Claremont United Methodist Church
Join us online for online worship at
9:30 a.m. this Sunday.
9:30 a.m. this Sunday.
This Sunday's worship service is available on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-PCInIP2HkoQKHRIvxYMFg .
This Sunday's worship guide is here: http://claremontumc.net/cumc/Newsletters/worshipguides/2020-04-05_PalmPassionSunday.pdf
Alert! No in-person worship this Sunday in response to COVID 19.
Read the pastor's announcement below or link to the original here.
Prayer and Care
Dear CUMC faith family,
In care for one another and in deep prayer for the implications of this unprecedented decision, we are suspending in-person worship this Sunday, March 15. We will livestream a worship service on Facebook live at 9:30 a.m. and we are exploring other platforms for connection. (Watch for details in future communications.)
Key leaders in the congregation urged me to consider this decision beginning Wednesday afternoon, a day things changed in many ways in the world and in our community. In prayer in our beautiful sanctuary, looking out our window onto Creation, I held all of this information and all of you in prayer as I pondered this decision. I am grateful to have caring leaders from many professions who helped inform this decision.
There are many good reasons to make this very hard decision.
For me, the most persuasive is the scientific evidence that social distancing -- even among low-risk, healthy individuals -- saves lives by slowing the spread of the virus.
We are fortunate not to have any reported cases of Covid-19 in our faith community. In our geographic community, however, the first reported death in LA County was at Pomona Valley Hospital.
In my email yesterday, I wrote of many ways we will continue to stay connected as a faith community. More will follow.
Last night, the California Dept. of Health and our governor urged the state to follow social distancing practices. This included any gathering of 250 or more AND any gathering of any size in auditorium like seating.
These are uncharted times. Thank you for your understanding.
God of our Creation,
God of all Creation,
We pray for our faith community and all of our families and we pray for the world.
Keep us connected with one another and with our families in ways that calm and sustain.
May we know that peace that surpasses understanding even as we face a very difficult time.
We follow Jesus. We listen for the whispers and shouts of your Holy Spirit.
In your most holy names we pray. Amen
In prayer and care,
Contact Our Pastors and Church Office
Our new toll-free phone number: 844-251-6335
•Karen Clark Ristine — firstname.lastname@example.org
—Lead Pastor, phone 909-624-9021 ext 224
• Martha Morales — email@example.com
—Associate Pastor, phone 909-624-9021 ext 231
• Jessica Johnston, MDiv — firstname.lastname@example.org
—Church Administrator, phone 909-624-9021
The church office is currently clsoed due to the pandemic, but voicemail will be checked regularly.
Put Yourself in the Picture!
It's Time for a New Pictorial Directory
…but we'll have to look for new dates in August to finish the photo shoots! Sorry. Meanwhile, please keep safe and healthy.
Thanks to all who helped with our Eighteenth Immigration Clinic — Saturday 11 January 2020. The next clinic, originally scheduled for April, has been postposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Anticipating General Conference, postposed until 2021
In the course of the next several weeks, we will be addiing links and documents to this page which may help us be oriented to issues facing General Conference and the General Chruch. Check in for regular (or irregular) updates. Contact Jim Dwyer with any suggestions or comments.
An invitation to join with The Poor People's Campaign in June
Claremont United Church of Christ is organizing an action group to learn about the 2020 Poor People's Campaign's moral revival and to sponsor a multi-generational local delegation to Washington DC. this June 20. No need to be part of that congregation to join. We will coordinate with all other affinity groups to get a thousand folk from California Seventeen national denominations, most unions and civil rights groups are on board. To join the email list and receive participation details, contact Gene Boutilier, Bill Dodge, or Jim Manley. Ask Jim Dwyer to put you in touch with one of these persons. Continuing the final mission in life of Martin Luther King, the campaign addresses the multiple injustices and immorality of racism, poverty, ecological devastation, the war economy, excessive incarceration, abuse and rejection of immigrants, gun violence, hostility toward immigrants and the distorted narrative of 'Christian nationalism.' Visit poorpeoplescampaign.org.
Our Advent Witness
For over a decade our church has attempted to make the connection between the circumstances surrounding Jesus' birth and the current human condition. You can find an incomplete pictorial history of these Advent displays here.
The Plight of Asylum-Seeking Families Continues to Worsen
Photo credit: Pilgrim Place NEWS
The CUMC Creative Peacemaking Committee has decided to keep our congregation aware of this urgent need and to encourage church members to continue to support the efforts of JFON by donating funds for the legal representation of separated children and asylum-seeking families currently in detention centers.
Your contribution to CUMC, designated to JFON, will help to ensure that separated children and families in detention facilities receive the legal assistance they need. You can also donate directly to JFON by clicking this link www.njfon.org Please open your hearts and your wallets. (JFON is an agency of UMCOR)
— Rose Schneeberger
Responding to Threats of Mass Immigration Raids (Tools & Resources from the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity)
Resource — Creating Change Together
As United Methodists, we recognize “our commitment to become faithful witnesses to the gospel, not alone to the ends of the earth, but also to the depths of our common life and work.” (Social Principles, Preamble)
Click this link to a view a toolkit for social change designed by the UMC's Board of Church and Society.
Photo thanks to Karen Lebacqz, Pilgrim Place.
A Theology for July 4th from Sojourners.
Alex Morales reported from a meeting in Seattle on a response to racism there:
I am visiting a model non-profit in Seattle, Washington. I came with a team of 5 people from Los Angeles to learn about their model approach to recruiting and supporting foster parents. On the wall in their conference room was this Acknowledgement Statement. Before we began our meeting, the leader read it to us. She said ALL meetings in this room begin with the reading of this Acknowledgement Statement. WOW! Disturbing. Disruptive. Especially thought provoking as we approach July 4th. Imagine... Best, Alex
[As a reminder, the earlier residnts of Claremont are the members of the Tongva nation (a.k.a. Gabrieleños).]
