We want to hear from you.

Share your vision for what a fully inclusive church looks like.

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Name
Please include my name with my vision *
I am affiliated with the United Methodist Church

What others have said.

We must be all inclusive. Jesus was!

-Bradley Schwieger

 

That ALL People will be invited and included to Gods Home NO-MATTER Who they Love! That we focus on the contents of their hearts not who their Hearts love!

- Mona Gansen

 

THIS is why I originally joined the United Methodist Church. I saw them as a church that would take a good hard look at a new challenge and then TAKE ACTION on that challenge. We can not be complaisant, but must act with justice to right this wrong that has been perpetuated against the LGBTQIA community.

-Jaette Carpenter

 

WWJD -- is a device we often hear used when trying to make a value-based decision. The decision about who one may love is as easy and clear for us as it is for Jesus. "Love one another," is his instruction and our obligation. A decision by the United Methodist Church about how to acknowledge our love is just as easy. We must not discriminate about who we may love. We must not place restrictions on clergy about whose love to acknowledge and celebrate, in their personal lives or for their parishioners.

 -Jeff Smith

 

My vision is based on unconditional love. There needs to be an understanding that the reference of homosexuality wasn't added to the bible until the mid 1900's. To believe that everything in the bible is definitively God's words is accepting that humanity allows the ability to condemn those who do not meet the restraints of taking the bible literally.

 -Diane Stang

 

Anyone and everyone is welcome, because everyone is a child of God.

-Carol Hipps

 

A fully inclusive church would include ALL people regardless of gender, sexual orientation, income, age, education. People would not be turned away if they don't fit in what some people think is "proper" for these categories, which has been done.

 -Cheryl Miller

 

I dream of a church that longs to step into the risky business of breaking the human constructed borders and boundaries of the Kingdom of Heaven wide open. I dream of a Jesus-shaped community that embraces stepping onto the uncertain waters of the ever-evolving landscape of identity, where our norms are challenged, our fears are exposed, and our limits are dissolved, and in so doing our hearts, mind, souls, and bodies are liberated. I dream of a church who takes the next step on those waters, aware of the storm of uncertainty around them, but eyes fixed on the loving eyes and wide open arms of Jesus who says, "come". I dream of a church centered in God the creator, shaped in Christ the Beloved, and driven by the Spirit that births us to life. I dream of a church that loves its traditions but holds them loosely so as not to be choked by them, as it stretches, grows, evolves, and matures in God's perfecting work. I dream of a church that sees all of creation through the eyes of the redeemer and not the condemner. I dream of a church that has not, nor will not, give up on the good and life-giving labor of tilling and keeping the soil of God's garden of life. I dream of a church where people can, not necessarily fearlessly, but safely and courageously step into their true fully embodied selves and come to the fullness of life as our Creator intended. And in all this, I dream of a fully resurrected church, dead to its old confined self, and alive in its fully embodied identity.

— Paul Baudhuin

 

My vision of a fully inclusive church would be one where my transgender niece feels fully accepted and is offered and encouraged to be a leader in the church in any capacity she chooses; My church will be blessed by her presence.

-Carolyn Smith

 

Everyone knows they are welcome and can participate fully. No one is expected to change from the way God made them. We celebrate God's creativity.

-Tammy Nara

 

Wesleyan
-Wesleyan focus on support and accountability in small groups
-Practicing means of grace - works of piety and works of mercy
-“Religion must not go from the greatest to the least, or the power would appear to be of men.” John Wesley, May 21, 1764 journal entry
-John Wesley sermon “On Zeal” concentric circles - at the center of the circles is love (love of God and love of neighbor); next circle out is “holy tempers” or fruit of the Spirit; then works of mercy, then works of piety; outer most circle is church
-Community that equips people for religiously-rooted justice and justice-informed faith practice

Relational
-Space that allows people to feel a sense of security and belonging in their bodies
-Community that equips people to practice emotional and somatic regulation and supports one another in healing
-Collaborative processes and leadership, rather than hierarchy
-Build relationships of support and accountability in the neighborhood

