Fairmont United Methodist Church is celebrating one year of being a member of the Reconciling Ministries Network, which is made up of congregations that explicitly welcome LGBTQI worshippers.
To mark the anniversary, the Raleigh church will show the documentary “An Act of Love.” The film is about the Rev. Frank Schaefer and the divisions in the United Methodist Church over the inclusion of gay and transgender people.
Schaefer presided over a same-sex wedding for his son and was defrocked and then later “refrocked.” After the film, Jimmy Creech, a former pastor at Fairmont who has written a book about being defrocked for presiding over a same-sex wedding, will answer questions.
Fairmont became a Reconciling congregation due to the work of its Social Justice Committee, which was founded in 2007 as a task force to look at the past, present and future of the congregation.
“We wanted to embrace social justice,” said Henry Jarrett, chairman of the Mission and Social Justice Ministries. “The first issue we tackled was mental health reform in 2008 because we have a number of members of our evening service who are consumers of mental health services. Then in 2010 after the significant changes in school assignments we tackled school diversity.”
In 2014, Fairmont’s Social Justice Committee began exploring the idea of being a fully inclusive and welcoming congregation. There were church council meetings, sessions exploring church doctrine and a visit from Epworth United Methodist in Durham, which had already joined the Reconciling Ministries Network.
With overwhelming support from the congregation, the decision was made.
“No one said they would leave if we (became) a Reconciling congregation, but many said they would if we did not,” Jarrett said.
The move “was a courageous step forward in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender human and civil rights movement,” said Creech, the pastor. “It’s exciting and encouraging. I am proud of the leadership at Fairmont that made this possible.”
“An Act of Love” will be shown Monday, June 20, in the sanctuary at Fairmont United Methodist Church, 2501 Clark Ave., Raleigh. The event is free.
Windborne United Methodist Church will present a faith-based puppet show at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 15.
“The Prodigal” is a musical production that tells the story of Pinocchio as he discovers the ever-present love and compassion God has for his children.
The show uses different forms of creative arts, including puppets, blacklight, drama, signing, video and creative movement, to reveal life lessons for all ages. It is presented by Power Company, a creative arts team from the Chicagoland area.
The free program is family-friendly and designed for kids and grownups of all ages.
Windborne United Methodist Church is located at 9121 Six Forks Road, Raleigh.
Vacation Bible School
It’s Vacation Bible School season.
Organizers at St. James United Methodist are inviting all children to attend Barnyard Roundup from 5:30 to 8:15 Sunday through Thursday, June 19-23.
A snack supper will be served at 5:30 p.m., followed by VBS activities for children who are 3 years old as of June 1 through fifth-graders. Children will learn Psalm 23 through memory verses, songs and other activities. The event is free.
Families should register online at https://vbsmate.com/StJamesUMC. Walk-up registration will only be available the first evening.
St. James is located at 3808 St. James Church Road, Raleigh.
Carla Turchetti compiles Faith in Focus each week. Email her with details of upcoming events at firstname.lastname@example.org.