Lois Wright facilitated this meeting. She began by explaining what Reconciling United Methodists and Friends is an what it aims to do. She then had a short devotional with a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. on justice.
Sharing/support time followed. There were several first-time attendees who shared their stories.
The portion of the meeting devoted to business dealt with the following:
Lois encouraged everyone to wear the Reconciling rainbow ribbons to their respective churches as a declaration, as a statement of support to those who might need to know they are not alone, and as a means of encouraging people to ask what the ribbon means. Ribbons were passed out t those who did not already have one.
Everyone was encouraged to attend Calvary UMC, especially on the second Sunday of each month, as a show of support for Laurie Coffman and the reconciling work God is doing through her ministry and through the remaining members of that church.
Attendees were encouraged to send their stories to the national RCP headquarters by February 7 to be sent in the form of Recipes for Justice to delegates to General Conference.
Lois explained again that anyone who is a member of the national Reconciling Congregations Program will be on a public list that can be accessed through the Internet. Those who are members of the local group can choose to be part of our private e-group, through which information is circulated by e-mail. Members can also be on our public, printed list of members, with addresses, e-mails, and phone numbers, for those who wish to be accessible to other members. This list is, of course, for member use only.
General Conference forms for registration and housing were passed out and everyone was encouraged to attend at least part of the two-week meeting. There will be numerous activities and celebrations during the middle weekend of the conference, and there was talk of some members of our group possibly car-pooling.
Lois shared with those present the recommendation of the leadership team to continue to have the every-other-month 3rd Monday meetings be primarily for support and fellowship, and to continue to alternate with our worship services. A business/activist meeting on the 1st Monday of each month (beginning in March) will be added for those who want to be more public/activist. Business meetings will focus on developing workshops, an annotated reading list, materials for groups that want information on the issue of homosexuality, a speakers bureau, etc.
It was decided by those present that our group will use the RCP Mission Statement as our own mission statement and that our Statement of Purpose would be as follows: As Reconciling United Methodists and Friends of North Carolina, we seek to make the United Methodist Church inclusive of its gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender brothers and sisters.
It was decided that fliers about our worship services be distributed around 9th Street and the universities in Durham, around the university in Chapel Hill, and at the White Rabbit in Raleigh.
Sam Isley reported on our financial need which include: $400.00 postage each year for snail-mail notices, $144.00/year for the website, approximately $800.00/year for advertising in the NC CHRISTIAN ADVOCATE. At this meeting there was $80.00 in the checking account.