Sign seen at Via de Cristo UMC in Scottsdale, AZ.
Conferences, Agencies, Bishops
Respond to GC2019
• One African Pastor's Point of View:
Africa's Great Betrayal and a Harvest of Thorns
Africa's Great Betrayal and a Harvest of Thorns
Judicial Council Decision No. 1378
Judicial Council Decision No. 1378
Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN) thanks the Judicial Council for its work of deliberating the constitutionality of the Traditionalist Plan and the exit plan passed by delegates to the special session of General Conference 2019 (GC2019). In Decision 1378, the Judicial Council found the exit plan to be constitutional and found seven of the Traditionalist Plan’s 17 petitions to be unconstitutional (including four amended during GC2019).
The outcome is not surprising and does not change our plan
to continue to resist the decisions of GC2019; continue to live into Biblical Obedience; show up at General Conference 2020; and remain open to new possibilities for our Church.
Notably, the Judicial Council struck down the “certification requirement”
that individuals up for nomination to an Annual Conference Board of Ordained Ministry (BoOM)must certify to their bishop their willingness to comply with the entirety of the Book of Discipline. It also struck down a requirement for BoOMs to “conduct an examination to ascertain whether an individual is a practicing homosexual,” as well as certifications that respondents will not repeat an action or actions.
Petitions found constitutional
include the continued prohibition of LGBTQ persons in ordained ministry; the prohibition of LGBTQ bishops; and mandatory penalties for pastors convicted by a trial court of performing same-gender wedding ceremonies or conducting ceremonies to celebrate same-gender unions.
GC2019 proved that while LGBTQ persons have been the subject of the Church’s discriminatory attention for the past 40 years,
justice and inclusion for LGBTQ persons in the full life and ministry of the Church will not come by the same processes and deliberative bodies that codified exclusion. Work remains to be done across the connection through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, by the leadership of queer and trans people of color and other LGBTQ persons, and by the might of a Reconciling movement that includes over 40,000 individuals and over 1,000 Reconciling Communities. At RMN, we are not only working on what is to come, but we are already enacting it. We will continue to both lead and be part of conversations with United Methodists, church leaders, and groups around the connection.
What will come of these ashes must be a Wesleyan movement that has already resolved to include LGBTQ persons in the full life and ministry of the Church.
We call upon the Reconciling movement to practice Biblical Obedience;
to continue to perform weddings with multiple officiants; to repeatedly state your dissent; to support the work of resistance by United Methodist seminaries; to continue to write open letters and visibly be in solidarity with those on the margins; and more. For more information on how you can rise and resist, visit our statement here.
Furthermore, we stand firm in our baptismal vows:
* We renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness, we reject the evil powers of this world, and we call upon the Church to repent of the sin of homophobia.
* We accept the freedom and power God gives us to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves.
* We confess Jesus Christ as our Savior and put our whole trust in his grace, promising to serve him as our God in union with the Church, which Christ has opened to people of all ages, nations, and races.
Now is the time to rise and resist beside the growing number of Reconciling United Methodists and Wesleyan siblings who are working to be the Church in spite of the denomination.
Copyright © 2019 Reconciling Ministries Network,
All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:
Reconciling Ministries Network
123 W Madison St Ste 1450
Chicago, IL 60602
Additional responses to the Judicial Council Rulings
Bishop Grant Hagiya, Presiding Bishop of the California-Pacific Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church, has officially announced that the Rev. Karen Ristine has been appointed pastor of Claremont UMC upon Pastor Mark Wiley's retirement effective July 1, 2019.
Maisie Dawes and the Commission on Religion and Race invite us to listen to the podcast below for insights on combatting racism.
Michele Ledder is a staff member at the General Commission on Religion and Race. The Podcast is offered in conjunction with The Riverside Church in New York City.
This ad appeared in the Claremont Courier on Friday, March 28, 2019.
** Calling ALL Parents/Caregivers / Families / Others!
Let’s gather on Sunday mornings at 10:50! All adults (those who have children and those who don't) are invited to join us on the patio (outside the Narthex) to eat, fellowship, discuss, chat, lament … COME and we will figure out together how to make our time together meaningful. Contact: Sara Swift Tharp email@example.com.
Claremont United Methodist Women Just Celebrated 150 Years of the Founding of Its Predecessor Parent Organization!
Check out biographies of women pastors and missionaries related to Claremont UMC. This long document may take some time to download!
“Visionary Women: Champions of Peace and Non-violence”
was the theme in February CUMC’s Commissions on the Status and Role of Women (COSROW) and Religion and Race (CORR), celebration of National Women’s History Month (and continuing an awareness of Black History Month as well).
Check out the notes and photos here which Maisie Dawes prepared for the narthex displayl
Claremont UMC shows its colors!
Members of the Creative Peacemaking Committee display their congregation's solidarity with the LGBTQIA+ community while mourning the recent General Conference's exclusionary vote.
The sanctuary choir decked out in rainbow colors to celebrate being part of a Reconciling Congregation in the Western Jurisdiction.
A Church member shared this link to the online site LGBTQ Nation and the article Methodist churches nationwide are publicly rebelling against the denomination’s anti-LGBTQ stance.
It may be slow to load due to the many photos of church banners, street signs and the like. Be patience. It is worth it!
A list of responses to GC2019 from across the country
in his blog the Rev. Jeremy Smith at First UMC Seattle provides a regularly updated list of responses in opposition to the vote of General Conference for exclusion rather than inclusion. See this page of his blog "Hacking Christianity" here.
