

 

What is an area of your life where you need to move from certainty to wonder?


Bio:

I am Reverend Kenneth Daniell (he, him, his) I am currently the pastor at Riverton UMC in Riverton, WY.


Join the Conversation:

Join us on Mountain Sky Ministry Crossroads for a daily opportunity to interact with others as you engage with each daily devotion. Mountain Sky Ministry Crossroads is a new collaborative platform with resources for ministry and network with others for ministry support and innovation! Sign up here to become a member of Crossroads, and join the “Devoted with PRIDE June 2021” Workshop!


Devoted with PRIDE

June 3

Celebrate pride this year through daily devotions created by clergy and laity throughout the Mountain Sky Conference and beyond!


Scripture: 

Acts 8:26-40, NRSV


Devotion:

You can listen to Rev. Izzy Alvaran's devotional here:

Devoted with PRIDE: June 3rd, 2021- Izzy Alvaren from Mountain Sky Conference | UMC on Vimeo.


Video Transcript:

 

Do You sometimes feel that you are too different or too other to be part of the body of Christ? Well the first recorded baptism in scripture is that of the Ethiopian eunuch. You can read his story in Acts chapter 8 verses 26 to 40. 

Whenever I remember that story, I remember my own baptism. I am a gay United Methodist clergy serving our church proudly. I remember that baptism because I too was baptised; I was born and raised in this church.

 In fifth grade, while attending a youth and children's camp hosted by my home church--which happens to be the first Methodist and Protestant church in the Philippines --I decided during one of the consecration services to be a pastor in this church; I responded to the call. But also in fifth grade, I realized I was a gay kid and God was silent the whole time when I was asking. “Why would you call me to be a pastor in your church, a church that would not accept me?” So through college, through seminary, I was in the closet to myself but then God answered that question because I was appointed to be a pastor of a church where I was baptized, my first church assignment, and it’s not a coincidence. The first words that came out of my mouth when I preached that Sunday, I said, “I was baptized in this church.” And as I said those words God spoke to my heart and said, “I have walked with you full circle. From this very sanctuary where you were baptized, up to now! And now you are here as my servant. There is nothing wrong with you. Your baptism confirms that you are my child. I took you back to this place now to affirm you, to love you, to embrace you!” 

So friends: when you feel you’re too different, that you don't belong...remember your baptism, and be thankful. God bless you. Amen. 

 

What does your baptism tell you about the kingdom of God?


Bio:

Rev. Dr. Izzy Alvaran, he/him/his pronouns

I am a clergy from the Philippines now living in California. I am appointed to serve as an organizer of Reconciling Ministries Network serving the Western and North Central Jurisdictions.


Join the Conversation:

Join us on Mountain Sky Ministry Crossroads for a daily opportunity to interact with others as you engage with each daily devotion. Mountain Sky Ministry Crossroads is a new collaborative platform with resources for ministry and network with others for ministry support and innovation! Sign up here to become a member of Crossroads, and join the “Devoted with PRIDE June 2021” Workshop!


Devoted with PRIDE

June 4

Celebrate pride this year through daily devotions created by clergy and laity throughout the Mountain Sky Conference and beyond!


Scripture: 

Genesis 1:24-25, NRSV

 

“And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind: cattle and creeping things and wild animals of the earth of every kind.” And it was so. God made the wild animals of the earth of every kind, and the cattle of every kind, and everything that creeps upon the ground of every kind. And God saw that it was good.”


Devotion:

In my time in ministry I have served communities in Montana, New Mexico, Texas, and of course Wyoming.  I spent many years working directly with youth and young adults in the most awkward and confusing times of their lives.  Growing up and serving in areas that were not affirming and welcoming to the 2SLGBTQIAP+ community, students would often come heart broken, angry, and lost after being told by the church, their families and friends, and society that they were broken and didn’t belong because of their sexuality.  Many came to me as their youth/campus pastor and asked “Can I be here? Do I belong?” My response “Yes! You were made just as God intended and the fullness of who you were created to be is beautiful and good.”

For me as an ally my faith and theology is informed by my understanding of creation. In Genesis when God creates, God looks over the fullness of all that was created and proclaims “It is Good”. If we believe that God creates in such a beautiful and deliberate way sexuality is a key piece to creation, to who we are as humans.  As humans we cannot fully live into who God created us to be and see it as good, if we deny a part of ourselves or others.  For me, being an ally is about making space and walking with my 2SLGBTQIAP+ siblings in love, grace, and the fullness of who God has created each of us to be.

 

How can you see and celebrate the fullness of creation in others?


Bio:

My name is Pastor Zach Bechtold (he,him) and I live in Cheyenne, Wy.  I have the honor and privilege to be the pastor at Grace United Methodist Church here in Cheyenne as well as the Congregational Resource Minister for the Wyoming District of the Mountain Sky Conference. Simply put, I have the opportunity to work with communities all across the great state of Wyoming. I love being outdoors with my family camping, hiking, and kayaking. 


Join the Conversation:

Join us on Mountain Sky Ministry Crossroads for a daily opportunity to interact with others as you engage with each daily devotion. Mountain Sky Ministry Crossroads is a new collaborative platform with resources for ministry and network with others for ministry support and innovation! Sign up here to become a member of Crossroads, and join the “Devoted with PRIDE June 2021” Workshop!


Devoted with PRIDE

June 5

Celebrate pride this year through daily devotions created by clergy and laity throughout the Mountain Sky Conference and beyond!


Scripture: 

 

Matthew 11:28-30

 

“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” 


Devotion:

 

I was raised by my father, a multi-ethnic, brown-skinned immigrant to the USA from Central America. Growing up, no one around me was affirming of anything that was not heteronormative. I first heard the Gospel when I was 14, a 9th grade drop-out, sarcastic, guarded, cynical, world-weary, and far from home. Upon hearing about this Jesus who loved the outcasts, I decided I, too, wanted to “follow” Him. At 14, I took that first intentional step of my faith journey as a Christian.

In time, I learned that I was beloved, a child of God, made in God’s image; my brain/body was not a sinful mistake, but God’s temple. I struggled to reconcile so many parts of my identity with the words in the Bible and the behavior of other Christians though, that it took a few years before I would claim that label as one of them for myself. In my search for a community that would accept all of me, the multitude of judgmental and contradictory expressions of ‘Churchianity’ I encountered turned me off completely to all of them. But the Spirit of Jesus kept calling me. Jesus, I was seriously falling in love with. The Church? Not so much. 

Matthew 11:28-30 gave me the guidance I needed, to keep coming back to Christ, and to keep learning and trusting what He said, not what others said, about me. I eventually got my GED and went on to college. There I found my way to an international Christian community that nurtured me in my faith. There I answered the call to ordained ministry. Every day, while so many individuals in the church, and its systems, sin against me, Jesus never does. In Christ, I can much more readily accept and love all of me, and love others.   

What burdens will you exchange with Jesus for His yoke, so you can learn to be the change you and He want to see in the world/Church?    


Bio:

Rev Melinda Baber (she, her) I am an ordained Elder in the MSC-UMC, a poet, a mom, and a certified spiritual director. I live with my 2 little dogs, 1 old grey cat and many rocks. 


Join the Conversation:

Join us on Mountain Sky Ministry Crossroads for a daily opportunity to interact with others as you engage with each daily devotion. Mountain Sky Ministry Crossroads is a new collaborative platform with resources for ministry and network with others for ministry support and innovation! Sign up here to become a member of Crossroads, and join the “Devoted with PRIDE June 2021” Workshop!