Upcoming Events at UCRP
Work/Clean Up Day
Volunteers need to help with UCRP Fall Work Day with the Trustees on Saturday 26 October at 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.
What we believe and how we live it out
Wednesday Night Study at 7 pm
Becoming part of UCRP
If you want to join United Church of Rogers Park, there will have a meeting directly after worship on Nov. 10th
Labor goes to church: Arise Chicago connects religious values to worker rights
Pastor Lindsey and UCRP are in this Sunday 1 September issue of the Chicago Sun-Times
The article is about this Labor Day weekend throughout Cook County with 112 services in churches, synagogues and mosques called ‘Labor in the Pulpit/on the Bima/in the Minbar.’
First church in Africa to become part of the Reconciling Church Network
We celebrate and thank God for the first United Methodist Reconciling church in Africa and outside the United States!!!
On Sunday, September 1, 2019, Moheto First United Methodist Church became the first African Reconciling Church and the first Reconciling United Methodist Church outside of the United States. It joins over 1,100 other churches around the connection in upholding the mission of the Reconciling Ministries Network: to equip and mobilize United Methodists to resist evil, injustice, and oppression as we seek justice for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.
Rev. Kennedy Mwita of Moheto FUMC affirms that “as a church, we are convinced and convicted that the love of God is much greater than what human beings can imagine,” and that Moheto FUMC became a Reconciling Church after “a long journey of discernment and prayers.”
Rev. Mwita cites this as a critical moment for Moheto FUMC to affiliate with the Reconciling movement: “I personally would not stand to see our church being a tool of oppression to the children of God. We have voted not to obey the Book of Discipline on matters that separate us but to observe the three simple rules: do no harm, do good, and stay in relationship with our God. I know as a church we have taken a step which may make some clergy in Moheto FUMC face charges and be discontinued, but I am prepared and I will not turn back.”
Rev. Mwita has served Moheto FUMC since 1998. Moheto FUMC’s journey toward full inclusion began in 2012 when the mother of an intersex child sought refuge at the church. She had been abused by her husband and sent away for having given birth to a baby considered “a curse to the family.” Rev. Mwita and the church welcomed her with open arms. “This became my eye opener and the church’s to know that God’s creation is diverse.”
Moheto FUMC then began a series of studies on human sexuality. Rev. Mwita gives thanks for Bishop Joseph Tolton, Bishop Yvette Flunder, and Rev. Dr. Grace Imathiu for their mentorship and for facilitating theological trainings and discussions on human sexuality “at a time when no one else in Kenya Ethiopia Annual Conference could give an ear.”
Moheto FUMC has started a medical clinic in Moheto that will soon be open to all regardless of tribe, ethnicity, gender, or sexuality. They are further engaged in evangelical outreach to schools, and they distribute menstrual products to school children. They are involved in ministry with the LGBTQI church in Nairobi and hope to further inclusive discussions around human sexuality to The United Methodist Church in Kenya and around Africa.
“Friends,” says Rev. Mwita of the importance of Moheto’s commitment, “My call to The UMC globally is that we stop all forms of discrimination. I believe with your continual prayers, moral support, discussions around human sexuality, and sharing God’s message of love, the Reconciling Ministries Network will enable us to share this good news to all.”
MOHETO FUMC’S WELCOMING STATEMENT IS BELOW:
We proclaim that all people are created in the image of God and affirm that each person, regardless of age, economic status, faith history, tribe, ethnicity, gender, mental or physical ability, marital status, sexual orientation, or gender identification, is a beloved child of God and worthy of God’s love and grace.
We support the full participation of all persons in every phase of church life.
Through education and informal discussion, we will strive to better understand those who are different from ourselves to bring about a more accepting society.
We recognize ourselves to be a Reconciling Congregation within The Kenya-Ethiopia Annual Conference and choose to officially associate ourselves with the Reconciling Ministries Network within the United Methodist Church.
We see this network as a sign of hope and through this association offer our witness to other congregations within our denomination to foster the spirit of reconciliation and movement toward inclusiveness
Visit Moheto First UMC’s website here.
If you would like to send them a letter of encouragement, please address it to:
Moheto First United Methodist Church
P.O. Box 382 Suna 40400 Kenya
Farewell to our Student Intern Lisley
On Sunday 4 August 2019, we said good-bye to our Student Intern Lisley Jaegar.
They oversaw the 10-week book study on "Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again" by Rachel Held Evans. This Book Study Group seemingly grew in numbers due to Lisley’s leadership.
Lisley greatly helped with UCRP Summer Camp’s 3rd and 4th graders.
While the intern was a short while, but both the congregation and Lisley learned and grew together.
UCRP wishes Lisley a path of continuing to seek justice.