Liberating
-Grounded in imago dei - humanity is created in the image of God and all of creation is sacred
-Co-creation of community programs and practices that center the experiences of marginalized people
-Celebrating the gifts and prophetic witness of POC and queer folks - pastoral leadership, worship, music, reading, liturgy, text study
-Practicing stepping in and stepping back to share the air space and the ideation space

Emergent
-“Small is good, small is all. The large is a reflection of the small.” Adrienne Maree Brown
-Community in which we cultivate the spiritual and relational muscle to dream God-sized dreams
-Practice discipline and humility to fractal - to move from the micro to the macro - so that our internal practice is a model of the big dream
-Community in which those most-impacted by injustice in the world are the ones who lead the vision, strategy, and action for transformation

Reparative
-Community that seeks corporately and as individuals to understand its own role and complicity in harm and injustice and then practices confession-repentance-repair as an ongoing cycle
-Practicing material, monetary, and land reparations
-Community that recognizes and practices a deep relationship to the land and ecosystem in which it is gathering

-Anonymous

 

Jesus did not exclude anyone; nor should we. I affirm that the LGBTQIA+ community is welcome and valued. But as person with a disability who uses a wheelchair, "full inclusion" rubs a wound because in so many ways my community continues to be excluded. "Open doors" are not open if there is a staircase in front of them, or they lack a push button opener or someone to open the door, or if they are too narrow for my chair to go through. If "full inclusion" were to include me, there wouldn't be so many physical barriers, but also the mindset would be more inclusive. "Church" is more than being at a certain places at a certain time, events-driven or task-focused. In times when I cannot be at church, I am still a congregant and long to feel connected. Where do my gifts fit in to the church?

-Anonymous

 

I want to be a part of a church that doesn't turn people away for any reason. To be told "you can't" because of XYZ is not how Jesus loved. We need to break the stigma [that our young people especially have received] that they are not welcome to be part of "our church". ALL are welcome at the table.

-Jessica Lanes

 

Every church member should have the same rights as any other church member. It's simple: People are people.

-Anonymous

 

Our Church Vision

Our Methodist Church has Open Doors for All.
Our Methodist Church has open minds to all ideas.
Our Methodist Church has open hearts for all.
Our Methodist Church let’s the judgment come on judgment day not in this day.
Our Methodist Church serves all.
Our Methodist Church extends hospitality to all.
Our Methodist Church believes in sharing Gods love with all.
Our Methodist Church transforms lives through God’s work with us here.
Our Methodist Church pursues justice for all.
Our Methodist Church is a church where all feel welcome.
Our Methodist Church let’s each of our hearts feel that we are all beloved children of God.
Our Methodist Church is where we can agree to disagree and still love one another.
Our Methodist Church knows that God is on the Move in our hearts, minds and souls.

-Crystal Henderson

 

My vision for the church of the future is for ALL people to be truly welcomed to a community of people that is loving and diverse in all ways including the following: age, race, income, sexual orientation, abilities, values. My vision is that this community will work for fairness, and justice for all people.

-Ann Carlson

 

My vision is that the church would be a trustworthy ally of the queer community, with no tolerance for clergy who discriminate against queer people or any other marginalized group.

-Lily Dunk

 

A church that does not condemn ANY trait that does not harm others. This applies especially to traits that are largely genetically determined, such as sex, race, physical and mental handicaps and sexual orientation.

-Roy Testerman

 

A place where everyone is welcomed, everyone is treated lovingly, where you don't have to change to be loved, but in being loved you will become more like Jesus every day. Bring your real self in and we will show you Christ's love!

-Lesli Anderson

Inclusivity means that we welcome all people, regardless of race, gender or orientation to full membership in the church. It means we pledge to be anti-racist, and actively work for social justice for all persons. It means we remove any language that discriminates against anyone based on race, gender or orientation. It means that all persons may be ordained as pastors and serve churches regardless of race, gender or orientation. All means All.

