It’s Time to Take a Stand!

Help Your Church Become a Covenant of Conscience Signer

by Rev. Jeff Wells
The Church of the Village (NYC)

Now is the time to sign a Covenant of Conscienceindividually and as a congregationand Methodists in New Directions can help you!

Since the adoption of the “Traditional Plan” at the Special Session of the United Methodist General Conference a month ago, many UM congregations have made public displays in support of LGBTQI siblings through voting to approve new inclusive welcome statements, posting inclusive messages on their signs, mounting rainbow flags, and more.

In the New York Annual Conference, numerous congregations have either taken a position for the first time, adopted a more forceful stance, or are considering such a move.

  • Two churches on Long Island are putting rainbow flags on their front lawns for the first time.
  • At least three congregations have meetings scheduled to vote on new welcome statements.
  • One recently signed the Covenant of Conscience and several others are considering it.
  • A church in Connecticut decided to read the Covenant in worship once a month on Communion Sundays.

This is a critical moment in the history of Methodism in the U.S. and a crucial time to take a strong stand for love and justice.

Methodist in New Directions (MIND) has a wealth of experience and resources to assist congregations in the congregational discernment, writing an inclusive welcome statement, and explaining the importance of the Covenant of Conscience. If you are interested in helping your congregation take this stand, please contact Scott Summerville or Jeff Wells. We will be holding one or more Zoom videoconference sessions initially to provide a summary presentation and answer questions.

Signing the Covenant of Conscience as a congregation adds powerful, practical commitments to the sentiments in a welcome statement. It can also encourage other congregations to take a forceful stand. (We encourage individual clergy and lay persons to sign as well.)

The Covenant of Conscience preamble was recently updated to take account of the decision of the General Conference in February 2019. The full text of the Covenant of Conscience and an online sign-on form are available on the MIND website.

Already signed it? If you have already signed the Covenant, thank you for taking this important stand! Have you moved to a different congregation since signing? If so, please use the link above to sign it with your updated affiliation, and we will update to your current congregation on the list of signers. Thank you!