Dear Community of Hope,
Our work on becoming a Reconciling Congregation was paused over the holidays but is ready to move forward now. Prior to the pause we hosted open forums for question and conversation during the Coffee Hour and we hosted a faithful and inclusive Bible study which had more than 30 people each of the four nights and has been viewed online by more than 50 people. Three of those study nights are still available online if you wish to view them.
As a reminder we have a Core Team of lay individuals from CoH who are leading this initiative. For us, becoming a reconciling congregation is personal work; we believe that the reconciling statement is in line with the mission and vision of CoH and that by becoming a reconciling congregation we are letting our conference and our community know the direction of our ministry.
As we continue to move forward in this process we want to make you aware of some additional opportunities to engage with the core team. Starting this week we are inviting you to submit your questions to us anonymously. These can be questions about anything – about becoming reconciling, about the Bible’s stance on homosexuality or marriage, about the LGBTQIA+ community, etc. You can submit a question by clicking the button below.
We will be collecting your questions through April 30, 2023. We will host an in-person Town Hall meeting on May 16, 2023 to address these questions. This event will also be on Zoom, which will allow for additional questions to be submitted via chat. Jessica Hamlyn will be the host of this Town Hall; Keith will be present to welcome and to pray for our meeting but will not be staying for the question-and-answer portion of the evening.
Our current plan is to vote regarding becoming a reconciling congregation following church on June 4, 2023. This may change, but we wanted to let you know where we are headed. Per RMN guidelines we will be inviting all members AND regular attendees to vote. In order to be considered a regular attendee you must have attended worship at least twice in the past three months either in person or virtually. Basically if you consider this your church home, we want your voice to be heard. We will be creating a list of members and regular attendees closer to the vote. We will let you know when this is complete so that you can call to verify your eligibility to vote if you would like to.
We are hoping that we will also be able to hold the vote both in person and virtually; we are still working out exactly how to make this happen. In order to become a Reconciling Congregation we will need 75% of those who vote to affirm this decision. Please reach out and let us know what you need, what concerns you have, or how you feel we should adapt this process. This is a lay-led process and your input is valuable.
Reconciling Ministries Core Team