-Michael Walker

To be welcoming and supportive to all regardless of sexual orientation, cultural background, or color. To have a Methodist Church that not only is welcoming but supportive to all, regardless of sexual orientation, cultural background or color.

-Barbara Richter

 

Take the time to let others know what you believe.

-Dan Richter

I am struck by the fact that every month we have communion and each time a statement is made - “In the Methodist Church, all are invited to the table.” I think that says it all. Jesus let all of his disciples partake at the last supper - even the one who betrayed him. Perhaps we should follow his lead.

-Susan Drabek

 

We stand in opposition to the actions taken at the recent global gathering of The United Methodist Church to tighten restrictions on the ordination of LGBTQIA+ clergy and to maintain prohibitions on clergy who perform same-sex marriages ceremonies.  We grieve this decision and the pain it causes our siblings throughout the world.  Too often, our silence has done harm.

We say to our LGBTQIA+ siblings you are beloved children of God, and you are beloved to us . We celebrate the many gifts and graces you bring to the church.  We humbly seek forgiveness.

We commit ourselves to creating the inclusive church. God intends us to be.   We seek to undo the harm caused by exclusion and  discrimination through systemic forms of oppression against all marginalized people both inside the church and in our greater society.  We recommit to working for the full inclusion of all people."

-Joanne Church

God is love! God is love! God is love!

-James Verbout

I work for an inclusive church because we are all made in the image of God. Because I can't tell my daughter we belong to a church that discriminates to anyone. And because the more people we welcome and affirm into Methodism, the more disciples for Jesus Christ to transform the world we collectively will build. I long for the day when I can tell my daughter our church does not discriminate, that our church is able to model all being affirmed and welcome as being made in the image of God.

-Becky Boland

I am appalled that the church that I have attended and believed in my whole life has made this divisive decision. We need to welcome everyone into our churches, love them and nurture their faith, and encourage their participation in all facets of the Christian Church based on their talents and guidance by God.

-Karen Hall

I dream of a church that is actually "open". I'm tired of the "exceptions" to our openness. As the mother of a married gay woman, the cousin of a "closet" women in the "50's and my aunt who remained with her mother as a "maiden" lady I am constantly amazed that as Christians, we, in the United Methodist church chose to define the level and degrees of sin or acceptance. My god accepts all believers. Two of the above mentioned women we active, participating Christians during their lives but were NEVER accepted. My 50 year old daughter has gone through all of the judgements, indignities and prejudices possible. She has lost her job, not been hired and has avoided any public situations. She was married by a United Church of Christ minister and is fully accepted in that church. My vision for my church is where she and her spouse can come to church with me and not feel that some are judging her for her sexuality. We all need to understand it's not a choice. More to the point I don't want to have to choose whether to love my child or my church.

-Elizabeth Curren

My vision is that the Methodist church will not discriminate against LBGTQ. The 2019 Conference is breaking the law of our country.☹️ I do not understand how so many Methodist people will vote to hurt people they do not know. We believe we should love our neighbor as ourselves.

-Beverly Stoufer

I am a member of Faith United Methodist Church in Saint Anthony, Minnesota. We are an Altar for All congregation, and and I fully support our desires and efforts to openly accept and integrate members of the LGBTQ community into our spiritual community. My understanding of what the the Path of Christ is leaves us no other option.

-Paul Kirst

My vision for a Methodist body is one where humble, forgiving, and courageous disciples of Jesus Christ worship God and share the peace, compassion, and justice of God with their neighbors.

Serious study of Scripture (not proof-texting), the wisdom of the saints, Wesleyan teaching and practice, and the concerns and needs of the world (in mutually informing ways), and especially the teachings and practices of the Wesleys and early Methodists will be the formational work of each congregation. The church would have as its two missions to love God with all our heart, strength, and mind, and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Its focus will be the development of people who take baptismal vows ("disciples of Jesus"), so that the disciples engage in corporate worship and individual spiritual development and pursue a ministry of compassion and justice beyond oneself, beyond the walls of the church wherever possible. Anyone who takes the baptismal vows of the UMC, with the community of the faithful present, may be a member. Ministry alongside marginalized people will be the priority. Movements to discriminate against groups (racism, xenophobia, misogyny, classism, homophobia, and others) would be actively resisted, as we vow as members.

