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Discernment of Affiliation Task Force Guest Speakers

Our Discernment of Affiliation Task Force has been working diligently to provide opportunities for our congregation to learn, discuss, and engage in dialogue regarding human sexuality issues, such as the ordination of people in the LGBTQ+ Community and the marriage of same-sex people. We must come together as a community to better understand the perspectives and positions held by each side. We are excited to announce that we have invited two distinguished guest speakers to share their insights and experiences with us during our upcoming May Sunday worship services.

1. May 14: Theodore "Ted" Smith III, a prominent member of the Wesleyan Covenant Association, will present the traditional positions of the Global Methodist Church. Mr. Smith will provide us with a comprehensive understanding of the theological and ethical principles that guide this denomination.

2. May 21: Rev. Denyse Barnes, Director of Justice & Compassion EMT of CalPac Annual Conference, will speak on the progressive perspectives of the movements supporting the LGBTQ+ community within the UMC. Rev. Barnes will address the importance of inclusivity and how our church can embrace and support all members, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

3. May 28: Church Group Discussion - We invite all members of our congregation to join us in a group discussion where we will reflect on the presentations by our guest speakers, ask questions, and engage in dialogue. We intend to come to a consensus as a church regarding our posture on two pressing human sexuality issues. 1) our posture on the ordination of people in the LGBTQ+ community and 2) the marriage of people of the same sex.

We would also like to make it very clear, that there will be NO DEBATE AND/OR QUESTIONING of our Guest Speaker's beliefs, we are to listen and gain information from both sides of the aisle to then use in our Church Group Discussion on the 28th.

We also want to inform our members that these presentations DO NOT require mandatory attendance. Any person who wishes to leave may do so.

More information is to be released in the May Issue of our Univista/Newsletter.

If anyone would like to speak privately on this subject, Rev. Rubén Esponda will be available for individual conversations and pastoral consultation on this matter.

Any further questions/comments can be directed to the Church Office.

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