May 21, 2015
Day of Pentecost – Wear Red!
Anthem: Canon for Pentecost
The Message: Dem Bones of Pentecost
Psalm 104:24-34, 35b
May 21, 2015
Sunday Night LIVE! Welcomes guest musician Julia Green. Scripture lesson is Acts 2:1-21, meditation is Dem Bones of Pentecost.
Healing Place Drivers:
Pickup: Henry Jarrett
Return: Mark O’Quinn
PA Operator: TBD
Refreshment Volunteer: Betsy Lampley
Thanks to everyone who regularly drives to pick up the men from the Healing Place. But we still need volunteers to drive regularly or as substitutes. We need a volunteer for Fifth Sundays. Our current volunteer, Mike Dunne, will be available as a substitute, but will be out of town on the next few fifth Sundays! Call the church office, 919-832-3316 for more information.
Volunteers are still needed on 2nd and 3rd Sundays to bring SNL snacks and drinks. Call the church office to volunteer. Thanks to Jean Porter for volunteering for 5th Sunday refreshments and to Julia Lowrimore who will help coordinate the refreshment calendar!
May 21, 2015
Season of Discernment: The Fairmont Church Council, upon the recommendation of the Diversity Committee and after a time of discernment, talking and listening, voted unanimously for presenting the resolution to become a Reconciling Congregation to our congregation for the next two weeks. A final vote will be taken at the next Church Council meeting on June 7th. If you have any concerns or additional comments, please speak with Pete Eberhardt, James Womble or Kirk.
May 21, 2015
Handbell Choir, Wednesdays, 6:00 PM
Chancel Choir rehearsals, Wednesdays, 7:00 PM
This Week and Upcoming
Pentecost Sunday, May 24, wear red!
UMYF, meet at church at 5:00 PM to walk down to Jimmy Johns.
Church Office is closed Monday for Memorial Day.
Sunday School and Morning Worship Traffic Alert, Sunday, May 31 is the Ironman Triathlon. Area roads will be closed (Clark Avenue is open but Hillsborough St. and other roads will be closed.)
Final UMYF for the Season, Sunday, May 31, meet at 4:45 PM to walk down to The Alley for bowling and fun!
Staff-Parish Relations Committee, meets Monday, June 1, 7:00 PM in the church library.
Permanent Endowment Fund Committee, meets Monday, June 1, 7:00 PM in the worship center.
May 21, 2015
In addition the Church Council will be presenting a resolution to become a Reconciling Congregation. The resolution will be presented for two Sundays. A final vote will be taken at the next Church Council meeting on June 7th. (see full article below)
April 30, 2015
From UMCOR–We continue to be in prayer with the people in Nepal and all who are affected by the earthquake including first responders and families of those who have died or are missing. Global Ministries has been in touch with all of our missionaries in the area and confirmed they are safe. UMCOR is preparing a response, working through local and international partners. Donations to support the response to the earthquake in Nepal and other international disasters can be made through UMCOR Advance # 982450. Checks can be made out to [Fairmont UMC] and write UMCOR Advance #982450 in the memo and put in the offering plate
April 16, 2015
Thank you very much for your generous contributions to our fund-raising cam-paign to fund the Trustees’ purchase of some much needed HVAC equipment. We quickly raised $14,270 on our $12,000 goal.
Based on the first proposal for one of the needed units, we may need the whole amount raised, but we’re still “shopping”. Any possible surplus will be applied to spruce up the parsonage for its new occupants. We reached our goal so fast that some willing contributors did not have an opportunity to give. Just like your home, if you’re fortunate enough own one, our church homes have continuous needs, so rest assured that you folks who missed this chance will have another.
April 16, 2015
Here is an overview of Fairmont’s season of discernment:
The first of the process was about Methodist doctrine and teaching with regards to the inclusion of LGBT persons in The United Methodist Church. Currently the Book of Discipline which is basically the book of rules and guidelines in the United Methodist Church, considers the practice of homosexuality incompatible with Christian teaching and tradition. That is contained in the Social Principles of The United Methodist Church in the section called the Nurturing Community under the heading of Human Sexuality. Further self avowed practicing homosexuals are prohibited from ordination and also pastors are prohibited from performing same gender marriages nor can any such marriage be performed in a United Methodist church. Rev Laurie Hays Coffman and Rev Paul Stallsworth explained the history of how we got where we are as a church and what currently is being discussed. Rev. Coffman represented a more liberal viewpoint seeking more openness within the church while Rev. Stallsworth took a more conservative, traditional stance saying the language is fine the way it is. It is was pointed out that the church does encourage churches not to turn away LGBT persons and to be in ministry with them. Also the Methodist Church does endorse civil rights for LGBT persons in civil society.
