Reconciling Ministries Network Ex-Employee Filing Complaint Against Group Over 'Gender Identity Discrimination' Receives Broken Personal Effects in the Mail

Personal Effects
Items belonging to Andy Oliver, former communications director for Reconciling Ministries Network. On July 2, 2015, Oliver posted this photo on Facebook commenting that these items were mailed to him by RMN and arrived in this condition. |

An ex-employee of a major pro-LGBT United Methodist group who filed a legal complaint accusing them of wrongful termination and "gender identity discrimination" has received broken personal effects from the group.

Last Thursday Andy Oliver, former director of communications for the Chicago-based Reconciling Ministries Network, posted a photo on Facebook of items sent to him by his former employer.

The objects, which included an image of the United Methodist cross and pottery his sons made for him, were broken into several pieces.

"RMN mailed my personal effects recently and this is what I found when I opened the box," commented Oliver on social media.

"I am still looking for a job. As for the broken stuff ... I'm going to glue it back together to remember this time of brokenness."

When a commenter asked about the way the items were packaged, Oliver replied that the items "were wrapped in paper, in a big box with my books. A few pieces of bubble wrap, but they never stood a chance."

Oliver declined to provide comment to The Christian Post. Reconciling Ministries Network did not return comment by press time.

Reconciling Ministries is an organization that seeks to have the United Methodist Church become more welcoming of the LGBT community, with hundreds of American congregations affiliated with the group.

In May, Oliver filed a complaint against Reconciling Ministries before the Cook County Commission on Human Rights.

Oliver accused the pro-LGBT group of unjustly firing him following his denunciation of actions regarding a "transgender subordinate" that he believed constituted "gender identity discrimination."

"I filed a grievance with RMN's Personnel Committee objecting to and refusing to participate in what I reasonably believed amounted to gender identity discrimination," read the complaint, which CP acquired via FOIA request.

"Specifically I stated that I believed RMN's Executive Director, Matt Berryman, was trying to 'bully' me into changing a subordinate's job title despite that I believed that the title change constituted discrimination based on the subordinate's transgender status."

Oliver also alleged in the complaint that over the next couple months he was "subjected to unjustified adverse employment actions" including "more severe scrutiny" of his work and eventually being fired "without giving me any justification at all."

"I believe that I was terminated in retaliation for reporting what I believed to be gender identity discrimination," continued Oliver.

Posted last Thursday, the photo of Oliver's damaged personal effects has garnered nearly 100 comments, which are overwhelmingly sympathetic to the former Reconciling Ministries employee.

Oliver also had a gofundme page set up on Friday, which is meant to raise funds to help with the expenses accrued for his planned move from Chicago to Florida.

"It has almost been three months since I lost my job. This summer has been a gift to spend every moment with my two boys (ages 6 and 4), but also incredibly scary having to provide for them while being unemployed," wrote Oliver on the page.

"If you can't give, please do not feel bad. But if you are able to help me through this time that seems impossible, I will be eternally grateful and I promise to pay it forward when I am able."

Oliver's legal complaint against Reconciling Ministries Network before the Cook County Commission on Human Rights remains ongoing.

Free CP Newsletters

Join over 250,000 others to get the top stories curated daily, plus special offers!


Most Popular

More In Church & Ministries