A Statement From Your Ministry Team
The book “White Awake” was pulled this past week from our spiritual formation offerings due to the anti-LGBTQ+ stance of both the publishing company and the author. In our journey towards full inclusion, we recognize the intersectionality of justice and welcome for all: To seek to create equity and justice for People of Color without also doing the same for all oppressed people including LGBTQ+ persons is to undercut Jesus’ call to love our neighbor as ourselves.
We are grateful for those who brought this to our attention even as we grieve having made a decision that necessitated such a response.
The work of creating God’s kingdom on Earth as it is in heaven is a journey full of praise and pain, celebration and grief. Even as we give thanks for Duke Memorial’s commitment to the work of full inclusion for all of God’s children, we lament the ways our work has, at times, caused further pain and trauma to the very ones we seek to love. Even though our intent in offering this study was good and lovely, we name and lament that the impact caused harm.
To that end, we will replace “White Awake” with a study that explores the journey of anti-racism within the context of our Christian faith, written and published by those who seek the same justice for LGBTQ+ persons. As well, we will re-evaluate our Anti-Racism Formation Guide and remove any resources from authors or organizations that do not align with our welcome statement.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
Grace and Peace,
Rev. Heather Rodrigues
Rev. Jennifer Ingold Asbill
Minister Garrett Rocha
Churches! Where are you?
A message from Pastor Heather
"We recognize that this work is a journey.
It's long, it's personal, it's emotional, it's messy, and it's tough.
Still, we say yes.
In the name of a God who allows us to begin again and again.
In the name of God with brown skin, Jesus, who marched against discrimination all the way to the cross and whose redeeming love empowers us to do the same."
Pastor Heather shares how new light is beginning to break through the chaos of pandemic shutdowns and restrictions.
A message for the wilderness.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
United Methodist clergy officiate same-gender marriage in holy disobedience to denominational policy.
March 3, 2020
Contact: Rev. Heather Rodrigues, Pastor (919) 683-3467
DURHAM, NC - Duke Memorial United Methodist Church joyfully celebrates the covenant marriage of Caleb Parker and Thomas Phillips, which took place in our sanctuary on February 29, 2020. Twelve clergy from Duke Memorial United Methodist Church and our United Methodist and ecumenical connection jointly officiated this wedding in holy disobedience to the prohibitions against same-gender marriage laid forth by denominational policy in the United Methodist Book of Discipline (¶ 341.6). We bless Thomas’s and Caleb’s covenant promises in Christian marriage and are grateful to be given the honor of celebrating their love through the wedding worship service.
Love is at the center of our faith tradition and is a lens through which we interpret the Scriptures. We at Duke Memorial will continue to celebrate the reconciliation of all persons as beloved children of God, equal before the throne of love and grace. We will continue to welcome and affirm ALL of God’s children, as we live into our baptismal vows to “accept the freedom and power God gives us to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves” (United Methodist Hymnal, 34).