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

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.

New York Annual Conference 2018

MIND is at AC 2018!

Whether or not you will be attending Annual Conference, here are a few things you can do:

  • Follow what’s happening on social media. MIND will be posting regular updates on our Facebook and Twitter pages, so please follow and repost anything you think deserves a wider audience. The general AC hashtag is #nyacumc and the one we’re using to promote the majority-queer, majority-POC group running is #WithNotAbout. Please follow, and please use the hashtags to help your posts get noticed!
  • #WithNotAbout. A major piece of business for this Annual Conference is the election of representatives to the special General Conference next year. Since this GC is focused on whether the UMC should continue to promote discrimination against LGBTQ people, we support the idea that LGBTQ people ought to be included in this conversation. You can read much more about this at
  • Tell a friend. Every person in this movement got involved because of a conversation. Why not introduce a justice-oriented United Methodist to this work yourself? Have the difficult conversations at coffee hour! Share our Facebook and Twitter posts with comments telling people why ending church-sponsored discrimination is important to you.
  • Keep us in prayer. Annual Conference is all too often a bruising experience for LGBTQ people. We ask that you keep your queer siblings in prayer, and that you join us in a prayer for this ongoing harm to end.

If you are going to be attending Annual Conference, please consider these additional actions:

  • Show your support! Friday is t-shirt day. As conference veterans know, we ask everyone who supports the full inclusion of LGBT people in the church to wear the distinctive purple shirts on Friday as a witness to the entire conference. For LGBT people attending, the sight of the shirts in the face of the denunciations of their ‘sinful lifestyle’  is a lifeline in a hostile environment. Wearing the shirt matters! The shirts, which predate MIND and in fact inspired our name, say “closed doors, broken hearts, we mind,” in reference to the UMC’s official and unfulfilled slogan “open hearts, open minds, open doors.” You can buy the shirt online.
  • Join us for dinner. This year, MIND will be co-sponsoring a dinner on Saturday, June 9th. Please be sure to select this dinner as you register for Annual Conference — this is always one of our biggest gatherings of the year, and not to be missed! (If you missed registration, come anyway! We will have opportunities for people to make donations to offset the cost of non-registered participants, because we would rather have you join us than miss out on a major opportunity to fellowship with LGBTQ UMs and our allies.)
  • Please stop by our table and say hello! We’d love to meet you, and are happy to point you towards resources to help join the work of LGBTQ advocacy in the UMC.