We celebrated communion in response to this invitation:
INVITATION TO HOLY COMMUNION
This is not our church’s table. This is not the United Methodist Church’s table. This is Jesus’ table. Jesus invites everyone. Jesus welcomes everyone.
You may be a lifelong member, or a practicing atheist; your life may be a mess inside or out, or you may be a saint. You may be straight, gay, transgender, or not even sure; you may be Black, Hispanic, Asian, Pacific Islander, Caucasian, or such a mix of races and ethnicities that you are your own multi-cultural blend.
You may be facing new limits, overcoming impossible obstacles, or so worried about others that you don’t have time to think about yourself. You may love Hawaiian shirts, or not ever be caught in anything tropical.
You may have your own shape, style, color, and complexion; or you may settle in with the crowd. You may be broken, recovering, in need of divine intervention, or you may need just a touch of grace.
Whoever you are and however you got here, you are welcome to this church and this table. Come to this table knowing that you are loved, cherished by God, and that God knows your name.
Did you miss he recent disuccsion of "Ten myths white people believe about racism"?
If you missed the presentation "John Wesley on 'White Racism'" on February 10, you can read it here.
Check out Pastor Mark's Sermon of Sunday, Janiuary 13, with an important announcement concerning the future of our congregation. Click on the image below to download the sermon.
"Goodbye, Farewell, So Long . . . .”
is a 30-page workbook where you can list information you’d like your family to have at the time of your death or serious illness. There is place to chronicle your personal history, describe your wishes regarding end of life medical care, burial and memorial service, and list personal and financial information your close family members would need to have. Many of you received a hard copy of this work book last spring during CUMC’s series on Death, Grief and Loss in the 21st Century. We’ve just updated “Goodbye, Farewell, So Long . . . “ to include more detail about memorial services. And we’re offering it in three formats: hard copy (available in the church office); online here in Word so you can fill in the blanks online and save on your own computer; and online in PDF format so you can print out copies to fill in yourself or share with friends and family members.
UMCOR stands ready to help those facing disaster.
As thousands flee wildfires in California,
UMCOR is in close conversation with the disaster response coordinators of the California-Pacific and California-Nevada Conferences of The United Methodist Church.
UMCOR is already actively engaged in California in response to previous wildfires and we anticipate supporting both conferences as they identify and respond to the needs of the populations affected by the current wildfires.
We pray for the safety of the firefighters and first responders as well as those evacuating their homes. UMCOR stands ready to support the response of the conferences with relief kits, Early Response Teams, and funding.
Please join us through prayer and generous support.
•Use this link to provide relief for victims of wild fires and Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria in the U.S. (including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands).
•This link is for international relief, e.g., damage from Mexico's earthquakes, the Carribean hurricanes or West African mudslides.
By identifying your church by zip code and name, your gift can be credited back to Claremont UMC and the California Pacific Annual Conference.
Check out the article UMCOR is there for the long haul after disasters!
UMCOR Update as of last Board meering
As hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, and wild fires devastate people and communities around the globe, UMCOR responds through disaster response coordination efforts, assessment, training, and relief and recovery grants. Below are just a few of the grants approved by the UMCOR board.
• Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church $1,000,000
• Louisiana Conference of The United Methodist Church $500,000
• Methodist Church of Puerto Rico $100,000
• Rio Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church $816,418
• Texas Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church $1,000,000
* Further information about UMCOR Board decisions
UMCOR is also working with Bishop Hector Ortiz, episcopal leader of the Methodist Church of Puerto Rico and Global Ministries board member, to assess the relief and recovery work needed. Learn more here
Social Principles paragraphs relevant to the current migration crisis:
The Social Community: Rights of Immigrants
2016 Book of Discipline, Social Principles ¶162.H
H) Rights of Immigrants
We recognize, embrace, and affirm all persons, regardless of country of origin, as members of the family of God. We affirm the right of all persons to equal opportunities for employment, access to housing, health care, education, and freedom from social discrimination. We urge the Church and society to recognize the gifts, contributions, and struggles of those who are immigrants and to advocate for justice for all. We oppose immigration policies that separate family members from each other or that include detention of families with children, and we call on local churches to be in ministry with immigrant families.
The Social Community: Rights of Women
2016 Book of Discipline, Social Principles ¶162.F
F) Rights of Women
We affirm women and men to be equal in every aspect of their common life. We therefore urge that every effort be made to eliminate sex-role stereotypes in activity and portrayal of family life and in all aspects of voluntary and compensatory participation in the Church and society. We affirm the right of women to equal treatment in employment, responsibility, promotion, and compensation. We affirm the importance of women in decision-making positions at all levels of Church and society and urge such bodies to guarantee their presence through policies of employment and recruitment. We support affirmative action as one method of addressing the inequalities and discriminatory practices within our Church and society. We urge employers of persons in dual career families, both in the Church and society, to apply proper consideration of both parties when relocation is considered. We affirm the right of women to live free from violence and abuse and urge governments to enact policies that protect women against all forms of violence and discrimination in any sector of society.
The Social Community: Rights of Children
2016 Book of Discipline, Social Principles ¶162.C
C) Rights of Children
Once considered the property of their parents, children are now acknowledged to be full human beings in their own right, but beings to whom adults and society in general have special obligations. Thus, we support the development of school systems and innovative methods of education designed to assist every child toward complete fulfillment as an individual person of worth. All children have the right to quality education, including full sex education appropriate to their stage of development that utilizes the best educational techniques and insights. Christian parents and guardians and the Church have the responsibility to ensure that children receive sex education consistent with Christian morality, including faithfulness in marriage and abstinence in singleness. Moreover, children have the rights to food, shelter, clothing, health care, and emotional well-being as do adults, and these rights we affirm as theirs regardless of actions or inactions of their parents or guardians. In particular, children must be protected from economic, physical, emotional, and sexual exploitation and abuse.
