How to Pave "A Way Forward"
Reconciling Ministry Network churches and their allies met in St. Louis, MO to offer mutual care and to strategize prior to the February 2019 called General Conference of the United Methodist Church. (I encourage you to read Heather Hahn's thorough review of the weekend in UM News, at https://www.umnews.org/en/news/lgbtq-advocates-conflicted-on-way-forward.) So now, it's time for the local church to begin preparing for ways to care for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Asexual + folks in new and more inclusive ways.
Here are some suggestions about what we can do to forward full inclusion of LGBTQIA+ persons in the United Methodist Church:
- Understand and critique the costs and benefits of the "One Church" plan. That, and the other plans, are fully expressed in the report by The Way Forward Commission, available here: Final Report of A Way Forward Commission
- Contact Bishop Michael McKee and the delegates to General Conference: Thank them for their support of the One Church plan, if you think it's worth supporting; ask them for more public support for LGBTQIA+ folks, in their pastoral care and advocacy. They are:
Clergy Delegates to General Conference
- Jan Davis, First UMC Rowlett
- Clayton Oliphint, First UMC Richardson
- Jill-Jackson Sears, Lake Highlands UMC, Dallas
- Dr. Ronald Henderson, North Central District Superintendent
- Don Underwood, Christ UMC, Plano
Lay Delegates to General Conference
- Tim Crouch, First UMC Denton
- Linda Parks, Northwest District
- Kelly Carpenter, Lovers Lane UMC, Dallas
- Ricky Harrison, First UMC Richardson
- Richard Hearne, University Park UMC, Dallas
You may contact them c/o 500 Maplelawn Dr, Plano, TX 75075
- Become an at-large member of the Annual Conference 2019, in order to elect supportive delegates to General Conference in 2020. That means attending Annual Conference for 2 1/2 days in June, and voting for folks who will support full inclusion of LGBTQIA+ folks in the UMC. Interested? Please let me know!
- Attend the called General Conference in St Louis--February 23-26, 2019. A presence of loving hospitality will be a powerful witness to the church.