From the Methodist Federation of Social Action (MFSA)

Dear Justice-Seeking People of Faith,
This week, we celebrate the triumph of love over hate and the assurance that God can heal even the most shameful and harmful violence. It is our faith in this week’s revolutionary resurrection that will guide us through the struggles of next week, when the Judicial Council of the United Methodist Church (our highest legal body) will gather in Newark, New Jersey to hear several cases involving our denomination’s discrimination against LGBTQIA persons.

In weeks like this, the Methodist Federation for Social Action strives to be intentional about asking the question, “To whom are we accountable?” We believe it is our sacred duty to ask those who are most vulnerable and most affected by our work to hold us most accountable. That is why, in this moment, we are encouraging our constituents to look to LGBTQIA people themselves as you consider what actions you might take to respond to next week’s hearings. Be in prayer for your family and friends who identify as LGBTQIA. Hold up to God those young people sitting in United Methodist pews, wondering if there is a place for them in the house of the Lord. Carry in your hearts those LGBTQIA kids who are living hard and dangerous lives on the streets of our cities because they have been rejected by their families in the name of religion. And, especially as the Judicial Council hears cases personally related to the ordination and consecration of LGBTQIA leaders in our denomination, do take time this week to meditate on the whole lives and ministries of our LGBTQIA clergy, those 170 clergy from 26 annual conferences who have joined the #CalledOut movement to publicly identify as LGBTQIA as well as those who are in spiritual and material situations that keep them from taking such a public stand.

As an organization, we are wholly supporting the work of the newly formed Queer Clergy Caucus and we encourage you to do the same. We stand in solidarity with their public letter in advance of the Judicial Council hearings. MFSA is also collecting financial offerings on behalf of the caucus to assist their members in traveling to the Judicial Council hearings to make a visible and public witness to the harm done when their rich and faithful lives of relationship and ministry are reduced to sexual acts and dragged through a mud of legal definition in front of the world. In a denomination that frequently talks about LGBTQIA people without including them, we will strive to do all we can to support the Queer Clergy Caucus and their allies in being unmistakably present at the site of debate that directly affects their lives.

We ask you to join us in this support and solidarity by:
1. Reading and sharing the public letter of the Queer Clergy Caucus. Consider adding your name in support of this letter here.
2. Making an effort to be present in Newark for the Judicial Council Hearings April 25-28. You can register your desire to participate in the physical witness on April 25 here.
3. Offering a financial gift for the witness of the Queer Clergy on our donate page. Please make a note in the “tribute” box to “Queer Clergy Witness.”
4. Posting a photo of you proudly wearing your #CalledOut solidarity t-shirt next week and/or changing your profile picture to include a selfie of you wearing it.
Through these efforts, we hope to be a witness that God’s resurrection word is true and that, though harm is being done this day, we live boldly in the faith that love will win the victory.

Seeking Justice Together,
The Staff and Board of Directors
Methodist Federation for Social Action

Project AGAPE sign-up link

Click here to sing-up online to help us reach our goal of 4 complete Welcome Home Kits for Project AGAPE

Not everyone has been able to sign up online, and some generous folks have signed-up during worship and/or dropped items off in worship. Here’s an up to date list (as of 7-7-16) of what’s still needed:

  • Health Supplies
    • (1) 1 Hand Towel
    • (1) 1 Wash Cloth
    • (2) Comb
    • (1) Nail Clippers
    • (2) Bar of Soap, bath size
    • (1) 6 Adhesive Bandages
  • Sewing Supplies
    • (1) 3 Continuous Yards of Fabric
    • (3) 1 Pair of Fabric Scissors
  • School Supplies
    • (2) 2 Pair of Blunt Scissors
    • (1) 6 Pads of Paper
    • (2) 1 Ruler, metric
    • (2) 1 Box of Unsharpened Pencils
    • (2) 1 Pencil Sharpener
    • (2) 2 Large Erasers
    • (2) 1 Box of 48 Crayons
    • (2) 1 Book Bag
  • Kitchen/Bathroom Supplies
    • (1) 2 Blankets (twin size or larger)
    • (2) Pots & Pans, no teflon
    • (3) Cooking Pot/Stock Pot, 12-15 quart with lid
    • (3) Cooking Utensils
  • Other Supplies
    • (3) $20 Donation for garden supplies
    • Cardboard Boxes for shipping items


Project AGAPE Welcome Home Kits

Help us reach our goal of 4 complete Welcome Home Kits!
Remember to bring your Health Supplies – Sunday July 3rd & 10th

Welcome Home Kit Contents:

Health Supplies:

  • 1 hand towel; 1 wash cloth; 1 comb; 1 set of nail clippers; 1 bar of soap (bath size); 1 toothbrush; 6 adhesive bandages.