The Social Community: Rights of Men
2016 Book of Discipline, Social Principles ¶162.G
G) Rights of Men
Because we affirm women and men to be equal in every aspect of their common life, we also affirm the rights of men. We affirm equal opportunities in employment, responsibility, and promotion. Men should not be ignored or lose opportunities or influence because they are men.
We recognize that men are also victims of domestic violence and abuse. We encourage communities to offer the same policies and protection as provided for women in similar situations. We affirm the right of men to live free from violence and abuse and urge governments to enact policies that protect men against all forms of violence and discrimination in any sector of society.
We recognize that men’s role in raising children is in equal importance to women’s and call for equal rights as women in opportunities for parental leave. When parents divorce, men often have less contact with their children. We call for equal access to child-custody, but emphasize that the best interest of the child always is the most important.
(Metodistas Representando la Causa de los Hispano Americanos),
(Metodistas Representando la Causa de los Hispano Americanos),
el Colegio de Obispos de la Iglesia Metodista de México
the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church Joint Statement in Response to the
Central American Migrant Caravans
Central American Migrant Caravans
November 7, 2018Human migration is as old as human history. Individuals, families, tribes, and nations have been on the move since the days of Abraham and Sarah and before. Throughout the centuries, political and economic factors, including wars; health and environmental challenges; and racism, xenophobia, and religious discrimination have at times uprooted people and at others lured them to new venues across deserts, rivers, continents, oceans, and national and ethnic boundaries. Today, migration is a critical international and at times a pressing national issue; a matter of last resort and no other choice for millions of human beings, and a desperate alternative to many who would rather stay where they are if conditions could permit safety and essentials for survival. In general terms, migrants today are those who by force or choice leave their regions of origin because of armed conflict, natural disaster, institutional or gang violence, development projects, human trafficking (including labor, sexual or drug trafficking) or extreme economic deprivation. (Resolution of The United Methodist Church: Global Migration and the Quest for Justice)These wise words describe what we see happening through the human caravan that began on October 12, 2018 with 160 brave souls who gathered and together began to journey as the migrants of old. From Honduras to Guatemala and now to Mexico they have supported each other in their common suffering. This caravan has grown to 7,000 and the latest reports is that these 7,000 have now formed 3 distinct caravans traveling across Mexico. More than half of them are girls and women. They did not want to leave their homes, but because of deadly poverty and violence, found themselves being forced to journey from death toward what they perceived to be their last hope for life. Some have sought asylum in Mexico while others continue to travel to the U.S. to request asylum in this country. These migrant sisters and brothers have been villainized, yet as we have sought to minister to them along their perilous journey, what we have seen on the whole is human beings of great courage and deep faith who have placed their lives in God’s hands as they seek the basic necessities for life – food and shelter for their children and above all, safety from those who seek to do them harm. Their faith in God has strengthened our faith, and their human suffering has convicted our souls that we must accompany them and seek to advocate for their safety and their rights. We stand together in demanding that the governments of our countries treat these migrants in ways that recognize and respect their God-given humanity, and with compassion and dignity. While we respect the laws of our countries, we question whether the very laws, particularly the asylum laws of our countries, are fully being implemented in the cases of the migrants traveling in these caravans. We call for the fair and just implementation of the asylum laws of our countries, and for all of us to be vigilant voices for the rights of migrants. Furthermore, we call upon President Donald Trump to cease characterizing our migrant brothers and sisters in derogatory and fear-inducing ways, castigating them as criminals when in fact they have the right under International Law to seek asylum. As the leader of the most powerful and wealthiest nation in the world, we call him forth to lead with truth, justice and moral compassion. Above all, we call upon our congregations to be agents of God’s mercy toward the migrant. We are inspired by Methodist congregations and other communities of faith and compassion who throughout the journey of these migrants have taken some into their homes, fed them in their congregations, and blessed them on their way. As the Bishops of the Methodist Church of Mexico have stated: As Christians we are called to receive those who migrate as if receiving Jesus Christ himself. Treat them as if they were our own families, help them as if we were the ones migrating, and extend love to the migrants for we know ourselves to also be a migrant people on the journey of faith (adapted from the Oct. 20, 2018 Immigration Letter of the College of Bishops of the Methodist Church of Mexico, A.R.).
Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church
Bishop Kenneth H. Carter, President
College of Bishops of the Methodist Church of Mexico
Bishop José Antonio Garza Castro, President
Bishop Elías G. Galván, Supervising Bishop
United Methodist Mission in Honduras
Rev. Juan de Dios Peña, President
Iglesia Metodista de El Salvador
Claremont Church Council Accepts Challenge of "Ebony Bishops" at November meeting
We, the members and friends of Claremont United Methodist Church, embrace the statement from the Ebony Bishops in the United Methodist Church to the Council of Bishops on the Resurgence of Racism in the United States. We affirm its subsequent adoption on November 6, 2018, by the full Council of Bishops. We accept its invitation and call to dismantle racism. With intentionality we will continue and invite others on a journey to educate ourselves, reflect, pray and act around white supremacy, white privilege, and internalized racism. We support the statement's recognition that until Anglo brothers and sisters are free of their racism and acknowledge their White privilege none of us will be free. In conclusion, as the community of Ebony Bishops have stated, we also reaffirm our commitment to our baptismal covenant to "renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness, reject the evil powers of this world, and repent of our sin. We accept the freedom and power God gives us to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves."
Church provides 122 Thanksgiving boxes
Leslie Biglin reported to the Claremont Church Council meeting November 20 that the anual drive to provide meals to needy families in our larger community had yielded a total of 122 boxes with foodstuffs and a gift card to buy a turkey or other food. Twenty-two (22) of the boxes were provided from donations of children and parents at the church's preschool, a record number for both sources. The majority of boxes will be distributed through the Hope Partners' Beta Center (with a few others through individual channels).
