Methodists in New Directions (MIND) is a grassroots organization of United Methodists working to end our denomination’s doctrinal prejudice and institutional discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and committed to living more fully into God’s radical Welcome right now and right here. We are a regional group, organizing on the conference level within the New York Annual Conference (NYAC) of the United Methodist Church (UMC) . We are part of a larger reconciling movement and are affiliated with the national Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN). * We also work closely with the Church Within a Church movement (CWAC) and the New York chapter of the Methodist Federation for Social Action (MFSA). MIND was founded in 2006, but is part of a long tradition of reconciling activism within NYAC. We stand on the shoulders of many who came before us.
We work year-round with local congregations to help them develop and expand LGBT-inclusive ministries. We offer training and resources and sponsor speakers and events. In 2011 we launched We do! Methodists Living Marriage Equality, a network of clergy, laity and congregations in our conference who have decided to extend their ministries to all couples, gay and straight, in defiance of our denomination's ban on gay weddings. We also work within the institutional structures of the UMC in a variety of ways, including a yearly witness and creative presence at the four-day annual conference session of NYAC.
We believe in living the loving, radical, inclusive Gospel. We believe that Christians are called to follow the example of Christ in proclaiming the all-encompassing, extravagant love of God and that the church has a special obligation to welcome the poor, the marginalized and the oppressed. We believe that the church has no business mimicking the prevailing prejudices of the society around it.
We believe that the transformation of the church will—must—come from the bottom up and that living our faith means each of us taking the next steps in the reconciling ministry in our own congregations—whatever those steps are, however big or small.
MIND is a membership organization. Becoming a MIND member is another way that every one of us can witness to God’s Welcome, a way we let people know—our bishop, our conference leadership, other churches and most of all LGBT people who are wondering whether they can find a church home through our doors—that God welcomes everyone and so should we.
* The term 'reconciling' for this mission was suggested in 1982 because of the need for reconciliation between the United Methodist Church and its LGBT members.
For a look at what MIND is working on now, visit the MIND Initiatives page.
For a look at what MIND has done in the past, read our annual reports:
- 2012: Ministry for All
- 2011: Now is the time
- 2010: Expanding the witness, deepening the commitment
- 2009: Building the welcoming church
- 2008: Walking the walk
- 2007: Our first year
Dr. Dorothee Benz
Park Slope UMC
Rev. Scott Summerville
Rev. Vicki Flippin
Church of the Village UMC
Church of St. Paul & St. Andrew
Carolyn Hardin Engelhardt
Rev. Rafael Garcia
Rev. Wongee Joh
Rev. Lucy Jones
Christ Church United Methodist NYC
Church of St. Paul & St. Andrew
Rev. Dr. Althea Spencer-Miller
Church of the Village
Rev. Sara Thompson Tweedy