Sewing Supplies:

  • 3 continuous yards of fabric; 1 pair of fabric scissors; 1 pack of sewing needles1 spool of thread; 5-8 buttons.

School Supplies:

  • 2 pair of blunt scissors; 6 pads of paper (or spiral-ring notebooks); 1 ruler (metric); 1 box of unsharpened pencils; 1 pencil sharpener;  2 large erasers; a box of crayons (48 box size); one book bag.

Kitchen/Bedroom Supplies:

Two Blankets (large enough to cover a twin sized bed at least); Pots and Pans (nothing coated with Teflon); Cooking pot/ stock pot—12 to 15 qt size with lid; Cooking utensils

Other Supplies:

  • A $20 Donation per kit which will help to purchase seeds for a garden, garden tools, and chickens. (Checks should be written out to NC Conference and delivered with the boxes to the MERCI Center, 676 Community Drive, Goldsboro, NC); Cardboard boxes for shipping items.

Sign-up to bring items here and drop them off at Worship on Sunday mornings at 11:00am at Calvary UMC.

Health Supplies – July 3rd & 10th
Sewing Supplies – July 17th & 24th
School Supplies – July 31st & August 7th
Kitchen/Bedroom Supplies – August 14th & 21st
$ & Boxes – August 28th

Community Meal

Join us for our next Community Meal Tuesday June 28th from 6-8pm.

We’ll be cooking out (burgers & hotdogs) and eating in (who doesn’t enjoy AC in the summer?)

Bring a side dish to share, or simply come and enjoy the food – there’s always plenty to eat.

Project AGAPE – Welcome Home Kits

As summer begins and many of us prepare for vacations and travel, we look forward to the time away from home as well as the welcome relief that comes from returning home: returning to the familiar comforts of our everyday lives like our own bed, a closet to hang our clothes in, and a kitchen stocked with supplies for fixing whatever our hearts desire (& our abilities allow).
While we give thanks for our many journeys this summer, we know that not everyone will have those same comforts awaiting them at home after a time of travel.

“Many Christians have left Syria under pressure from Islamic extremists to return to their ancestral home in Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. As refugees, these families are having to start completely over. Most of them have spent what they had to make the hazardous journey through parts of Turkey on the way to Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. While there is some governmental help in Armenia, there is very little help in Nagorno-Karabakh which is still disputed territory after the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan some 20 years ago.
“It is in Nagorno-Karabakh that AGAPE has been supplying humanitarian assistance for these 20 years when no other humanitarian organization would enter that area. So, AGAPE is trying to help these refugees the best it can!

“AGAPE is proposing that Churches or groups consider putting together Welcome Home Kits. These Welcome Home Kits will be used to help the families begin their lives in this new place and to [continue] on the road to self-sufficiency with the [added] gifts of gardening tools, seeds for the garden, and chickens” (all purchased at a later date through the gift of $20 included in the kits).

Welcome Home Kit Contents:

Health supplies:  1 hand towel ; 1 wash cloth; 1 comb; 1 set of nail clippers; 1 bar of soap (bath size); 1 toothbrush;  6 adhesive bandages.
Sewing supplies: 3 continuous yards of fabric; 1 pair of fabric scissors; 1 pack of sewing needles;  1 spool of thread; 5-8 buttons.
School kits for children: 2 pair of blunt scissors; 6 pads of paper (or spiral-ring notebooks); 1 ruler (metric); 1 box of unsharpened pencils; 1 pencil sharpener;  2 large erasers; a box of crayons (48 box size); one book bag.
Two Blankets (large enough to cover a twin sized bed at least)
Pots and Pans (nothing coated with Teflon)
Cooking pot/ stock pot—12 to 15 qt size with lid
Cooking utensils
Optional: A letter of greetings with a name and address so that the family can send their thanks.

Directions for Assembly: All items must be placed in cardboard boxes.  On each box, please tape a piece of paper with the exact contents of the items in that box.  Number the boxes so that those boxes can be kept together.
Note:  Boxes can be decorated if desired.
Please take time to pray over these boxes so that they become a blessing to the families which receive these kits.