There are attempts to change the language in the Book of Discipline. Bishop Rev. Hope Morgan Ward, the bishop of our conference is leading a discussion on the global level of the church about possible changes of language in the Book of Discipline. One proposal that is being floated, called the “Third Way” which allows individual conferences to decide whether to ordain LGBT persons and individual churches to marry same gender couples. There is another proposal which is simply to emend or delete all the discriminatory language in the Book of Discipline. (See below.)
The second round of discernment sessions involved finding out what exactly is a Reconciling Congregation. This session was led by Rev. Hope Vickers, Lead Pastor at Epworth United Methodist Church in Durham which became a Reconciling church last year. Basically she said very little is different than what you see in the overall running of the church. Except that there is more explicit invitation to LGBT persons–that they are welcomed into the church and it is publicized in their bulletins, newsletter, and website. They did not experience much loss in membership by becoming a Reconciling congregation and in fact picked up members because they saw on their website or on the website of Reconciling Ministries Network. A couple from Ohio testified why they joined Epworth and another member explained their process of discernment.
The next round of discernment meetings is Sunday, March 29, 4:00 pm- 5:30 pm and Monday, March 30th, 7:00 pm-8:30 pm which will be led by Rev Laurie Hays Coffman. She will first show a video called “Coming Out and Coming In” which is a documentary which includes interviews of LGBT persons and their experience in the church. That will be followed by small group discussions and then there will be survey at the end.
A few resources you may want to advantage of. One is the Reconciling Ministries Network website— http://www.rmnetwork.org/. The other The United Methodist Church website where you look at the Book of Discipline- http://www.umc.org/what-we-believe/social-principles-social-creed. Here is an article from the Washington Post http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/is-it-possible-for-methodists-to-agree-to-disagree-on-gay-marriage/2015/03/13/0a2b8f14-c97c-11e4-a199-6cb5e63819d2_story.html?postshare=1321426376662408.
Also in 4 weeks the Methodist Federation for Social Action will be hosting the Jack Crum Conference on Prophetic Ministry-Love Your Neighbor. The conference is about the full inclusion of LGBT persons in the life and ministry of The United Methodist Church. It is Saturday, April 18th from 9:00 am-3:30 pm at Epworth United Methodist Church- 3002 Hope Valley Rd, Durham, NC 27707 . The cost is $25 in advance and $30 at the door and $10 for students. The keynote speaker is Rev Frank Schaefer who was frocked, defrocked, and then refrocked because he married his gay son to his partner several years ago. The closing worship is led by the Reverend Gil Caldwell who was with Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King in Selma. He too has performed a same gender marriage. And Jimmy Creech will be there leading a workshop with Reverend Caldwell. (See Henry Jarrett for registration information.)
I want thank all those who have come out for the discernment sessions and please if you have questions please feel free to contact me.
Resolution to the North Carolina Annual Conference of the UMC:
Concerning Discriminatory Language in the Book of Discipline
The New Testament instructs us to love and care for one another, avoid condemnation and let God be our judge, (Luke 6: 32-38) and to love our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22:39). It teaches us that our neighbor may be very different from ourselves (Luke 10:23-37). We believe as Christians in our local church our role is not to judge or condemn others, but to love those who may be unlovable in our society; to care for those who may not be able to repay us; to do good and care for those who may not be able to return kindness and welcome. We believe our call is to do no harm to others, but instead to offer grace and radical hospitality and allow that God will work in every person’s heart and spirit. We are to be merciful as our Father is merciful, and while the Old Testament Law very specifically identified sins, Love is the greatest power in the world and Jesus set us free from the Law, so that we can love and care for one another, and
Our Bishop Hope Morgan Ward has encouraged us to be people of grace and has shown great leadership of our Church in her writings about our journey regarding the subject of Homosexuality and the Church within the book, Finding Our Way, (edited by Bishop Reuben Job) stating that:
“The term emend, used in the parlance of editing and publishing, helps us reflect upon what happens in our life together. We revised our life from within. We persevered in the United Methodist family to make it better, more whole, more life-giving. The more familiar term amend describes the process of adding something to our life that was not previously present. In this way, that which is amended becomes better, stronger, wiser. Emendment captures our journey more accurately. From within, there arises a greater capacity to live well with differences” and
We believe as United Methodist Christians that we should all be a living example of the UMC statement: “Open minds, open hearts, open doors.” It is with the spirit of acceptance and inclusion that we are requesting a resolution from the North Carolina Annual Conference, and
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED:
The undersigned churches seek that the North Carolina Conference seek for all discriminatory language be identified, considered and emended from the Book of Discipline and Social Principles by the General Conference of the United Methodist Church so that all persons who profess their faith in Christ can be seen as sinners redeemed by God, accepting his grace, and welcomed into the United Methodist Church regardless of age, race, gender, or sexual orientation. We especially implore the General Conference that the following statement from the Social Principles*: “The United Methodist Church does not condone the practice of homosexuality and considers this practice incompatible with Christian teachings” be removed. We request that it be replaced with language that is positive, welcoming, and non-judgmental as it does not currently reflect the beliefs of many members of the United Methodist Church.
