Spirit of Hope joined the reconciling movement in October, 2005. Since then, we have hosted outreach events for the church and the community such as concerts, speakers, and movies with LGBTQ themes. Members participate in PRIDE by working at the Reconciling Ministries table in Loring Park and marching in the parade. We meet regularly with representatives from other reconciling United Methodist churches to to coordinate activities. Our pastors express support for LGBTQ persons in their sermons. We proudly and tenaciously fly a rainbow flag on the highway side of our church.
Spirit of Hope is a reconciling congregation
welcoming people of all sexual orientations
Short History of Reconciling Ministry at SOH
On October 30, 2005, members of Spirit of Hope voted by a wide margin (80-20) to become a Reconciling Church. In April, 2006, the Administrative Council adopted two reconciling statements for Spirit of Hope. A shorter statement to be used in the bulletin, the Voice, and the web site is as follows: “We are a reconciling congregation welcoming people of all sexual orientations”. A longer statement was to be used on the Reconciling Ministries Network web site and in future advertising statements as follows: “Spirit of Hope United Methodist Church believes that we are all children of God, created by God with our multitudinous differences, and that God loves us all equally. Guided by the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, we pledge our love and acceptance to all persons, especially to those who have felt hurt and abandoned by the institutional church. We proclaim ourselves to be a reconciling church, and we invite seekers from all ages, races, cultures, and sexual orientations to join us in fellowship and worship of the God of love”.
Through the years between 2005 and 2018, Spirit of Hope has remained active as a Reconciling community. We hosted the following events:
- Ann Reed concert
- Jimmy Martin and Friends concert
- One Voice, Mixed Chorus concert
- Screening of movie For the Bible Tells Me Soat Lagoon Theater
- Screening of the movie TRANS
- Screening of movieDefrocked: How a Father’s Act of Love Shook the United Methodist Church
- A panel of attorneys discussing family and aging issues of concern to LGBTQ persons.
- 2017 annual gathering of MN Reconciling Congregations with Bishop Melvin Talbert speaking
Spirit of Hope has had two staff members dedicated to helping steer the Reconciling Committee and to minister to GLBTQ members, visitors, and their families.
In the summer of 2007 SOH requested a reconciling wall hanging for inside the church. Carolyn and Chuck Sidebottom, and the Creative Spirits fulfilled that request with a beautiful gift. That banner hangs at the front of the church this morning.
Since 2010 we have had a rainbow flag on the Highway 55 side of the church that declares our welcome to GLBTQ persons and allies. We got a shout out from KARE 11 for our flag.
Spirit of Hope members have marched in the PRIDE parade and worked at the MN Reconciling Ministries booth every year since we became a reconciling congregation. We have enjoyed participating and getting to know members of other reconciling churches. We usually have a representative to the monthly MN Reconciling Ministries meetings. Since 2016 SOH has had a tent at Golden Valley Pride. All three years our congregation has participated in GV Pride’s interfaith worship service. In 2017 and 2018 that service was held in our sanctuary. Jerry Rubino led the interfaith choir.
In 2014 the Administrative Council unanimously adopted a resolution supporting marriage equality.
Embracing GLBTQ persons as full equal partners in faith has not been universally accepted in the United Methodist Church. The worldwide UMC has struggled for decades with how to deal with the rift between Reconciling churches and those that oppose full inclusion. Today our guest speaker, David Nuchols, will tell us about how The Way Forward is dealing with this controversy.
Upcoming: SOH Reads
The Reconciling and Social Justice team will host a dinner and book study on Wednesday, February 6 and Wednesday, February 13. The book we will discuss is Small Great Things, a novel by Jodi Picoult. The Hennepin County Library has 133 copies in regular print, plus large print, e-book, and audiobook versions. We hope many of you will have the opportunity to read this highly rated book about race, privilege, prejudice, justice and compassion.