Final Step: A $20 Donation per kit which will help to purchase seeds for a garden, garden tools, and chickens. (Checks should be written out to NC Conference and delivered with the boxes to the MERCI Center, 676 Community Drive, Goldsboro, NC).

Sign-up to bring items here and drop them off at Worship on Sunday mornings at 11:00am at Calvary UMC.

Health Supplies – July 3rd & 10th
Sewing Supplies – July 17th & 24th
School Supplies – July 31st & August 7th
Kitchen/Bedroom Supplies – August 14th & 21st
$ & Boxes – August 28th


A Love Letter To Our Church From Your LGBTQI Religious Leaders

Originally posted by Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN), the letter below caused RMN’s website to crash due to an overload of traffic just hours after the letter’s release. Believe Out Loud is honored to host a copy of this historic letter, and we stand in solidarity today with the 111 LGBTQI clergy and candidates below.

Dear United Methodist Church,

As we gather in Portland to begin the 10 day discernment of God’s leading for The United Methodist Church known as General Conference, we, your Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer/Questioning, and Intersex (LGBTQI) religious leaders—local pastors, deacons, elders, and candidates for ministry—want to remind you of our covenant with you.

We share with you the covenant of baptism which has knit us together as one family. You cradled us into the body of Christ, helped us know the grace that invites us to move more deeply into relationship with God, and invited us to listen for God’s call on our lives. We responded, finding that we were most faithful when we gave our lives over to full time Christian service. You embraced us, affirmed us, ordained us, and sent us to serve throughout the connection.

However, while we have sought to remain faithful to our call and covenant, you have not always remained faithful to us. While you have welcomed us as pastors, youth leaders, district superintendents, bishops, professors, missionaries and other forms of religious service, you have required that we not bring our full selves to ministry, that we hide from view our sexual orientations and gender identities. As long as we did this, you gladly affirmed our gifts and graces and used us to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world in the varied places you sent us.

While some of us have been lucky to serve in places where we could serve honestly and openly, there are others in places far more hostile, who continue to serve faithfully even at tremendous cost to themselves, their families, and yes, even the communities they serve, who do not receive the fullness of their pastor’s gifts because a core part must remain hidden.

There are many voices within The United Methodist Church who want us to break up with them. From bishops, Boards of Ordained Ministries, and other leaders, we are told to simply leave. Is leaving home ever that simple? We are United Methodists because there is no other denomination with our unique connectional polity and distinctive Wesleyan spirituality. We are here because God has called us to serve in this denomination, and our souls are fed by the theology in which we’ve been raised.

We are coming out as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer/Questioning, and Intersex persons at this moment for several reasons. Foremost, we want you to know we still love you and seek to remain in relationship with you. Even if we should leave and you seek more restrictive language against LGBTQI persons, know that God will continue to move mysteriously in the hearts of LGBTQI young people and adults and will call them to serve within this denomination. You cannot legislate against God’s call. The “LGBTQI issue” is not one that can be resolved through restrictive legislation but instead by seeing that all persons are made in the image of God and welcomed into the community of faith.

We come out, too, to provide hope for LGBTQI young people in hostile UMC churches. These young people are more at risk for suicide than their peers, in part, because of the condemnation they hear from the pulpits and pews of their churches. We come out to remind them that God’s love for them is immeasurable, and offers them a love that will never let them go, even when it feels like the church is willing to let them go.

We come out to invite them to listen for God’s still, small voice that will speak in the quiet places of their hearts, who will call them into leadership positions. We seek to create a pathway of hope into ministry for them, even when the church has tried to shut its doors on them, or overtly or indirectly condoned the persecution of LGBTQI persons.

We love you, dear church. Through you, we have stood on sacred ground and seen the face of God more clearly. Our prayer, as the church begins its time of discernment, is that you will remember that there are nameless ones around the world, hungry for a word of hope and healing. LGBTQI people and their families exist in every church in every continent of this denomination. They are seeking to remain in faithful relationship with you, even when you refuse, because they know God’s tender mercies and great faithfulness.

Dear church, our prayers are with you, with all of us, in the coming days. May we all be surprised by the Spirit who continues to breathe new life in unexpected ways. May we find the body of Christ stronger at the end of our time together, not weaker or more deeply harmed. May we provide a powerful witness of finding unity even in our differences to a world fractured by fear and mistrust.


