This Sunday, August 11, Walnut Creek United Methodist Church will mark its 25th anniversary as a Reconciling Congregation. The celebration will begin with worship at 9:30 a.m., featuring JJ Warren as guest preacher, and will be followed by a luncheon at 11:15 am.
Warren, a 2019 graduate of Sarah Lawrence College just outside New York City, will be attending Boston University School of Theology in the fall. He is a certified candidate for ministry in The United Methodist Church and has worked as the children’s ministry director at Ardsley UMC, as well as serving as the spiritual life coordinator for Casowasco Camp and Retreat Center. He devoted the 2017-18 academic year to studying Biblical Hebrew and early Church history at Oxford University, England.
Warren has spent the past four years preaching at churches and youth events, founding a progressive Christian community on his undergraduate campus, leading the Young Adult Ministries Team of the Upper NY Conference, and serving as a lay delegate to the special session of the General Conference in February 2019, where he made an impassioned speech for inclusion and unity. The speech was featured in The Huffington Post, Study Breaks magazine, Sarah Lawrence's the Phoenix, and on NBC.
The Walnut Creek UMC celebration is part of his summer 2019 tour, “Forward Together,” which will reach 30 U.S. cities by its conclusion.
Please RSVP for the luncheon that follows the 9:30 a.m. worship service at Walnut Creek UMC by contacting the Rev. Colin Kerr-Carpenter at email@example.com or by calling 925-478-3151.
Editor’s Note: The California-Nevada Annual Conference has more than 90 Reconciling Churches and Communities (RCs), more than any other conference in the United States, according to Rev. Dr. Israel I. Alvaran, reconciling process organizer and Western Jurisdiction organizer for the Reconciling Ministries Network.
Since the February 2019 Special General Conference, the Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN) has added more Reconciling Communities and individuals than in any year since RMN was born more than 35 years ago. 125 new Reconciling communities and more than 6,000 new Reconciling United Methodists have been added over the last few months
In 1984, as a dissenting response to the 1984 General Conference amendment to The Book of Discipline which stated, “no self-avowed, practicing homosexual shall be ordained or appointed in the United Methodist Church,” RMN was born, with two congregations voting to become Reconciling Congregations (RCs): The first, Washington Square UMC in New York City, and the second, Wesley UMC in Fresno, California – symbolically located on the opposite sides of the continent. By the end of that year, nine RCs existed. Today, RMN is a network of more than 1,000 Reconciling Churches and communities and there are currently more than 40,000 Reconciling United Methodists.