Anyone who is prepared, gifted, and ready for clergy leadership may be commissioned, ordained, and appointed; sexual orientation or sexual identity shall not be a disqualifying factor. The general meetings of the church shall be ordered different from the way they are now, and decisions developed in a way other than majority rule so that members are not divided into winners and losers, and the decision-making process is not manipulated. Methodists will have self-determination in regional groups, while actively participating in shared mission and ministry with Methodists around the world (not only those derived from American Methodism).

The Book of Discipline would be streamlined; minute rules intended to force an action will be discouraged. This will be especially the case with requirements for the boards and agencies, however those would be structured or formed. The Connectional Table, if it still exists, would no longer be an independent body that acts as an agency without accountability. Rather, if it does it exist, it will be a collaborative round-table for shared ministry. The church would remain conciliar and not become congregational in polity. It will look to other Methodist bodies around the world for inspiration for polity and practice.

-Victoria Rebeck

My vision includes ALL people carrying the message of Jesus Christ to EVERYONE. A simple understanding that God has called ALL people in their own way! For some, it will be being a janitor and cleaning floor after someone in the back pew got sick. A person willing to care for others in a way many consider gross. For another, it may be balancing the UMW checkbook. For yet another, it will be ministering to drunks and addicts in a way the pastor cannot. Then, there will be those who are preaching and offering the various ceremonies. What is for sure, my vision has ALL people finding their spot in God's world and doing His Will in thought and deed. No churches human politics in the way. God calls! Not church discipline! God uses many people to carry His Message and human policies should NOT get in the way! My vision includes EVERYONE and excludes NOBODY! I left my membership in the United Methodist Church several years ago when a man who actively disliked homosexuals was charged with my home church (which I still attend, but am no longer a member.) I found it difficult to belong to a church that discriminates against me, but I remained until I was verbally abused by that pastor. My vision is a safe and welcoming place to worship my Heavenly Father and share what wonderful things He has done for me. I am blessed and highly favored! I wish these beautiful things for all people! A vision I believe I received from my Loving Father.

-Stevanna Delzer

My vision is that we will not identify others' sexuality any more than we study their preference for white or colored socks.; that subsequently we will not treat individuals differently. Since my confirmation at a Congregational Church 65 years ago I have remained a member of the United Church of Christ. Yet, I love Common Ground, a United Methodist Community in Cambridge, the church I've participated in for the past eight years. Its mission statement, "Profound Inclusivity, Authentic Questions, and Compassionate Justice" is being lived with passion. However, until the United Methodist Church adopts the Minnesota Letter or something comparable, and becomes a reconciling church, in my heart I cannot become a member. My vision is that the resolution for these troubled times in the UMC will be peaceful.

-Anonymous

God loves ALL of us.

-Diane Denkmann

Gay people were made that way by God. God loves and accepts ALL people. The United Methodist Church says it has Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors yet they have voted not to accept gay people as full members of the church. I believe this is wrong and we need to change it.

-JoAnn Knutson

We should always remember this wasn't about queer people in our denomination -- it was about splitting the United Methodist Church and destroying its power as a social change agency. Queer people were just an easy target.
I won't miss fighting with our more conservative brothers and sisters, but I will miss their voice.
Our work now must to create a new thing as best as we can being careful to keep the Wesleyan theology and principles.
My prayers are always with you! Be brave. Stay calm. Remember to breathe.

-Rev. Judy WestLee

I think our vision should be include all. No need to spell out whom to include!
And I think our vision should be to let the pastors not be penalized for performing marriages, funerals, or other things for certain people of gender, color, race, whatever. This will not happen if we are really all inclusive.

-Anonymous

That all are welcome. We need to break away

-Betty Schlangen