CHICAGO (April 4, 2017) – Matt Berryman, executive director of Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN) has announced he will be leaving the organization on June 1, 2017 after leading lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) United Methodists and their allies in making significant impact toward ending institutionalized policies of discrimination against LGBTQ persons in The United Methodist Church (The UMC).
During Berryman’s leadership, the organization increased its number of congregations and communities belonging to the Network by nearly 70%. The organization also added nearly 10,000 new individual Reconciling United Methodists to the growing movement. Berryman, who joined RMN in April of 2013, led a growing staff in new and flourishing initiatives in the US South and West Africa while implementing new civil disobedience strategies around same-sex marriage and LGBTQ ordination in the US church. He was integral to conversations at the denomination’s General Conference 2016 (top policy-making body) which resulted in the establishment of The Commission on a Way Forward, where Berryman will continue as an invited participant.
Berryman leaves an expanded organization of LGBTQ persons and their allies ready to boldly address the elimination of persistent policies of exclusion and assist The United Methodist Church in facing a new and more inclusive future. In addition, Berryman leaves RMN with a deepened commitment to intersectional organizing and advocacy as well as a greater commitment to transgender justice.
“This is the time for me to step aside to pursue other life goals,” Berryman said. “I will be forever grateful to a talented staff, to the RMN board, members of our Network, and volunteers with whom I’ve worked, and to our organizational partners in the broader LGBTQ equality movement who continue to contribute to our success,” Berryman continued. “I am privileged to have served an organization and a movement of such integrity and faithfulness. I have learned an extraordinary amount and will always be connected to the RMN family.”
The RMN board will lead the search for Matt Berryman’s successor. “Berryman was chosen to lead RMN through a period of organizational change and has strategically moved us through a critical quadrennium in the church,” said David Mauzy, chair of the RMN board of directors. “The landscape of inclusion looks far different today than it did when Matt joined us four years ago and the RMN board is grateful for the gains we have experienced because of his leadership,” Mauzy continued.
Former RMN board director, Rev. Dr. Pamela Lightsey says of Matt’s leadership, “I have known Matt since he stepped into this role as executive director four years ago. He has given his heart and soul to the cause of LGBTQ inclusion in The UMC and led our movement with courage and deep conviction. I, for one, am grateful.”
Details surrounding an executive search will be posted in the near future at www.rmnetwork.org.
Consider making a donation to RMN in honor of Matt and his accomplishments here.