About Us

Methodists in New Directions (MIND) is a grassroots organization of United Methodists working to end our denomination’s doctrinal prejudice and institutional discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and committed to living more fully into God’s radical Welcome right now and right here. We are a regional group, organizing on the conference level within the New York Annual Conference (NYAC)  of the United Methodist Church (UMC) .  We also work closely with the Church Within a Church movement (CWAC) and the New York chapter of the Methodist Federation for Social Action (MFSA). MIND was founded in 2006, but is part of a long tradition of reconciling activism within NYAC. We stand on the shoulders of many who came before us.

We work year-round with local congregations to help them develop and expand LGBT-inclusive ministries. We offer training and resources and sponsor speakers and events. In 2011 we launched We do! Methodists Living Marriage Equality, a network of clergy, laity and congregations in our conference who have decided to extend their ministries to all couples, gay and straight, in defiance of our denomination’s ban on gay weddings. We also work within the institutional structures of the UMC in a variety of ways, including a yearly witness and creative presence at the four-day annual conference session of NYAC.

We believe in living the loving, radical, inclusive Gospel. We believe that Christians are called to follow the example of Christ in proclaiming the all-encompassing, extravagant love of God and that the church has a special obligation to welcome the poor, the marginalized and the oppressed. We believe that the church has no business mimicking the prevailing prejudices of the society around it.

We believe that the transformation of the church will—must—come from the bottom up and that living our faith means each of us taking the next steps in the reconciling ministry in our own congregations—whatever those steps are, however big or small.

MIND is a membership organization. Becoming a MIND member  is another way that every one of us can witness to God’s Welcome, a way we let people know—our bishop, our conference leadership, other churches and most of all LGBT people who are wondering whether they can find a church home through our doors—that God welcomes everyone and so should we.

Contact Us

For a look at what MIND is working on now, visit the MIND Initiatives page.

For a look at what MIND has done in the past, read our annual reports:

The MIND steering committee

Rev. Martha E. Vink
Steering Committee, Co-Chairperson
NOW Cooperative Parish

Rev. Melissa Boyer
Steering Committee, Co-Chairperson
Katonah UMC

Rev. Alex DaSilva Souto
Steering Committee, Global Justice Coordinator
New Milford UMC

Rev. Vicki Flippin
Steering Committee, Intersectional Coordinator in the NYAC
First & Summerfield UMC

Rev. Lea A. Matthews
Steering Committee, Intersectional Coordinator in the NYAC
Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew UMC

Rev. Cathy Schuyler
Steering Committee, Communications Coordinator
Simpson Memorial UMC, Quarryville UMC, Catskill UMC

Rev. Dr. Althea Spencer Miller
Steering Committee, Theologian in Residence
Drew Univ. Theological School

Rev. Scott Summerville
Steering Committee, Treasurer

Rev. Kaiyra Greer
Karen G. Prudente

Rev. Matt Schaeffer
Rev. Jeff Wells

The MIND Advisory Board

Rev. Thomas Carney
UMC Babylon

Rev. J. Michael Cobb
Rowayton UMC

Rev. Dr. Hermon L. Darden Jr.
St. Stephen’s UMC

Carolyn Hardin Engelhardt
Cheshire UMC

Rev. Kristina Hansen
Mary Taylor Memorial UMC

Rev. Bruce Lamb
Minister of Faith Formation, The Riverside Church

Rev. Dr. Karen A. Monk
District Superintendent, Catskill Hudson District

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