– by Vincent Cervantes –
Coming out of General Conference 2012 there has been a lot of mixed emotions and energy around our relationship to the church as a movement that is diverse and colorful. While we have shared different experiences, we understand the need to move forward with strength and passion for a fully-inclusive church which recognizes the diversity of our multicultural world.
This past fall, leaders from across the country gathered in Chicago to discuss, organize, and strategize how we move forward as United Methodists of Color for a Fully-Inclusive Church (UMOC). Joined by sisters, brothers, and allies from the Reconciling Clergy and the Transgender Extension Ministry, we gathered for a time of theological reflection and fellowship. Social justice is part of our biblical and Wesleyan heritage and we proactively want to bring more voices to dialogue at the table to share in our experiences of justice as the movement carries on.
The spirit of UMOC is stronger and more passionate than ever. Part of this passion has lead to the election of new leadership who will lead us in to the next quadrennium with our minds and spirits focused on the justice and love we are called to practice. We welcome as our new co-chairs, Gheeta Smith (UT) and Theon Johnson III (CA). Serving as secretary, we welcome Bridget Cabrera (NY), and Vincent Cervantes (CA) who will serve as the new communications secretary and the UMOC representative to the RMN board of directors. Bishop Melvin Talbert (TN), Luis Reyes (IL), and Daniel Vianna (IL) will serve as at-large members to the leadership steering committee. We are excited for these leadership transitions and are confident that UMOC will impact the movement and the larger church.
We look to the near future and anticipate increasing our presence and attendance of United Methodists of Color at Convocation 2013, engaging communities and churches across the country and internationally into a collective effort to transform the church in the name of justice and joy. In the next year we will be launching a new ad campaign and UMOC blog. To stay up-to-date on UMOC news please join our mailing list by emailing UMOC@rmnetwork.org. Information will be available soon on registration for the UMOC pre-Convo day events.