RUMM: Reconciling Men in an LGBT+ friendly church
by Robin Dorner
Editor in Chief
As a charter member of Mosaic UMC, Tim Poindexter likes focusing on other members. It makes him feel like he is of most service to the community that way.
"We support the LGBT+ community in all the traditional ways: marching in the gay Pride parade and voicing LGBT+ issues to the United Methodist Church Conference," says Poindexter. "I think our ‘open hearts and open doors' stands out more than anything we do."
More than two years ago, Mosaic church formed through the merger of two congregations – Epworth UMC and Leland Clegg Memorial UMC. The two Oklahoma City churches felt that together they could more effectively minister to progressive Methodists in the metro area.
"Our DNA is in the history of Epworth and Leland Clegg. Epworth's service to the LGBT+ community was uncountable and goes back to the mid-1990's."
Poindexter is touched by the Leland Clegg history as well. As one of the first integrated UMC churches in Oklahoma City, they opened their doors in 1963; four years before the Supreme Court abolished interracial marriage.
"When I was 19, I attended a gay fellowship potluck at Clegg. That was something for OKC in 1991," he exclaims. "Every time I drove past the building, I remembered how Clegg was there for me and the others. I have the same feelings about Mosaic; it's a place to build warm memories and a place to belong."
Poindexter is a part of helping to create Mosaic's "RUMM": Reconciling United Methodist Men, a social group, and a community service outreach.
"The group voted ‘Reconciling' over ‘Gay' after the feedback from a bisexual member. The name has been a good fit [because] we also have a couple of straight members."
The Reconciling Ministry Network (RMN) is a group of UMC churches affirming of LGBT+ people and are working to change the denomination's stance on homosexuality.
The RUMM group gathers for social events such as bowling, attending art shows and attending speaking events. Their community service events are in the planning stage.
"We are blessed with a wise pastor [Rev. Scott Spencer] who suggested we charter the denomination for recognition only after we have established a pattern of service," adds Poindexter. "We wanted the service to be the focus over a ‘we're here, we're queer' mindset. Any feedback on a need inside or outside the LGBT+ community we want to hear about."
The RUMM member says the group wants to know how they can reach out to help.
The church has a new home at Mayfair Heights UMC, located at 3131 NW 50th St. in OKC. Mosaic and Mayfair donate space to UMC North OKC Native American Fellowship.
"They are as deep a source of support to Native Americans in OKC as Epworth was to the LGBT+ community. All they want is to hold on to their who they are and gain acceptance as Christians. They are in the same situation as gay people."
The first Thursday of the month is a community service event at Mosaic; the 3rd Thursday is a social gathering.
Copyright The Gayly – January 3, 2018 @ 9:25 a.m. CST.