Thank you for your generosity!
United Methodist Board of Church and Society Opposes Military at U.S.-Mexico Border Click link to see full statement.
Board opposes military at U.S.-Mexico border—
calls on United Methodists to advocate against policy, stand with asylum seekers.
Oct. 29, 2018
Contact: Warren Gill, firstname.lastname@example.org
WASHINGTON — The board of directors of the General Board of Church and Society of The United Methodist Church adopted the following statement at its meeting Oct. 24-26, 2018, in San Antonio, Texas.
“We, the directors of the General Board of Church and Society of The United Methodist Church, are gathered this week in San Antonio, Texas. During our meeting, we focused on the impact of the U.S. government’s zero tolerance policy on migrant families seeking asylum and communities along the U.S.-Mexico border. A delegation of four of our members traveled to the U.S.-Mexico border to better understand the root causes of migration, the right to asylum and the criminalization of migrants.
"Our delegation heard stories of men, woman and children fleeing violence and corruption in their home countries of Honduras, Cuba and Zimbabwe. Traveling by foot across the International Gateway Bridge border from Matamoros, Mexico, to Brownsville, Texas, they passed through the metering checkpoint where, on a daily basis, migrants seeking asylum are turned away and forced to wait — a violation of the U.S. commitments under the Geneva Conventions. Our delegation met with the staff of the Federal Public Defenders office in McAllen, Texas and learned about the trauma inflicted on children who were separated from their families, as well as the massive taxpayer resources that continue to be used to prosecute the misdemeanor crime of crossing the border.
"All of the faith, nonprofit, and government leaders our delegation met shared great concern and fear about U.S. troops being deployed in response to the group of migrants traveling through Mexico to the U.S.-Mexico border.
"We were, therefore, alarmed to learn that the administration will most likely send U.S. troops to the U.S-Mexico border.
"The United Methodist Church is resolved “as followers of Jesus, to work to eliminate racism and violence directed toward newly arriving migrants to the United States.” Further, we “denounce and oppose the rise of xenophobic, racist, and violent reactions against migrants in the United States, and support all efforts to build relationships among people, instead of building walls among diverse ethnicities and cultures.” (2016 United Methodist Book of Resolutions, 3281 “Welcoming the migrant in the US”)
"Guided by this social teaching of our church, empowered by the scriptural mandate to welcome the stranger and sojourner (e.g., Exodus 22:21, Leviticus 19:34, Matthew 25:35, and Hebrews 13:20), and emboldened by our shared experience at the border:
"— We oppose the decision by the U.S. government to send U.S. troops to the U.S.-Mexico border.
"— We call on our fellow United Methodists to contact their elected officials and the U.S. Department of Defense to express their opposition to U.S. troop deployment at the U.S.-Mexico border.
"— We call on our fellow United Methodist to prayerfully and peacefully rally, march and protest in solidarity with our brother and sisters seeking asylum and refuge.
"— We call on our fellow United Methodists to bear witness by being present in immigration courts and visiting immigration detention centers.
"— We call on our fellow United Methodists to pray for all those affected and build communities who welcome migrants with compassion and grace.”
The General Board of Church and Society is the social justice, advocacy and peace-building arm of The United Methodist Church.
United Methodist News Service features story about Rose Schneeberger and Claremont UMC.
The Power of One
Posted on October 5, 2018
A lesson in directing righteous anger into productive action
As reports of migrant children being forcibly separated from their parents dominated the news, the pulpit, and every conversation this past summer, Rose Schneeberger of Covina, California, grappled with her feelings of sorrow, bewilderment and anger.
“It was malicious. It was cruel,” Rose says, shaking her head. “I would never have imagined seeing something like this in America.”
Rose arrived in the U.S. in 1969 from Barranquilla, Colombia. She married an American, became a U.S. citizen, and was a proud and active member of her community. But Rose had a younger sister, an attorney in Colombia, at a time when the powerful drug cartels began targeting judges and attorneys for assassination. This sister sought asylum in the U.S. in 2005.
“My sister was lucky that she had family here, people who were able to help her financially and support her,” Rose says. “But now we are putting people in jail just for asking for asylum. They are not criminals. They are scared for their lives and the lives of their children.”
“I’m an immigrant myself,” says Rose Schneeberger. “This issue is close to my heart.” One day, as Rose sat in church, listening to the preaching, she suddenly decided she had heard enough. “Being angry was not helping anybody,” she says. “I had to do something.”
Although Rose has been a member of the United Methodist Church for 42 years, she did not know about the JFON network of immigration legal service providers—not until she began looking for the best way to help separated families at the border.
“Once I saw the cross and flame, I knew JFON was okay,” she says. “A project of UMCOR? Say no more.”
Rose called us this week to tell us she has raised $10,000 from her own congregation at Claremont United Methodist Church. She raised another $2,500 from her local Kiwanis club. And she’s reaching out to other congregations, other community organizations, and to anyone she can find. Rose is on a mission, an indefatigable force for good, and she’s not taking “no” for an answer.
I’m just getting started,” she says, smiling.
As of Monday, September 24, there are still 403 migrant children who remain separated from their parents.
Thank you for your support. The congregation recently forwarded over $10,000.00 to NJFON for work with immigrants in detention.
Check out the work of National Justice for Our Neighbors (JFON) in the midst of our current border crisis. UMCOR — United Methodist Committee on Relief is NJFON's primary partner. As an agency of The United Methodist Church, JFON works closely wth UMW — United Methodist Women , the Board of Church and Society aka "umcjustice" , and General Board of Global Ministires aka "umcmission" and with all units of the church.
An article about Virginia Raymond, legal director for Austin JFON, and what may be the first family reunification since the administration began separating migrant families at the border.
