Uniting Methodists Indiana (UMI) was started in October of 2018 as a local expression of the national Uniting Methodists movement. Our desire was to lend voice to the growing number of United Methodists seeking the inclusion of LGBTQ+ persons in the United Methodist Church. After the decisions of the 2019 General Conference, UMI has joined forces with the longstanding Reconciling Ministries Network and newly formed Methodist Reclamation Project which is now described as the Room for All Coalition.
Uniting Methodist Indiana Beliefs
It would be our desire for The United Methodist Church to remain one body for the sake of its local, national and global mission. After the decisions of the 2019 General Conference we doubt that is possible but desire to achieve a working relationship with all factions within the denomination to maintain ministries which have been historically effective.
We desire the ultimate goal of full inclusion of LGBTQ+ persons in the life of the church including ordination and marriage.
We understand the issue of human sexuality is complex and coming to a place favoring full inclusion is a journey for many. We hope to contribute to the educational efforts required in many congregations to accept all persons regardless of race, color, sexual orientation or gender identity.
We support the need for contextual ministry so each pastor and congregation can establish practices appropriate for the mission in their local setting.
We appreciate that good Christians do interpret the scriptures differently but will promote the importance of interpreting the scriptures related to same-sex relationships within their historical context. When this hard work is done, we believe faithful Christians will see the same-sex acts condemned in the Bible are not speaking of committed, covenantal gay and lesbian relationships.
We believe in the truth of the sacred scriptures but realize the Bible and the Church universal has been convinced by the Holy Spirit in the past to change its position on circumcision, slavery, divorce, and the role of women. We believe the time has come for the church to accept the science related to sexual orientation and gender identity to affirm their right to live as they have been created.
As part of a national coalition of centrists/progressives we agree with the principles affirmed at the May 2019 UMC – Next Conference in Kansas City: 1) We are passionate followers of Jesus Christ in the Wesleyan tradition. 2) We are committed to our baptismal vows “to resist evil, injustice and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves. 3) We reject the Traditional Plan as inconsistent with Wesleyan tradition and theology and will resist its implementation. 4) We intend to create a church – either by reform from within the UMC or by developing a new Methodism – that will include all people without exception.
The actions of the 2019 General Conference has forged a new bond between Uniting Methodists Indiana, Reconciling Ministries Network and The Methodist Reclamation Project. We remain separate entities and may not always agree on future outcomes, but we are united in our desire for a more inclusive church for all persons. Much of our work in the future will be described as the Room for All Coalition.