While we at RMN are disappointed by the news of the postponement of the General Conference, we are also grateful for the work of the Commission on General Conference and the Minneapolis Convention Center purposed to keep us and our communities safe during this tumultuous and tender time.
Between General Conference 2019 and today, our hearts have already groaned for justice and freedom for LGBTQ United Methodists and those who love them. For those who have lived under systems of oppression for years, one more day seems hard to bear. How long, how long? How much longer must we wait?
Yet, we know that it would violate the spirit of our Church and the General Conference to hold a session before it is safe or while the deliberative body cannot be together.
We will make it through this time if we remain committed to one another and to our shared work. Here’s what you can do right now to help strengthen the Reconciling movement along the long road to General Conference.
Recommit your Reconciling Church or Community to its vision of welcome and affirmation.
Write an op-ed for your local paper, plan a worship service that celebrates your affirmation, or invite other area churches to a discussion about full LGBTQ justice and inclusion in The UMC. Engage with Resist Harm for more ideas for public acts of recommitment.
Connect with a local or regional Reconciling team.
Reach out to Delvan at delvan (at) rmnetwork.org, who can put you in touch with the appropriate Regional Organizer and/or annual conference/district leader. Partner with other Reconciling Communities in your district to hold virtual events and acts of witness.
And, if you haven’t already, host a Building an Inclusive Church workshop taught by our Western Jurisdiction and Reconciling Process Organizer Rev. Dr. Izzy Alvaran. Contact him at rcprocess (at) rmnetwork.org.
If you’re new to the Reconciling process, check out this video that our Regional Organizers created.
Become a monthly donor to Reconciling Ministries Network.
RMN remains committed to walking with churches, communities, and individuals on the path to LGBTQ justice and inclusion in The United Methodist Church. The General Conference delay will be expensive for RMN, as we have incurred costs that cannot be recuperated for General Conference 2020. This includes our presence at annual and jurisdictional conferences, legal support for queer clergy, outreach to central conferences, and legislative advocacy and witness at General Conference. At the same time, we must expand our work to more fully engage and resource the groundswell of individuals, churches, and communities who have become reconciling over the last year.
Write for our blog.
We want to hear from Reconciling voices around the connection about their commitment to the cause of LGBTQ justice and inclusion in the Church. To submit a blog post, email Ophelia at ophelia (at) rmnetwork.org.
Write to your bishop to ask that they join other episcopal leaders in participating in the abeyance on charges and trials outlined in the Protocol.
In a campaign we have titled “As Long As Ever You Can” after the words of John Wesley, we are asking Reconciling and other churches to call upon bishops to stop the harm. Write a letter, collect signatures from your community or church, and send the letter. Consider requesting a meeting with your bishop to ask them to commit to the abeyance and to pray for them. If they have already committed to the abeyance, express your gratitude and ask them to reaffirm their commitment in light of the postponed General Conference.
In this year of extended hardship and uncertainty, we will need each other more than ever. Our bonds as a community of Christ’s followers will be tested. RMN is doubling down on our commitment to equip and mobilize a movement that is bigger and more vibrant than ever before. We ask you, Reconciling United Methodists, to commit with us to this mission. We must do all the good we can, by all the means we can, in all the ways we can, in all the places we can, at all the times we can, for and with all the people we can, as long as ever we can.