An article describing a Credible Fear Interview in which the government interviewer displays lack of awareness that chidren are being separated from their parents.
The following article from The Intercept describes the same case:
•An Abused Woman Came to the U.S. Seeking Asylum. The Government Took Her 5-year-old Son. This Is How She Got Him Back by Debbie Nathan for the Intercept.
•Separating Children and Parents at the Border — A heartfelt message from NJFON Executive Director Rob Rutland-Brown
United Methodist Church
STATEMENT ON FAMILY SEPARATION
Thursday, June 7, 2018
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church is joining other faith organizations in a statement urging the U.S. government to stop its policy of separating immigrant families.
Below is the full statement signed by dozens of faith organizations. Bishop Kenneth H. Carter, president of the Council of Bishops, signed on behalf of the Council.
Recently, the U.S. Administration announced that it will begin separating families and criminally prosecuting all people who enter the U.S. without previous authorization. As religious leaders representing diverse faith perspectives, united in our concern for the well-being of vulnerable migrants who cross our borders fleeing from danger and threats to their lives, we are deeply disappointed and pained to hear this news.
We affirm the family as a foundational societal structure to support human community and understand the household as an estate blessed by God. The security of the family provides critical mental, physical and emotional support to the development and wellbeing of children. Our congregations and agencies serve many migrant families that have recently arrived in the United States. Leaving their communities is often the only option they have to provide safety for their children and protect them from harm. Tearing children away from parents who have made a dangerous journey to provide a safe and sufficient life for them is unnecessarily cruel and detrimental to the well-being of parents and children.
As we continue to serve and love our neighbor, we pray for the children and families that will suffer due to this policy and urge the Administration to stop their policy of separating families.
•His Eminence Archbishop Vicken Aykazian
Diocesan Legate and
Director of the Ecumenical Office
Diocese of the Armenian Church of America
•Mr. Azhar Azeez
Islamic Society of North America
•The Most Rev. Joseph C. Bambera
Bishop of Scranton, PA
Chair, Bishops’ Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs
•Senior Bishop George E. Battle, Jr.
Presiding Prelate, Piedmont Episcopal District
African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church
•Bishop Kenneth H. Carter, Jr.
President, Council of Bishops
The United Methodist Church
•The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry
Episcopal Church (United States)
•The Rev. Dr. John C. Dorhauer
General Minister & President
United Church of Christ
•The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
•The Rev. David Guthrie
President, Provincial Elders’ Conference
Moravian Church Southern Province
•Mr. Glen Guyton
Mennonite Church USA
•The Rev. Teresa Hord Owens
General Minister and President
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
•Rabbi Rick Jacobs
Union for Reform Judaism
•Mr. Anwar Khan
Islamic Relief USA
•The Rev. Dr. Betsy Miller
President, Provincial Elders’ Conference
Moravian Church Northern Province
•The Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson II
Presbyterian Church (USA)
•Rabbi Jonah Pesner
Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
•The Rev. Don Poest
Interim General Secretary
•The Rev. Eddy Alemán
Candidate for General Secretary
Reformed Church in America
•Senior Bishop Lawrence Reddick III
Presiding Bishop, The 8th Episcopal District
Christian Methodist Episcopal Church
•The Rev. Phil Tom
International Council of Community Churches
•Senior Bishop McKinley Young
Presiding Prelate, Third Episcopal District
African Methodist Episcopal Church
Successful Immigration Clinic — 16 June 2018 at the church
The next clinic is scheduled for Saturday, November 17, 2018
Thanks for your successful support of our Spring Missions Emphasis!
All programs were fully funded.
All programs were fully funded.
Click image below to connect to CORR/COSROW page!
Council of Bishops speaks out against President's Racism
January 12, 2018
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Bishop Bruce R. Ough, president of the United Methodist Council of Bishops, issued a statement today on behalf of the Council concerning remarks reported to have been made by President Donald Trump regarding immigrants. The statement follows:
We are appalled by the offensive, disgusting words attributed to President Donald Trump who is said to have referred to immigrants from African countries and Haiti, and the countries themselves, in an insulting and derogative manner. According to various media accounts, President Trump made the remarks during a White House discussion with lawmakers on immigration.
As reported, President Trump’s words are not only offensive and harmful, they are racist.
We call upon all Christians, especially United Methodists, to condemn this characterization and further call for President Trump to apologize.
As United Methodists, we cherish our brothers and sisters from all parts of the world and we believe that God loves all creation regardless of where they live or where they come from. As leaders of our global United Methodist Church, we are sickened by such uncouth language from the leader of a nation that was founded by immigrants and serves as a beacon to the world’s “huddled masses longing to be free.”
Thousands of our clergy, laity and other highly skilled, productive citizens are from places President Trump has defamed with his comments. The fact that he also insists the United States should consider more immigrants from Europe and Asia demonstrates the racist character of his comments. This is a direct contradiction of God’s love for all people. Further, these comments on the eve of celebrating Martin Luther King Day belies Dr. King's witness and the United States’ ongoing battle against racism.
We just celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ, whose parents during his infancy, had to flee to Africa to escape from the wrath of King Herod. Millions of immigrants across the globe are running away from such despicable and life-threatening events. Hence, we have the Christian duty to be supportive of them as they flee political, cultural and social dangers in their native homes.
We will not stand by and allow our brothers and sisters to be maligned in such a crude manner. We call on all United Methodists, all people of faith, and the political leadership of the United States to speak up and speak against such demeaning and racist comments.
Christ reminds us that it is by love that they will know that we are Christians. Let’s demonstrate that love for all of God’s people by saying no to racism; no to discrimination and no to bigotry.
Bishop Bruce R. Ough
Council of Bishops
The United Methoidst Church
Jim Wallus of Sojourners challenges us as Americans and world citizens to turn our attention to addressing issues of racism and poverty as a sign of our unity.
