Whether you’re looking for a safe place to worship, an inclusive liturgy or a pamphlet to use in talking to others in your congregation, there are a wealth of resources available, online and offline. You’ll find many specific resources linked below, but you should think of MIND itself as an ongoing resource for support, organizing, ideas and fellowship.
Find a church
Resources recommended by MIND
Videos, books, articles, pamphlets, Bible studies and more – these resources are available in each district office; most of them are also available online for purchase.
Our conference’s reconciling history
MIND has compiled a record of the New York Annual Conference’s positions on LGBT issues. NYAC has stood in explicit and consistent opposition to UMC policy on homosexuality for over 30 years and has regularly affirmed its call to inclusive ministry
If you’re wondering how other congregations have expressed their welcoming ministry, here’s a sampling from some of the Reconciling Congregations in NYAC.
Becoming a Reconciling Congregation
The national Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN), with which MIND is affiliated, offers a process through which churches can declare themselves “Reconciling Congregations.” After congregation-wide discernment and discussion, churches adopt a statement that explicitly welcomes people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. This serves as a beacon to LGBT people looking for a safe haven in a hostile, homophobic church world. An overview of the process is here. In NYAC, MIND is there to help local congregations design and move through their own individual processes.
10 Things You Can Do
Trying to figure out what to do next in your congregation’s ministry to welcome LGBT and fight homophobia? Here’s a few suggestions to jump start your next brainstorming session.
MIND is lucky to have many wonderful and prophetic preachers and teachers in its midst. Here’s a collection (small but growing) of sermons on LGBT issues.
The liturgy, prayers, and hymns included in the service play a crucial role in creating a welcoming church community. Here are a few resources for creative and spirit-filled worship.
What about the Bible?
Too many of us have heard too often that the Bible condemns homosexuality. We know that it doesn’t but we may not know how to talk about the verses that others believe prove that it does. Here are a few resources for those of us who are not historians or theologians.
Resources on combatting hate violence
Growing out of the successful November 2010 My Brother’s Keeper: People of Faith Confron Hate Crimes symposium, the organizing team has put together a video and study guide designed for local congregations who want to deepen their own awareness and witness. You can order the the packet here, and also download all the resources researched and created to the event.
Resources from RMN
Resources from other LGBT-related organizations and Web sites
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force page on faith issues
Human Rights Campaign page on faith issues
Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation page on Religion, Faith and Values
Out in Scripture – a devotional resource from HRC
Pride in the Pulpit – Empire State Pride Agenda’s network of people of faith
Truth about “ex-gay” ministries and “reparative therapy” – from PFLAG
Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network
RMN’s links page, including a list of Christian and interfaith organizations working for LGBT equality
Baltimore-Washington Area Reconciling United Methodists (B-WARM)
Upstate New York Reconciling Ministries Network
Pacific Northwest Reconciling Ministries Network