What started as a series of classes on gender equality taught by retired Revs. Bonnie Parr Philipson and Jim Philipson has evolved into a new video project soon-to-be released for churches to use.
“Called to Love One Another” comes after years of “Called to Love” workshops and was a project done in coordination with LGBTQ+ Advocacy Coordinator Rev. Dr. Brett Webb-Mitchell, Allied Video and other voices within the Oregon-Idaho Conference United Methodist Churches to help tell the story of churches and individuals who have become open, affirming, welcoming and reconciling with LGBTQ+ individuals.
There will also be stories of LGBTQ+ people of faith who moved from being hidden to out, open and still welcomed within the UMC.
The final product, which Webb-Mitchell estimates will be completed by the end of the month, will feature a 20-minute video and work book for group discussion and there will be a 40-minute video that is more narrative in nature.
“It’s exciting to see it come together,” Webb-Mitchell said. “You’ll hear from fresh voices within the life of the church.”
One of those voices is Scott Hossner, owner and senior producer with Allied Video out of Salem. Allied Video has long been a partner of the Oregon-Idaho Conference in many video projects, including this one, which was funded through a grant from the Collins Foundation.
Hossner rarely finds himself in front of the camera. But this story about churches becoming more loving and inclusive toward LGBTQ+ people was too important not to.
“This project has been in development for a long time and I’m excited to see it come to fruition. When we began, I never intended to be on the other side of the camera, since that is not my usual spot,” he said. “But it was an honor to be asked. My fervent hope is that people will be moved to always remember, above all else, Christ’s call to love one another.”
Read more about this project on Webb-Mitchell’s weekly blog on the Oregon-Idaho Conference website.