"Bread for the World" offers devtional
The U.S. political advocacy group for the hungry, Bread for the World, offers the following devotional guide for the year as a free download. Clickl on the title to download "In Times Like These ... A Pan-African Christian Devotional for Public Policy Engagement" by The Rev. Dr. Angelique Walker-Smith, Senior Associate for Pan-African and Orthodox Church Engagement, Bread for the World, directly from the program's website.
The Bishop Charles Wesley Jordan Scholarship
Bishop Charles Wesley Jordan has been called “an empowerer of people; a tireless human-rights advocate; and a doer of the Word.” For decades, he led local churches, global initiatives, and various general boards of the United Methodist Church. After serving as resident bishop of the Iowa Area for eight years, Bishop Jordan retired from active episcopal assignment, and joined Claremont School of Theology as Bishop-in-Residence until May 2016. With his blessing, CST is establishing the Bishop Charles Wesley Jordan Scholarship. Bishop Jordan has been a leader among leaders, yet remained grounded in his deep passion for lifting up others. For 15 years at CST, he empowered future pastors and through them he will continue to shape our future churches. With your generous contribution, the Bishop Charles Wesley Jordan Scholarship will be awarded yearly to an African American student who intends to go into pastoral ministry. The minimum amount needed to endow the scholarship is $50,000; our goal is $150,000.
Please prayerfully consider joining his family, colleagues, churches, and friends in honoring Bishop Jordan and empowering future generations of students who will continue his legacy of bold pastoral ministry. Contact Sharalyn Hamilton at email@example.com or (909) 447-2535 to make a gift to Bishop’s Scholarship or contribute online: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/bjordan
ICUJP invites you to watch a video about Peace Kids: A Youth Leadership and Peace Education Camp in South LA. (Click on image below.)
The ICUJP Peace Kids Internship has been created for students from South Los Angeles between the ages of 15 and 18 to give them an opportunity to learn and grow their community organizing skills while being directly mentored by ICUJP members. Youth interns also receive a small stipend, some scholarship funds, work experience, and recommendations for college and careers.
Partnered with landmark institutions such as the Peace Kids/Peace Camp/Youth Leadership, the ICUJP Peace Kids program strives to uplift students while providing comprehensive education from a peacemaking perspective: a global peace education with an emphasis on developing the next generation of community change agents.
It is related to the United University Church in LA, a joint United Methodist / Presbyterian congregaiton. Thr congtregation is both a "More Ligiht" Presyberian church and a United Methodist Reonciling Congregagion.
Contact Jim Dwyer 347-213-5029 for further information.
The Church Council recently voted to support internships at the Peace Center. Churh and Society and Missions Commission will be working on a presentation to the ongregatoin for funding.
You can view provisions of new state law SB54, the" California Values Act", to protect undocumented immigrants (and others mistakenly identified as such) from certain police and ICE procedures. The law was signed by the governor on October 5, 2017.
Information on The United Methodist Church's views on contraception
• An article from UM Communications at the time of the Obama administration's insurance mandate: "Religious liberty, the church and the pill"
• From the Social Principles — The Nurturing Community — a sentence from the discussion of abortion: "The Church shall encourage ministries to reduce unintended pregnancies such as comprehensive, age-appropriate sexuality education, advocacy in regard to contraception, and support of initiatives that enhance the quality of life for all women and girls around the globe."
Keep up with California IMPACT and Calfornia Council of Churches emails ON THIS PAGE!
SOJOURNERS appeals to us: "Tell Congress: Save DACA and support the DREAM Act" and offers this opportunity to register our concern thorugh their weblink.
"We decry the maddening uncertainty that the DACA rescission revives for vulnerable immigrant youth." The webpage offers a call to specific actions each United Methodist Woman —and man! — and take.
Among a long list of faith leaders, these two Uinited Methodist voices:
•The Rev. Dr. Susan Henry-Crowe, The General Board of Church and Society of The United Methodist Church:
“God calls us to welcome the migrant. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a critical first step to fixing our broken immigration system and loving the sojourner. The recent halt to this policy, and any efforts to rescind these protections, are not only unconscionable but contrary to moral work and witness. Any reforms to the U.S. immigration system must affirm the worth, dignity, and inherent value and rights of migrants. The United Methodist Church stands with DACA recipients, their families, and the entire immigrant community, and we will continue to work for just and compassionate immigration policies that acknowledge the dignity of all people.”
•The Rev. John L. McCullough, United Methodist Clergy and President and CEO of Church World Service:
“It is deeply disappointing and hurtful to see that our President has decided to turn his back on hardworking and deserving immigrant youth and members of our congregations. Communities of faith believe in our call to welcome our immigrant brothers and sisters. By rescinding DACA, President Trump has done the exact opposite. CWS calls on the faith community to condemn this shameful and unacceptable position and work side-by-side with DREAMers to realize the welcome God commands us to fulfill.”
The American Friends Service Committee
challenges us to offer "Sanctuary Everywhere"
Reconciling Minstries Network publishes conference-by-conference report on gender-related issues and RMN presence at all U.S. annual conferences.
We are encouraged to see a group from all five U.S. jurisdictions describing iself as "the Methodist middle" calling for a church which allows room for people to hold divergent points of view on vital issues whiie still unting to bear witness to a traditonal Methodist stance of inclusion and service in he world. You can find their call in this article from United Methodist News Service:
U.S. Independence Day
Reconciling Ministries' Presence at Calremont 4th of July Parade
Reflections on the 4th of July in the light of the U.S President's recent reference to Frederick Douglass.
"Blow-by-Blow" from the 2017 Session of the California-Pacific Annual Conference.
