PPUMC Email Newsletter | Issue 37, March 23, 2019.
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Radically inclusive love has been the heart and the vision of Prospect Park United Methodist Church for decades. Our building, our ministries, our lives are marked by rainbows – the symbol of our commitment to diversity and variety as the image of God and God’s kin-dom come. We celebrate our rainbow history – particularly in the face of decisions made by the special general conference of the global church held in St. Louis last month.

What follows is a sampler of rainbow moments – a “tip of the iceberg” collection!

First, note the header above! It was designed by Jacquelyn Eckholm who was inspired by a photo of the organ in our sanctuary. The photo featured colorful geometric patterned quilts made by Marilee Johnson, and so the pipes of the organ, infused with all colors of the rainbow, became the rolling hills of the neighborhood, crowned by the Water Tower! Marilee’s rainbow quilts also have declared us “reconciling” and often grace the landing that leads to the sanctuary.
PPUMC is one of the first members of the Reconciling Ministries Network, a United Methodist coalition which was founded in the mid-1980’s. You will see the rainbow flamed “burning bush” image on most everything we publish.

For a clear description of the RMN focus on justice, visit:
PPUMC has long had a presence at the annual PRIDE festival in Loring Park in July, where the UMC “booth” helps people find a safe church space. Here you see Janet and Rev. Judy WestLee at the table untangling the strings of rainbow peace sign necklaces. Minnesota Methodists have given away tens of thousands of these amazingly popular rainbow blessings year by year, one by one, often putting them around someone’s neck with a smile and a spoken word of peace and welcome.
Many of us worked together and were in conversation with as many strangers and friends as we could reach prior to the 2013 vote that established legal same sex marriage in MN. Quietly by phone and publicly in demonstration, we let it be known that as United Methodists working ecumenically across many denominations, we believe ALL marriages are about HOW rather than WHO we love.
Design by Rev. Chris Kliesen Wehrman
Rev. Chris Kliesen Wehrman (dark glasses) demonstrating for marriage equality outside the MN State Fairgrounds, opening day 2013.
Marriage equality became the law in MN, while our denomination lagged painfully behind. One of our responses was to consider and create a congregational statement supporting same-sex weddings in our church building. In May of 2014 the congregation affirmed and dedicated the statement during worship, and the signed document is displayed prominently in the church.
We rejoiced when in July of 2017 Bishop Sally Dyck (serving the Northern Illinois Conference, after leaving the Minnesota Conference) commissioned for ordination Rev. M. Barclay, the first openly non-binary trans person to become a UM deacon.
We continue to welcome, educate, and encourage people to open their eyes, open their doors and open their hearts in every possible way to a fuller and fuller inclusion of ALL people in ALL aspects of the church.

This month the concert in our annual Community Concert Series was a set of hand bell musicians who travel the world as emissaries of harmonies created by a diversity of persons – and bells. The concert, under the direction of Dr. Jean Lubke, was astonishing: ethereal, somber, celebratory and playful. If any music most resembles rainbows, it may well be bells.
And next month (April 13, 7:00 p.m.) we welcome Calliope Women’s Chorus, a feminist women’s ensemble and the oldest group in the Twin Cities’ Queer Music Consortium. For more than 40 years, Calliope has been helping women’s voices be heard and amplifying messages of social justice while providing a welcoming environment for LGBTQ women and allies to make music together. Their concert benefits Glendale Foodshelf.
All of our concerts work together to do social justice work in the world. And we continue to work for a future characterized by freedom and honesty within and beyond our own denomination.
Pastor Chris and the breathing ball. (Most often led by a child – visitors and members alike are invited.)
Every Sunday morning, we begin our gathered worship with three unison breaths. We follow the expansion of the rainbow breathing ball, and as we breathe together, we remember that we are the embodiment of the image of God on earth. It is our hands and feet – our stories and songs – that bring the future home. We will be known by the way we love each other.
Injustice may seem to have frozen our progress forward, but it is not so! We will not be stopped in our movement forward, and on the other side of whatever divisions may come, is a more honest way of being who we are and moving into a future juicy with ripening possibilities....for EVERY BODY!
Wesley Button from Special General Conference 2019.
“Best of all, God is with us.” J. Wesley
The Reconciling Ministries Network logo for Special General Conference 2019. “For everyone born a place at the Table...,” the beginning of a song by Shirley Murray. The refrain: “And God will rejoice, when we are creators of justice and joy.
Prospect Park UMC stands in resistance to recent decisions made by the global United Methodist denomination concerning human sexuality.

We remain committed to diversity and full inclusion.

Love Grows Here!

Prospect Park United Methodist Church
22 Orlin Ave SE
Minneapolis, MN 55414
Sunday Worship 10:00 AM
Childcare provided
Click to see a full list of events!
Past Issues of Prospectus 2.0
Prospectus 2.0 header image by Jacquelyn Eckholm
Copyright © 2019 Prospect Park United Methodist Church, All rights reserved.

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