First UMC Boulder to host event with Bishop Tonyia M. Rawls

March 01, 2019
First United Methodist Church of Boulder welcomes the Crafting a New Normal gathering on Saturday, March 16, as we celebrate our 22nd anniversary of becoming a member church of the Reconciling Ministries Network, fully welcoming of LGBTQ people and their loved ones. The celebration continues in our 10:30 AM church service on Sunday, March 17, when Bishop Tonyia M. Rawls will be our guest preacher with a sermon entitled “Jesus the Holy Disrupter.” The Resonance Women’s Chorus will also sing during our service.
 
Our Reconciling celebrations will be particularly poignant and timely this year, as on Feb. 26, 2019, the delegates gathered in St. Louis for the General Conference of The United Methodist Church voted 438-384 to pass the Traditional Plan, which reinforces the church’s current bans on “self-avowed practicing” gay clergy and same-sex unions. First United Methodist Church of Boulder responded with a statement signed by our Pastor, the Rev. Matthias Krier, and many of our church leaders and staff. The statement said, in part: “As a Reconciling Congregation that affirms the human dignity and worth of all persons, we at First United Methodist Church of Boulder are heartbroken to hear this news.

We are saddened and grieved that the General Conference of the United Methodist Church stands in opposition of full inclusion of our entire UMC family. Our hearts especially go out to our LGBTQIA+ siblings who have been hurt once again by the United Methodist Church as a whole — our commitment remains with you.” First United Methodist Church of Boulder’s response statement can be found in its entirety on our website.
 
Crafting a New Normal is a FREE community gathering about inclusion and intersectionality that will take place at First United Methodist Church of Boulder (1421 Spruce Street in downtown Boulder). The goal of this daylong forum is for participants to be inspired to act in ways that honor diversity, empower the marginalized, and liberate the oppressed. The headliner for this special event is Bishop Tonyia M. Rawls, an out lesbian, national faith leader, and social justice activist who has focused most of her work in the Southeastern United States fighting oppression and discrimination. In 2008, she was consecrated as one of the first women Bishops in the Los Angeles-based Unity Fellowship Church Movement’s history. In 2014 she founded Sacred Souls United Church of Christ, a diverse congregation of progressive Christians in Charlotte. Bishop Rawls is also the co-founder of the Charlotte Clergy Coalition for Justice, as well as the Founder and Executive Director of The Freedom Center for Social Justice. Founded in 2009, FCSJ works intersectionally through programs that support the trans community, people of color, people of low wealth, youth and sexual minorities.
 
The Crafting a New Normal gathering will also include a panel of Boulder County leaders including Carly Hare (Coalition Catalyst/National Director, CHANGE Philanthropy), Mardi Moore (Executive Director, Out Boulder County), Jeff Hirota (CEO, Community Foundation of Boulder County), Shiquita Yarbrough (Co-Founder, Families of Color Colorado), and Nicole Garcia (Licensed Professional Counselor, Umbrella Collective). The panelists will respond to topics including race, gender, sexuality, faith, and intersectionality. The women’s chorus, Sound Circle, will sing to close the day.
 
Absolutely EVERYONE is welcome! Lunch will be provided. Childcare is available.
 
There is very limited on-site parking for Crafting a New Normal due to the construction of the Attention Homes Apartments on the church’s property. A small number of handicapped spaces are available on the circle drive outside the church’s main entrance, and this circle may also be used for pick-up and drop-off. Access this circle from either 14th or 15th Street, between Pine and Spruce. Paid parking is available on the street, and there are also several City of Boulder parking garages that are within walking distance of the church; City garages are free on weekends. Visit the parking page on the church’s website for more information.
 
TO REGISTER for the March 16 gathering, and for more information, please visit the event website: www.craftinganewnormal.org. Registration is requested by March 10 if you want to reserve a free lunch.
 
THANK YOU to our sponsors: PFLAG Boulder County, TYES (Trans Youth Education & Support), and First United Methodist Church of Boulder.
 
THANK YOU to these participating organizations: Sound Circle, CHANGE Philanthropy, Community Foundation of Boulder County, Families of Color Colorado, Out Boulder County, Umbrella Collective, and Resonance Women’s Chorus.