A Statement on the Protocol of Reconciliation & Grace Through Separation

    Our baptismal vows state that we “accept the freedom and power God gives [us] to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves.” While we are grateful for the time and effort of those who worked on the Protocol of Reconciliation and Grace Through Separation, we must at the same time acknowledge and resist the injustice and oppression embedded within it.

    Some feel relieved and even hopeful about the Protocol. The possibility of being free from the mean-spirited discrimination of the WCA (Wesleyan Covenant Association) is alluring, as is the possibility of seeing the anti-LGBTQIA language removed from the Book of Discipline.

    It’s important to remember that at the moment these possibilities remain just that: possibilities. Nothing has been decided yet, and the legislation related to the Protocol was released only today. The Protocol was developed in secrecy, and important details and questions remain unknown. This lack of transparency and shared power is one element of oppression. Another is the lack of POC+Q+T (people of color + Queer + trans) representation in the development of the Protocol. Still another injustice is the inequity of funding. Why is the WCA being paid so handsomely for holding the UMC hostage for decades, without being required to engage in repentance?

    MIND has not endorsed the Protocol. Once we have reviewed the legislation, we can say more. In the meantime, however, we issue a clarion call to remain focused on the work ahead. Regardless of what happens to the United Methodist Church, we must attend to the sacred calling to dismantle racism, sexism, heterosexism, transphobia, classism, ableism, and colonialism.

    We offer the following guiding principles as we navigate our way forward:

Embrace pastoral concern and advocacy, particularly for those whose very identities and lives are threatened by church-sanctioned heterosexism and transphobia.

Reject false equivalency, ie, “both sides are hurting.”


Embrace naming harm and discrimination; unmasking bigotry cloaked in piety, theology, or biblical interpretation.

Reject value-neutral tolerance. Falsely framing church-sanctioned prejudice as a mere difference of opinion between two parties with equal power and access.


Embrace an organized Queer presence in places of decision-making, undergirded by movement values and pastoral support.

Reject tokenization and isolation of Queer voices.


Embrace liberative relationality as both a goal and the means to achieve that goal.

Reject imposed categorization, ie, Conservative-Moderate-Liberal, or Traditionalist-Centrist-Progressive.


Embrace informed intersectionality as both a goal and the means to achieve that goal.

Reject a zero-sum game approach that frames racism, sexism, ableism, classism, ageism, heterosexism, and transphobia as competing agendas; divide and conquer dynamics.


Embrace unwavering commitment to gospel liberation for all and authentic Christian community.

Reject institutionalism. Seeking hope and salvation in legislation and back-room deals.


Embrace calling out publicly accountable leaders when they fail in word or deed to support the most marginalized; “calling in” those with whom we are in relationship when we see an opportunity to offer loving education, correction or guidance.

Reject shaming and blaming; placing ideological purity over pastoral concern.


Embrace following the example of Jesus by actively seeking and nurturing unheard voices. Bringing into community those who have not yet been invited to the table.

Reject status quo conversation, leadership, and voices.

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.




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

Fulfilling the NYAC Commitment to Queer Voices at GC 2019

In 2017 New York Annual Conference overwhelmingly endorsed the concept that there must be Queer voices at the 2019 Special General Conference. Very few annual conferences will have delegations embodying the concept, making the elections in our annual conference especially significant. With this in mind, we share with you a declaration and an offering by a diverse group of Queer laity and clergy and allies who feel called to this ministry of witness and have expressed their willingness, if elected, to serve as delegates or alternates to General Conference. This group is not a “slate.” These are individuals with a common commitment consistent with the goals set out by the 2017 New York Annual Conference.

 A way forward that centers the marginalized


For those attending NYAC 2018, ID Numbers for Candidates Are Listed Below: 



Rev. Kristina Hansen                       ID # 221

Rev. Alex da Silva Souto                 ID # 121

Rev. Martha E. Vink                         ID # 593

Rev. Dr. Sara Thompson Tweedy    ID # 575



Rev. Vicki Flippin                     ID # 172

Rev. Sheila M. Beckford          ID # 039

Rev. Wongee Joh                    ID # 267

Rev. Paul Fleck                       ID # 170




Jorge Lockward                   ID # 9

Dr. Dorothee Benz               ID # 1

Karen G. Prudente               ID # 10

QuiShaun D. Hill                  ID # 7

Ann Craig                            ID # 3


Tiffany French-Goffe           ID # 6

Fred Brewington                 ID # 2

Daisy Tavarez                    ID # 12

Get more info and full bios at https://www.withnotabout.org/

Click here to learn why we’re running… and asking for your support.

We are being faithful to the mandate from the 2017 annual conference, which voted to urge the conference to elect a majority-LGBTQI slate for the special GC, whose express and sole purpose is to address the impasse in the church over how we treat LGBTQI people.

This group represents many decades of faithful service and leadership in the UMC and our conference. It specifically includes deep GC expertise (seven people with direct delegation experience and multiple others who have attended many GCs) and additional significant legal/legislative/Judicial Council/Discipline expertise.

It reflects the diversity of the conference and our understanding of interconnectedness of oppressive systems. It is specifically and intentionally majority people of color, and committed to the unfinished work of racial justice in the UMC.

Above all, it is a chance for NYAC to live into its legacy of opposition to the UMC’s systemic exclusion of LGBTQI people. It is a chance to give queer people agency and voice in a way that they quite literally have never had in our denomination.

We want this delegation and this GC to be different, and that includes inviting in everyone who wants to help to participate in our process and to join us if they can in St. Louis. There is room at our table for all and for everyone’s gifts, and we need everyone’s gifts.