Submitted by Charlotte Holden Carr
Associate Pastor, Smoky Hill UMC, Centennial, CO
On Feb. 3, approximately 200 people gathered at Smoky Hill United Methodist Church in Centennial, Colorado for a conference to discern if God was calling the church to become a Reconciling Congregation. According to the Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN) website
, "Reconciling Churches and Communities are United Methodist spaces committed to building the inclusion to which God calls us." RMN was founded in 1982, after a United Methodist task force created a network "to reconcile The United Methodist Church and lesbians/gay men.
After prayers, questions, and speeches, the result was an 85.2% affirmation to officially become a Reconciling Congregation. This vote culminates a five year journey led by the Reconciling Ministries Task Force. This group provided educational resources, panel discussions, question-and-answer platforms, and open-conversation opportunities.
Charlotte Holden Carr, Associate Pastor, shared that "Smoky Hill UMC is a diverse people, with varied and interesting life stories, that come together to tell the story of Christ. We are proud to be a welcoming congregation, and we are excited to extend our invitation to our LGBTQ+ siblings in this unequivocal, official statement."
For more information on the Reconciling Ministries Network, visit rmnetwork.org