As many United Methodists seek to counter and transform the disastrous outcome of the Special General Conference in St. Louis, a number of collectives and meetings are taking place around the country. The Western Jurisdiction (the Western US from Colorado onward) has organized a number of task forces to coordinate resistance and explore the building of new structures within and outside of the UMC. At the conclusion of the Special General Conference, the Western Jurisdiction launched, “A Home for All People” which is a vision to be safe harbor for anyone who is persecuted by the UMC prohibitions against LGBTQIA+ persons.
Another, UM Forward, led by members of the UM Queer Clergy Caucus and leaders of color, gathered in Minneapolis in conversations that centered persons of color and queer voices.
Randall Miller and I attended another meeting in Kansas City May 19-21 called UMCNext, which gathered 10 delegates from every annual conference to determine common ground and chart a path toward the next expression of Methodism. Out of this meeting came four commitments:
We long to be passionate followers of Jesus Christ, committed to a Wesleyan vision of Christianity, anchored in scripture and informed by tradition, experience and reason as we live a life of personal piety and social holiness.
We commit to resist evil, injustice and oppression in all forms and toward all people and build a church which affirms the full participation of all ages, nations, races, classes, cultures, gender identities, sexual orientations, and abilities.
We reject the Traditional Plan approved at General Conference 2019 as inconsistent with the gospel of Jesus Christ and will resist its implementation.
We will work to eliminate discriminatory language and the restrictions and penalties in the Discipline regarding LGBTQ persons. We affirm the sacred worth of LGBTQ persons, celebrate their gifts, and commit to being in ministry together.
For those who want to continue working on this, several opportunities have emerged and continue to evolve:
Join Epworth’s own Reconciling Committee Contact Charlotte Rubens at email@example.com
UMC-Next Report Back with Rev. Kristin & Randall Miller Sun, June 16 | 11:30 a.m. in Adult Study
Annual Conference Reconciling Luncheon w/ Rev. Kristin as panelist Thurs, June 20 | 12-2 pm First UMC-Modesto Cost: $18 RSVP by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
March in the SF Pride Parade with the United Methodist contingent Sat, June 30 Register online at http://bit.ly/SF-Pride2019