The bible's call to justice is the call to be fair & inclusive, particularly to those who have historically been on the sidelines or without a voice in society. Here are some of Central's ministries with a focus on justice & inclusiveness.
Justice for our Neighbors (JFON)
Central Church supports a Satellite Clinic of Justice For Our Neighbors West Michigan. JFON is a multi-church ministry that provides our vulnerable immigrant neighbors with reliable legal advice. For more information, please go to the JFON West Michigan website or National JFON. Contact our local representative Alline Beutler for more information. June 2016 Update: Read an article on "The Indecision of the Supreme Court."
A response to CUMC from Executive Director Rob Rutland-Brown from National JFON regarding their support for the future support of immigration. "Like many of you, I awoke today in shock. I am worried for immigrants in this country. For JFON, a justice ministry centered on helping immigrants to navigate our nation’s legal system so they can enrich American life, the election of Trump raises practical questions about our work. Will dreamers still have DACA? What obstacles will Muslims immigrating here face? Will that wall be built? Will undocumented immigrants be deported en masse? These uncertainties are much more poignant, of course, for immigrants themselves—our clients and, in many cases, our friends and family. Will they take our dad from us? Will I still be allowed to work? Are my children no longer able to come live with me? Am I safe here? It provides a modicum of solace to know that much of the anti-immigrant rhetoric spoken by Donald Trump over the past eighteen months is simply impractical, either because of budgetary or legislative constraints. And perhaps President Trump will be more unifying than candidate Trump, as our election process invites contrasts and creates divides. But mostly, what comforts me is you all. You-- our growing network of Justice for Our Neighbors staff, board members, volunteers, and advocates-- are a source of hope for me and, more importantly, for the countless immigrants who touch our lives."
"Today, and each day moving forward, this network reminds immigrants and all of our neighbors that we value them, we welcome them, we love them. This love is especially important now, in a time fraught with fear and uncertainty for immigrants. We will keep fighting for immigration policies that are just and compassionate and against those grounded in bigotry and intolerance. We vow to lift up our voices in our churches and our communities and share stories of the immigrants we have come to know and admire. We promise to stand by refugees and counter divisiveness with messages of welcome. We will represent immigrants tirelessly in their cases so they can, in fact, work here lawfully, be able to live here together as a family, and remain safely and permanently in the United States. Thank you for your faithfulness in this ministry, which provides all of us with the strength to move forward."
The Reconciling Ministries group shares four core beliefs:
- The Bible tells us that God’s grace is available, without exception, to all who believe in Jesus Christ.
- Homosexuality is not a choice, it is simply the way some individuals are made.
- Homosexual practice between two consenting adults in a long term relationship is not a sin.
- The Church should be welcoming and affirming of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals who seek a relationship with Jesus Christ.
We invite all Central folks who wish to help transform our Church and world into the full expression of Christ’s inclusive love to join us as a member of our Reconciling Community. We also encourage you to place a rainbow sticker or rainbow cross on your nametag as a sign of welcome.
The Reconciling Ministries Group of Central United Methodist Church is affiliated with the Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN) as a “Reconciling Community.” RMN is a Christian and United Methodist organization that mobilizes United Methodist Church members of all sexual orientations and gender identities to transform our Church and world into the full expression of Christ’s inclusive love. Find out more about the RMN Network.