Spring is upon us and Easter is now only a month away. During this time of rebirth, the Reconciling Ministries Team (RMT) at Gresham UMC will also be experiencing a renewal. As of March 3, the RMT will henceforth be known as the Affirmation and Equality Ministry.
We will continue to work within the greater Reconciling Ministries Network and be registered as a Reconciling church. Our new ministry group name is not only more inclusive but also is more relatable and recognizable to those outside of the Methodist tradition who might be seeking an affirming and loving faith community.
Our hope for the Affirmation and Equality Ministry is that it becomes increasingly more inclusive in every aspect, besides bearing a name that folx outside our denomination can recognize and feel welcomed by.
We should strive as a team and as a church to be inclusive in, what Bishop Karen Oliveto terms “an intersectional way,” recognizing and respecting that there are members of our church and our community who are not only queer, but whose identities are much more complex. And with that, their struggles as well as their perspectives are more complex. When you seek to do better by the queer community, you must also seek to do better by those who are queer and differently abled, queer and a person of color, queer and female — every person of the rainbow community.
Our Affirmation and Equality Ministry promotes education and awareness of LGBTQ2SIA+ issues while providing a voice and a space of healing within the faith community for ALL.
— Brittany Allen (she/her), Affirmation and Equality Team chairperson