Welcome to BMC
Hayley Brooks, the new Kaleidoscope Coordinator and volunteer, reflects on her religious heritage and what she hopes to bring to her new position at BMC.
Executive Director Carol Wise offers some reflections on the Mennonite Church USA biennial convention in Kansas City this past summer.
Karl Shelly, a pastor at Assembly Mennonite Church in Goshen, Indiana, was recently subjected to a review of his ministerial credentials for officiating at a same-sex wedding. Here is his response.
It was a neat and nearly perfect circle of deniability....
"Authenticity and honesty are important components of leadership. I believe the best option is not encouraging someone to go back into the closet. If LGBT people desire to be "out," then walk beside them and encourage them to be honest about being a member of the LGBT community."
Needing some inspiring solidarity today? 'Beacon Heights Church of the Brethren's ally video project is here. Thanks for your beautiful witness, Beacon Heights!
Fashioned in Love DVD Available for Purchase from
the BMC Office
From BMC and the Welcoming Dialogue Group of Lancaster, PA is the two-disk DVD set "Fashioned in Love: Biblical and Theological Foundations for Inclusion." These DVDs, great for congregations and discussion groups, feature Pastor Megan Ramer's testimony to the congregational life of Chicago Community Mennonite Church and her theological analysis of human sexuality. You may read a transcript of her presentation here.
The "Fashioned in Love" DVD set is available for $10 plus $5 shipping and handling from the BMC office. To order a copy, send a $15 check to Brethren Mennonite Council for LGBT Interests, PO Box 6300, Minneapolis, MN 55406 with "Fashioned in Love DVD" in the memo line. Or, make a $15 online donation and request the DVD at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Acting on an idea presented at a Progressive Brethren Gathering, a document entitled Love’s Obedience was developed to provide a way for pastors, individuals and congregations to bear public witness to lgbt inclusion. In signing on, pastors indicate their embrace of marriage equality and their refusal to deny services to a couple based simply upon gender or sexual orientation. Drawing from the guidance of the Annual Conference Statement, The Church and Christian Citizenship that affirms God’s love that “must include concern for justice, liberty and peace for all,” the statement Love’s Obedience reads:
In this time in history, our affirmation of God’s love for the world calls us to affirm the sacred goodness and equality of people of every sexual orientation and gender identity, and to seek for all people the same good life that any of us wish for ourselves, including the possibility of marriage. For these reasons, we reject the barriers of discrimination and injustice that deny to lgbt people the blessing and support of the church as they seek to covenant with one another in faithful relationship…
In every era, the gospel challenges persons of conscience and faith to take risks for the sake of justice. Love’s Obedience offers an opportunity to stand on the side of love. Pastors, individuals and congregations are invited to affirm this statement of conscience and intent with their signature. Click here to read the full document and add your signature.
Download our resource for youth group leaders, along with our resource for youth. Contact us about organizing a training in your area.
Quick Tips for Allies leaflets
Why should my church become publicly affirming?
How can I support lgbt youth in my congregation?
How can we have a fair and helpful dialogue?
How can I support lgbt Brethen?
How can I support lgbt Mennonites?
Are you trying to figure out how your church can talk about lgbt related issues in a responsible way? Download our recommendations.
Keep up to date with BMC's community and upcoming events.
Voices of the BMC community featuring current events, theology, reflection and commentary.
Reflecting on My Religious Heritage
by Hayley Brooks
Untethered...Reflections on Kansas City
by Carol Wise
News, upcoming events, and general announcements in a semi-monthly email. Current issue:
October 2015- SCN Grows...and Grows
A blog especially for young adults.
If an elephant has it's foot... - posted 2/14/14
Email discussion group for BMCers, our friends and family.
BMC's Video and Photo Gallery
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BMC Oral History Project
The BMC Oral History Project has released two new short films in its Our Voices series. The first, entitled Allies, offers some very helpful insights about how to be an effective ally. The second, titled Speaking Out, Baltimore 1983, features early BMC organizers recounting the unexpected message and witness of Helen Brubaker, a Church of the Brethren mother. The Oral History Project is a BMC program dedicated to recording the life experiences of Mennonites and Brethren who are lgbtq and our allies. Films are produced by Amy Short and Paul
BMC History Project
Amy Short, in her work on the BMC Elder History Project, has been busy collecting stories, primarily from older BMC individuals, but also from some younger ones as well. Currently she has over 40 hours of taped interviews that will be preserved for our archives, with some utilized for trainings or simply shared as a celebration of our strength and variety as a community. Amy has pulled some of the material together into a short video clip. 10 min. 2012. Click here to view the clip.
SCN Video: One Congregation’s Story
Pastor Karl Shelly speaks about Assembly Mennonite Church’s journey to becoming a member of the Supportive Communities Network (SCN). This is a resource for congregations exploring joining SCN. Made in collaboration with Jacob Landis-Eigsti, a Goshen College graduate and owner of Reimagine Cinema. 4 min. 2012. View the video
Finding herself on the fringes of church, Carrie Fry-Miller was once a licensed minister in the Church of the Brethren. She became licensed at a young age, just after her 18th birthday. But when she came out as a lesbian five years later, her license was revoked. It has been a painful process for her and since then she has distanced herself from the church to figure out where, how and if she still has a place within. Writer, Director, Editor | Paul Neudorf. 13 min. 2011.
View the video
On The Male Side of Middle
A story of love, honesty and integrity, this film about female-to-male transgender Mennonite Calvin Neufeld, captures a special moment in time between him and his family. Filmed a year after he began transitioning and a year after marrying his partner Sharon, this story shows how strong a family can be when they love, care and listen to each other. Writer, Director, Editor | Paul Neudorf. 12 min. 2011. View the video
Coming Out Strong
Six Mennonite and Brethren individuals from Canada and the US reflect on their lives as lgbtq people within the BMC community, and one parent offers her perspective on what it means to be part of BMC. This is a wonderful resource for congregations, Sunday school classes, youth groups, parents, individuals just coming out, or anyone who would like to learn more about what it means to be part of the Brethren or Mennonite lgbtq community. 55 min. 2006.
View the video
BMC Photo Gallery
Photos from recent BMC events
Who We Are
BMC provides programming, support and advocacy for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals and their families and friends in the Mennonite and Brethren traditions.
BMC Mission Statement
The mission of BMC is to cultivate an inclusive church and society and to care for the Mennonite and Brethren lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and allied community.
Mission and Vision Statement
Our objectives are:
- To provide support for Mennonite and Church of the Brethren gay, lesbian,
transgender, and bisexual people, their friends and families
- To foster dialogue between gay and non-gay people in
- To provide accurate information about human sexuality from various theological, sociological, psychological, and biblical perspectives.
Brethren Mennonite Council for LGBT Interests
P.O. Box 6300
Minneapolis, MN 55406