The Advent Gathering

THE ADVENT GATHERING, a collaborative conference for United Methodists envisioning and working toward creating a new, liberated Methodist church, will take place at St. Andrew UMC Highlands Ranch, Colorado on December 3 & 4th, 2019.

MIND is proud to be a sponsoring organization of this event, along with St. Andrew UMC and UM-Forward. With conference participants from across the country, together we imagine a thriving and liberated church, one that actively lives out the Gospel while exemplifying Jesus’ radical love ethic of full inclusion and affirmation for all God’s beloved children.

The Advent Gathering offers laity, clergy, and organization leaders the opportunity to connect with others seeking affiliation in a new, vibrant expression of John Wesley’s Methodism. Participants will share resources and partake in discussions that will best equip clergy, laity, and congregations along their discernment journey during this time of transition and opportunity within the denomination. In addition, time will be spent preparing for and evaluating potential legislative outcomes of 2020 General Conference.

Living in a world enveloped with divisive politics and exclusionary tactics, Advent Gathering participants uphold God’s expansive and liberating love and an Open Table inviting all into Christ’s community. We believe in a church free from injustice, oppression, and institutional discrimination in which each and every human being is loved, accepted, and treated as God’s beloved and sacred child.

Advent Gathering participants affirm that all people—including Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual + persons (LGBTQIA+), people of color (PoC), disabled persons, and women—are created in the Divine Image, are of inherent sacred worth, and shall be fully included in the life, ministry, practices, and leadership of the church.

Those joining to collaborate reject any institutional policy that would deny the full participation of persons in the church based on age, nationality, race, class, culture, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, and ability.

Participants commit to upholding Methodism’s historic emphases on grace, personal holiness, and social justice, over and above loyalty to institutional identity.

TO REGISTER:

www.theadventgathering.com

CONTACTS:

UMForwardJoy Butler & Rev. Jay Williams

MIND, Methodist in New DirectionsRev. Melissa Boyer

St Andrew UMCSarah Davis & Rev. Akilah Bixler

St. Andrew United Methodist Church
9203 S. University Blvd
Highlands Ranch, CO/303.794.2683

The MIND Welcoming Church Program

Discerning Your Congregation’s Future?

We Can Help!

For the past eight years MIND has been assisting congregations in the complex process of discernment around issues of human sexuality and what it means to take a stand for justice and inclusion in today’s United Methodist Church. These issues have now reached a point of urgency for each local congregation. We have resources and experienced individuals who are committing their time and energy to helping congregations in this process.

Please contact Rev. Jeff Wells 917-604-5227 or email pastorjeff@churchofthevillage.org; or Rev. Scott Summerville 914-980-7176 or email sumvil@aol.com for information and guidance.

Now Is The Time

A Challenge and an Invitation – Individuals and Congregations Taking a Stand for Equality

MIND has organized two “how-to” sessions for individual laity and clergy and for Congregational representatives interested in helping their congregations in the process of becoming a Welcoming Congregation.

Wednesday, June 19, 7-8  PM
Tuesday, June 25, 7-8 PM

At this critical moment in United Methodist history, it is a moral imperative that United Methodist congregations take a stand. The New York Annual Conference has resoundingly reaffirmed its commitment to equality for all persons in the life, sacraments and leadership of the church.  Our Bishop, Thomas J. Bickerton, has challenged our congregations to “work for full inclusion, and make our words turn into actions that demonstrate our support.” We have further declared as an annual conference that we will not be bound by the regressive and punitive policies against LGBTQIA+ persons embodied in The Traditional Plan.

It is not enough that we privately decry these developments and the continuing attempt to suppress full equality in the church. As individuals and congregations we must take a public stand.  At the same time, we recognize that guiding congregations through the process of formulating a public message requires thoughtfulness and careful preparation. If you have not done so already, we challenge you to act now, and we are prepared to help you in this process.  We have experienced trainers who can take you step-by-step through an effective process of congregational discernment.

We will be conducting a number of training events, beginning with the two on-line events listed above. If you or members of your congregation would like to participate in one or both of these sessions, simply follow this link to provide us with your name, the name of your congregation, and your email contact information.  We will then send you a link that you may use to sign in to either of these events.

If you are interested in having this training, but are not available for the dates being offered now, please send us your contact information, and we will inform you of additional events that will be offered.

Now is the time!

Thoughts on Judicial Council Verdicts

posted April 27, 2019

Friends, by now you may have heard that the Judicial Council has presented its findings. We are saddened but not surprised that these include affirmation of the harm and punishment inflicted by the Traditional Plan, as several of its provisions have been deemed legal and enforceable. You can read a good summary of the council’s findings here.

We deplore all of it. The mean spiritedness of prioritizing punishment over making disciples. The continued harm and marginalization to LGBTQ siblings. The use of threats and intimidation to prevent clergy from ministering to all of God’s children. The active, ongoing damage to the body of Christ, and a focus on institutionalism where love is no longer part of the conversation.

We will not let this go unchallenged, and so we are reaching out to remind you that we are just one week away from the first of MIND’s spring organizing meetings. We hope you will join us as part of the movement for justice and inclusion. At this crucial moment in United Methodist history, as our denomination is being reshaped, and as we forge a new future as an annual conference and as a global church, there is much work to be done.

We will be meeting in six different locations over the next three weekends, so that we can involve as many people as we can, as conveniently as possible:

Sunday, May 5, 3-5 PM: Mary Taylor UMC
168-176 S Broad St, Milford, CT 06460

Sunday, May 5, 3-5 PM: Centerport UMC
97 Little Neck Rd, Centerport, NY 11721
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Saturday, May 11, 3-5 PM: Yorktown UMC
2300 Crompond Rd, Yorktown Heights, NY 10598

Saturday, May 11, 3-5 PM: Catskill UMC
40 Woodland Ave, Catskill, NY 12414
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Sunday, May 19, 3-5 PM: Park Avenue UMC
106 East 86th St, New York, NY 10028

Sunday, May 19, 3-5 PM: Park Slope UMC
410 6th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215

Please join us at one of these locations to hear about the work that our organizations are doing, our plans for our work in the New York Annual Conference, hopes and strategies for the way ahead.  Each session will include a video presentation covering major topics in our work, updates by MIND/QCC leaders, and a time for questions and answers as well as discussion of what each of us may be called to do at this critical moment.

Thank you for being a part of this important work. We hope to see you in May!