Back in Chicago again

I am attending the Lutherans Concerned Leadership Retreat at the Cabrini Retreat Center. The retreat started with dinner and socializing with friends and ended with an uplifting worship service and reception. In between, we discussed a variety of topics related to synod and churchwide assemblies.

I particularly enjoyed a presentation by Troy Plummer of the UMC Reconciling Ministries program. He described an initiative the group has underway to work for full inclusion in the United Methodist Church. This program is similar to the Lutherans Concerned Reconciling in Christ program.

The foundation of their initiative is to tell their stories and in the process form relationships with voting members to their assemblies/conferences. I feel this effort is critical in any GLBT program that seeks to involve the wider community in their journey for equality and recognition. So often people do not convey the need for equality and what it means to all people (not just GLBT people) in the church or other organization. Personal dialogue is a key element in getting others to put themselves in your shoes.

I try to take at least one point away from any presentation I attend and work that point into my personal life. From this presentation I liked their acronym of HUM: Hospitality, Unity and Ministry. No matter what side you are on, no matter how you support or do not support policies, no matter how angry you may become inside of yourself… you need to remember that HUM is what we should all strive for in our relationship to our church and to others engaged in ministry within the church.

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