Submitted by the Outreach Committee of Epworth United Methodist Church
- Hope Valley Rd. Durham, NC 27707
*Book of Discipline Social Principles Paragraph 161
“We affirm that all persons are individuals of sacred worth, created in the image of God. All persons need the ministry of the Church in their struggles for human fulfillment, as well as the spiritual and emotional care of a fellowship that enables reconciling relationships with God, with others, and with self. The United Methodist Church does not condone the practice of homosexuality and considers this practice incompatible with Christian teachings. (Delete) We affirm that God’s grace is available to all. We will seek to live together in Christian community, welcoming, forgiving, and loving one another, as Christ has loved and accepted us. We implore families and churches not to reject or condemn lesbian and gay members and friends. We commit ourselves to be in ministry for and with all persons.”
There have been two surveys issued to date. These surveys were not votes on whether to become a Reconciling UMC; they were conducted to gain an understanding of how the congregation was seeing the issue after the three part series. The results of the surveys are outlined below with the question/statement and the percentage of respondents that chose each of the possible answers given in the survey.
Prior to this session/series, were you aware of the ongoing debate over the UMC’s positions on the full inclusion of Christians irrespective of their sexual orientation?
1 – Well Aware (43%) 2 – Aware (33%) 3- Some Knowledge (17%) 4 – Unaware (7%)
I think it is important for Fairmont UMC’s congregation to address this debate to determine how we will approach this issue as a church even though the Book of Discipline cannot be modified prior to 2016 and might not be modified in 2016.
1 – Strongly Agree (57%) 2 – Agree (33%) 3- Neutral (7%) 4 – Disagree (3%) 5 – Strongly Disagree (0%)
Given the sensitivity of this issue and the sincere passions on both sides, I think it is best to defer to the broader United Methodist Church for guidance. I believe this is a United Methodist Church issue, not a Fairmont UMC issue.
1 – Strongly Agree (3%) 2 – Agree (7%) 3- Neutral (10%) 4 – Disagree (30%) 5 – Strongly Disagree (50%)
If Fairmont UMC chooses to act on its own to embrace a fully inclusive position of all Christians independent of sexual orientation, I will likely move to another United Methodist Church.
Yes (0%) No (100%) Neutral (0%) Undecided (0%)
If Fairmont UMC chooses to maintain the status quo and to continue to exclude from full participation in the church select Christians based on sexual orientation, in accordance with the current positions as outlined in the Book of Discipline, I will likely leave the church.
Yes (20%) No (63%) Neutral (13%) Undecided (3%)
Season of Discernment Survey-Whether Fairmont United Methodist Church becomes a Reconciling
(80%) – I love it. I am ready and open to Fairmont becoming a member of the Reconciling Ministries Network
(3%) – I like it. It is growing on me
(6%) – I accept it although I am not sure.
(11%) – I disagree with it, but I love my church and will continue to participate and support our congregation. I will stand outside consensus and perhaps can learn as we go through this.
April 15, 2015
Here is the link to the April Fairmont Focus.
April 9, 2015
Healing Place Drivers
April 5: Dunne/Potter
April 12: Cox/Oldham
April 19: Michaels/Brock
April 26: Jarrett/O’Quinn
April 5: Laura Bottomley; Laura & Greg Bottomley, Beth Koziol
April 12: Joyce Anne Porter
April 19: Pam Bowden
April 26: TBD
Acolytes & Bible Bearers
April 5: Liza & Will; Katherine
April 12: Elizabeth; Ruth
April 19: Thomas; Shayna
April 26: Oakley & Samantha; Jacob
April 5: Head Usher: Richard Waggoner; Jack Michaels, Ken Dulaney, Joyce Anne Porter
April 12: Head Usher: Joyce Anne Porter: Richard & Pam Waggoner, Valerie Walker
April 19: Head Usher: Walter Brock; Pete Eberhart
April 26: Head Usher: Henry Jarrett: James & Joseph Womble