A Big Splashy Thank You
Last July, after work on the water main on Morse Avenue, the City of Chicago informed UCRP that we need to upgrade our plumbing connection to be in compliance. This work is fairly extensive and expensive and needs to be done quickly so that our water is not shut off. UCRP sent out a GoFundMe request for $10,000 hoping to receive $3,000 to $4,0000.
We have exceeded expectations, raising over $17,000 — enough to make the repairs.
The money came pouring in from all over Chicago and even from out of state. One donation came from as far as Jacksonville, Florida. There was even an anonymous donor submitted UCRP for a grant where it won $8,000.
Our gratitude to all who responded to UCRP’s matter of urgency.
UCRP has always been a safe place for the most vulnerable, from our free after school and summer kids programs, the restorative justice work of Circles and Ciphers, our work for LGBTQIA justice and the many, many community organizations that come through our doors, this building has played a part in making our community healthier and safer for decades.
PROTECT ROGERS PARK
July 11, 2019 - Many of us have heard rumors of ICE raids this weekend or soon.
We know this administration relies on rumor, lies and terror to get their way, and they often say things they don't mean. We also know that we are safer together.
With all this in mind, we ask all of you to be vigilant, to be careful with your neighbors, and whenever possible to be out and about. Take a walk, have a picnic, talk to your neighbors, check on a friend, make a new one. And always carry Protect Rogers Park** number - 773-917-4505 - in your phone. We are safer together. So let's be together.
We are grateful to be in this neighborhood with all of you!
**Protect Rogers Park is a group of Rogers Parkers committed to protecting our community, especially those among us targeted due to race, immigration status, national origin, religion, or gender expression.
**Protect Rogers Park es un grupo de Rogers Park organizado para proteger a nuestra comunidad, especialmente a aquellos entre nosotros que son perseguidos por causa de nuestra raza, estatus migratorio, nacionalidad, religión, o expresión de género.
ALABAMA METHODISTS SIGNED AN APOLOGY LETTER TO THE LGBT COMMUNITY
Both clergy and laypersons, 548 Methodists in all, from all over Alabama came together to sign a letter apologizing to the LGBT community and condemning the national church's position against marriage equality and gay deacons. Though not an official act by the North Alabama Conference, most of the signatories were from the state.
"For every time that someone in the church has hurt you because of who you are or who you love, we are deeply sorry; we hurt with you, and we are committed to pursuing God's love and justice with you," the letter, posted Thursday 8 August 2019. To see the full letter, click her on ApologyLetter.info.
"We are grieved that our conference failed to do the right thing and apologize for the harm we have inflicted. We also wish to do more than apologize. We hope to deeply and loudly affirm your sacred worth," the letter continues.
"We should have done more to follow the movement of God's Spirit, and we are sorry for our failure. We are sorry for the harm of General Conference 2019, but we are convinced it is not the last word for the people called Methodist. ... The church is incomplete until it welcomes all."
Tell Congress and President Trump: End child detention and family separation.
Across the United States, news headlines are laying bare the horrific and fatal conditions migrant children, families, and adults are facing in detention centers, at the border, and on their way to the border. Many families have fled violence and poverty in their countries of origin to seek asylum in the United States, only to have U.S. immigration officials tear them apart.
Children are spending weeks or months in inhumane detention, lacking access to basic necessities and facing abuse, sleep deprivation, illness, and moare.
These policies are immoral and contrary to our Gospel mandate.
The United Methodist Church opposes “immigration policies that separate family members from each other or that include detention of families with children” (Social Principles, ¶162.H). For years, the Church has called on the government to eliminate “indefinite detention, [and the] incarceration of children” and to establish “an immigration system that is rooted in the inherent worth, dignity, value and human rights of migrants.” (Book of Resolutions, 3281)
Today, we call on you — United Methodists.
The United Methodist Church directs its local churches, congregations, and members to: “call the United States government to immediately cease all arrests, detainment, and deportations of undocumented immigrants, including children, solely based upon their immigration status until a fair and comprehensive immigration reform is passed.” (Book of Resolutions, 3281)
Church and Society, in partnership with other faith-based organizations and community groups, is calling for an immediate end to child detention and family separation. Join us. Help young people send letters and drawings to Congress and President Trump, and send your own.
Now is the time to lift up your voice. Now is the time to take action.
Have children and youth write letters to Congress and President Trump, urging these leaders to do everything they can to immediately end child detention, unite immigrant children with their families, and prevent other detention centers from opening.
Let your members of Congress and President Trump know that you’re a United Methodist, a follower of Christ, and that separating and detaining children is bizarre, cruel and immoral. You can use our website to send an email right now to your representative and senators.
We need you!
Do you have a car? Would you be willing to give rides to those who need assistance getting to worship on Sundays? Would you be able to pick up before service or give rides home after? Even if you can only commit to helping every once in a while, please let Pastor Hope know.