Basics of the Reconciling Process

1. Establish a team

Establish a core team to lead the church or community. The process is, by design, lay-led and should include a diverse group of church members, all of whom are passionate about LGBTQ justice and inclusion in The UMC. 

2. Design your process

The team becomes familiar with the basic elements and tools for the journey, completes the congregational assessment provided in the Building an Inclusive Church (BIC) toolkit, and designs a custom path.

3. Follow your process

Follow your designed process – prayer, storytelling, personal meetings, relationship building, Bible study, discussion groups, book clubs, continuing education events, etc. – whatever is best for your setting. Your RMN Organizer is happy to recommend study resources.

4. Discuss RMN’s Reconciling statement

Study and discuss RMN’s foundational Reconciling statement. The adoption of this statement is required for affiliation:

We celebrate God’s gift of diversity and value the wholeness made possible in community equally shared and shepherded by all. We welcome and affirm people of every gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation, who are also of every age, race, ethnicity, physical and mental ability, level of education, and family structure, and of every economic, immigration, marital, and social status, and so much more. We acknowledge that we live in a world of profound social, economic, and political inequities. As followers of Jesus, we commit ourselves to the pursuit of justice and pledge to stand in solidarity with all who are marginalized and oppressed.

5. Take a straw poll

We strongly recommend that groups, especially large groups and churches, take a straw poll about 2/3rds of the way through the process to measure progress. This is a helpful tool that can ultimately ensure a high percentage of support during the actual vote.

Seek a bare minimum of 75% support in the straw poll before moving forward. Continue your process based on straw poll results. Click here for a sample straw poll.

6. Hold your vote

Schedule, advertise, and hold a vote to adopt the Reconciling Statement and affiliate with RMN.

7. Notify your Organizer

Notify your Organizer and email the required documents and photo so that we can make it official! Follow steps found in “Five Steps to Complete Your Process to Affiliate.”

8. Celebrate!

Share and celebrate your decision throughout your church and community. Check out “Next Steps for New Reconciling Ministries” for ideas.

This is a quick and basic introduction to the process. If you haven’t already, please view the Reconciling Process Brief Overview video for more tips and best practices. Don’t hesitate to contact your RMN Organizer for additional assistance.