Rev. Jeanelle Ablola
Rev. Brian  Adkins
Rev. Austin  Adkinson
Rev. Dr. Israel Alvaran
Pastor Elyse Ambrose
Rev. Douglas A. Asbury
Rev. Jeanne  Audrey Powers
M Barclay
Rev. Dr Bonnie Beckonchrist
Rev. Ann Berney
Rev. Anna Blaedel
Rev. Daryl Blanksma
Rev Jan Bolerjack
Rev. Dr. Joanne Calrson Brown
Rev. Kristan M. Burkert
Rev. John Cahall
Rev. James C. Carter
Rev. Dr. Nancy A. Carter
Rev. Randa Jean  D’Aoust
Rev. Alex da Silva-Souto
Rev. Karen Damman
Rev. Diana Jani Darak-Druck
Sean P. Delmore
Rev. Greg  Eaton
Rev. Dr. Karen Engelman
Rev. Dr. Janet Everhart
Rev. Anthony M. Fatta
Rev. Robert  Gamble
Micah Gary-Fryer
Rev. Ruth Ann Charlotte Geiger
Rev. John Girard
Rev. Rebecca J. Girrell
Taylor Gould
Rev. Nancy Jean Goyings
Rev. John Edwin Griffin
Rev. Gregory D. Gross
Rev. Dr. Emily B.Hall
Rev. Trey Hall
Rev. Dr. Edward J. Hansen
Rev. Marcia Hauer
Rev. Michael A. House
Rev. Brittany Isaac
Rev. Monica Isaac
Rev. Marguerite Jhonson
Tyler R. Joyner
Rev. Elizabeth Jones
Rev. Lindsey Kerr
Rev. Dr. Jeanne G. Knepper
Ms. Ellen Knight
Rev. Katie M. Ladd
Pastor Bruce Lamb
Rev. Cathlynn Law
Rev. Ardis Letey
Rev. J. Daniel Lewis
Rev. Dr. Pamela R. Lightsey
Pastor Christine Lindeberg
Pastor Rolland Loomis
Rev. Kelly Love
Rev. Dr. Joretta  Marshall
Pastor Lea Matthews
Rev. Courtney McHill
Rev. Ralph A. Merante
Rev. David W. Meredith
Rev. Cynthia Meyer
Rev. Jerry Miller
Rev. Sharon L. Moe
Rev. Richard W. Moman
Rev. Deborah Morgan
Rachel Neer
Rev. Joshua M. Noblitt
Rev. Catherine Noellert
Rev. Gregory Norton
Rev. Dr. Karen P. Oliveto
Rev. Dr. Rebecca A. Parker
Rev. Lois McCullen Parr
Rev. Matthew A. Pearson
Rev. Drew Phoenix
Emily Pickens-Jones
Rev. Jay K. Pierce
Kendall Protzmann
Pastor Kathleen Reynolds
Pastor Jonathan E. Rodríguez-Cintrón
Rev. Daniel  Sailer
Rev. Siobhan A. Sargent
Kenneth M. Schoon
Rev. Tyler  Schwaller
Kimberly Scott
Pastor Ryan J. Scott
Rev. Patricia Simpson
Rev. Kim A. Smith
Rev. Althea Spencer Miller
Rev. Terri J. Stewart
Rev. Katie Stickney
Rev. Kristin G. Stoneking
Rev. Mark F. Sturgess
Rev. Sara Thompson Tweedy
Rev. Frank E. Trotter, Jr.
Rev. Martha E. Vink
Rev. Kathleen Weber
Rev. Dr. David Weekley
Marvin K. White
Rev. Dr. Mark E. Williams
Rev. Brenda S. Wills
Pastor Jarell Wilson
Rev. Angela G. Wolle
Rev. John Robert Wooden
Rev. Vicki L. Woods
Rev. Wendy Woodworth
Rev. Frank D. Wulf
Rev. Laura  Young
Rev. Nancy Kay Yount

– See more at:

Spaghetti Dinner – Community Meal

Join us on Tuesday April 26th from 5:30-7:00pm for our next Community Meal
This month the men of the church will be preparing a spaghetti lunch while the women take a bit of a break – in honor of the upcoming Mother’s Day.

We’ll have another small and friendly competition that focuses on the women of the Bible. Bring your appetites and get ready to put your Bible knowledge to the test. There will be prizes too!