You can read the minutes of each of the four days of the Annual Conference Session (or download them) by clikcking the links below to the "U.M.Daily." If you would prefer to downlaod (or read) a single file, a compilation is also available with the same content.
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Videos of Conference Worship, including the ordination of Martha and Robin, are or will soon be available at the conference website.
New from "Religion and Race": Religion and Race Announces 2017 CORR Action Fund Grant
United Methodist Women acknowledge guns factor into domestic violence
Our Mission Statement
- We nurture one another on our spiritual journeys.
- We work for peace and justice.
- We serve others and God’s creation.
—Adopted by CUMC Church Council, 2009
We are part of the CalPac Conference
We are a Sanctuary Congregation
Since we are called by God to seek justice for all people and to provide food for the hungry, shelter for the homeless, hospitality for the sojourner, and aid for those in great need;
Since large numbers of persons from war-torn lands are now seeking refuge in our country from persecution, imprisonment, or death;
Since the right[s] of such refugees are recognized by the highest ideals of this nation as expressed in the 1968 ratification by the United States Senate of the United Nations protocol relating to refugees, and again in our Refugee Act of 1980;
Since the 1984 General Conference of the United Methodist Church stated, "We will...be supportive of and encourage churches in the United States that provide sanctuary;"
And since, in speaking of Christians engaged in the sanctuary movement, our own bishop, Jack M. Tuell, said. "We believe these brothers and sisters are acting out of Christian love and compassion. They are doing this service in non-violent and open ways, and we fully support them;"
Therefore, we stand with churches throughout the country in publicly declaring that it is the policy of the Claremont United Methodist Church to provide sanctuary, insofar as we are able, to refugees who are recommended to us by denominational or ecumenical agencies, and who are fleeing from persecution or violence in Central America and elsewhere. We define sanctuary for such refugees as providing shelter, sustenance, and assistance in other personal and family problems they may face in relationship to their new environment and the regulations of our government This we consider an obligation laid upon us by the Christian faith we profess.
We uphold the right of individuals within the church to follow their consciences in either going beyond or dissenting from the stand here taken by the church as a whole. We hold all such individuals in love and respect and we rejoice in the deeper ties that unite us in Christian devotion.
(Resolution passed by the membership of the Claremont United Methodist Church on April 21, 1985.)
We are a Reconciling Congregation
We Affirm God’s Covenant with the Jewish People
Furthermore, we state that anti-Judaism in ail forms should be universally condemned. We ask forgiveness for past sins and persecutions against the Jewish people. We pray that old barriers to communication and understanding will be removed and that the relationships of this church with the congregation of the local Jewish community will be enhanced.
Approved by the Administrative Board, 1/19/1993.
As part of the United Methodist Church we Respect Islam and Oppose Discrimination against Muslims.
- To oppose demagoguery, manipulation, and image making that seeks to label Arabs and Muslims in a negative way;
- To counter stereotypical and bigoted statements made against Muslims and Islam, Arabs and Arabic culture;
- To increase knowledge of neighbor by study and personal contact that yield a greater appreciation of the Muslim and Arabic contributions to society;
- To act decisively to include Arabs and Muslims in interfaith and community organizations;
- To pray for the perfection of community among us and to participate fully in the process of bringing it into being; and
- To publicly denounce through statements from the Council of Bishops and the General Board of Church and Society current practices that discriminate against this community.”
Church and Society Committed to Inclusion and Justice
The last few days have been tumultuous in the life of The United Methodist Church. General Secretary Susan Henry-Crowe responds.
Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ.
The last few days have been tumultuous in the life of The United Methodist Church and I want to begin with a word to my LGBTQIA friends, colleagues, and neighbors. You are beloved of God. Your lives and your relationships are sacred and holy and I grieve the harm done to you through words and actions in the name of Christ.
This was my 11th General Conference. I seldom tire of United Methodists gathering to witness to our faith in God to the world.
I love to celebrate the communities living out the Gospel around the world. I love to worship, praying in our many languages and cultures. It is so good to laugh and cajole one another to come along as we feel a common gladness about proclaiming the love of Jesus Christ, seeking justice and pursuing peace.
The 2019 General Conference session brought some joy and laughter and the gathering of friends. There were moments that would have bored Jesus to tears.
There were also moments that broke the heart of God.
The 2019 General Conference chose to further deepen the divide in The United Methodist Church. The plan adopted by a slim majority is punitive, contrary to our Wesleyan heritage, and in clear violation of the mandate given to us in 1 Corinthians 12.
“The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you!’” (1 Corinthians 12:21a) One part of our church cannot say to another, “I don’t need you.” And yet, that’s exactly what happened.
The 2019 General Conference brought unbearable pain to the body of Christ. The delegates’ resistance to hear and honor the presence and voices of LGBTQIA people has created a wound. The wound may one day be healed by the grace of God, but the scar left behind will visible forever.
Our prayer must be of repentance. We must seek forgiveness. We must call on Christ to heal all of the brokenness we have imposed on the body.
I will pray for forgiveness in my part of having participated in a church that has excluded, pushed out and damaged many faith-filled LGBTQIA people. For all the families and young people wounded by these exclusions, we must always pray.
We must also put our faith into action and continue to work for LGBTQIA equality.
We will seek justice for LGBTQIA migrants. We will seek to end conversion therapy, the dangerous and discredited idea that you can change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity. We will work to ensure that no one is fired from their job or prevented from access to housing because they are LGBTQIA. We will work to end hate crimes against LGBTQIA people, especially LGBTQIA people of color. We will seek a climate in which LGBTQIA children are protected and enabled to live full and flourishing lives.
Whatever comes next for The United Methodist Church, I am steadfast in my belief that the General Conference cannot release us from our responsibility to love and care for a world groaning for justice.
I am in prayer for you, for our church and for the world.