March 19, 2019
AUMC Members and Active Participants,
The Considering Reconciling Committee (CRC) has recommended and the Core Leaders Team (CLT) has approved that our congregation move forward with a vote on whether to become members of the Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN) on Sunday, April 7 during worship. For more on the voting process, see below. We will have one combined worship service at 10:00am on April 7, which will probably be more than one hour long. We will vote during worship, announce the results of the vote, and then have communion together. We hope you will all plan to be there and be part of this important decision for our congregation. The process we have used to get to this point has been too slow for some and too fast for others. In the almost three weeks before the vote, we hope everyone will be part of the final stages of the process.
There will be three congregational meetings in which information will be available about what our process has been over the last 18 months and what it means to be a member of the Reconciling Ministries Network and what it doesn't mean. There will also be time for facilitated discussion and questions and answers. The first two of these congregational meetings will be on Wednesday, March 27, at 10:00am and at 7:00pm. Pastor Brad will facilitate both of those meetings. The third meeting will be a Common Table gathering on Tuesday, April 2 at 7:00pm. Pastor Laura and CLT Chair, Joe Lee, will facilitate that meeting.
We want everyone who thinks of Aldersgate as their church home to be part of this process and to vote.
Specifically, those who are eligible to vote are:
- Members who attend worship
- Members who are homebound or hospital bound
- Anyone who gives financially to Aldersgate UMC
- Anyone who gives of their time to Aldersgate UMC
- Youth in 6th grade or above who are either active in the Aldersgate youth group or in some
other ministry of Aldersgate UMC
- College students who were active in ministries at Aldersgate and have not transferred their membership elsewhere
- Active participants, as defined by self-report on attendance registers (to be used only in cases when nothing else applies)
If you are eligible to vote and you want to vote, but cannot be present on Sunday, April 7 during worship, you can turn in your ballot at the Common Table meeting on Tuesday, April 2 or to the church office between 9:00am-2:00pm on April 3-5. You can also mail your ballot into the church office. All ballots must be at church by the 10:00am worship service on April 7 to be counted in the vote. Ballots will be available from one of the pastors starting on Sunday, March 31, for those unable to be present at the vote.
Joining the Reconciling Ministries Network would be a public statement about our inclusive welcome of persons in the LGBTQIA community. It requires dues to the network which amount to approximately $500 per year. Members of the network are expected to have a public welcome statement. If we decide to join, the exact form of that statement would be up to us. We are including with this letter a copy of the timeline of CRC activities and events and a summary of what Reconciling Ministries Network is and what it is not (Click Here).
If you have questions or concerns, we encourage you to talk with us, attend one of the congregational meetings in the coming weeks, and visit the Reconciling Ministries Network website (https://rmnetwork.org/) to learn more.
Pastor Brad Beeman Pastor Laura Baumgartner
Senior Pastor Associate Pastor