Six Caucuses Support LGBT United Methodists—Face Debates at General Conference, April 24-May 5
Just days after Black and Asian caucuses in The United Methodist Church joined the Common Witness Coalition to work at the crossroads of issues, the denomination’s Native American caucus joined the coalition for full inclusion.
With the recent assaults on Black people in Florida and Oklahoma, the ongoing marginalization of Asian and Native American people, and the continued banning of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender United Methodists from leadership, this coalition is making history by joining together across lines of difference to support each others’ concerns.
The Native American International Caucus of The United Methodist Church (NAICUMC), joined Black Methodists for Church Renewal (BMCR) and the National Federation of Asian American United Methodists (NFAAUM) in the Love Your Neighbor Common Witness Coalition leading up to the denomination’s General Conference, April 24-May 4, 2012, in Tampa, Florida. Once every four years, just under a thousand delegates convene from around the world to set policy for the denomination.
During the ten days, delegates of the ten-million member global denomination will vote on a restructure that impacts people of color, women, youth/young adults and central conferences (international). Hundreds of petitions and resolutions will be considered. NAICUMC is particularly focused on a resolution called the “Discovery Doctrine.”
Dr. Anne Marshall, Chairperson of NAICUMC said, “The United Nations 2007 ‘Declaration of Indigenous Peoples’ challenged the Christian ‘Doctrine of Discovery,’ which for centuries served to prop up stealing land and dehumanizing aboriginal peoples. As the church puts forth a service of repentance for past crimes, it is vital that we condemn the idea that so-called ‘discovery’ gives armed groups the right to invade and destroy whole peoples. These crimes are not in the past, they are still happening.”
In response to the continuing United Methodist ban on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, Dr. Anne Marshall said, “It is time to join our brothers and sisters who continue to seek a place in The United Methodist Church and provide that space as we should for all people of God.”
Rev. Steve Clunn, Coalition Coordinator for the Love Your Neighbor Coalition said, “On behalf of the Love Your Neighbor Coalition members, it is with great joy and profound hope that we join hands with Native America brothers and sisters of NAICUMC to address General Conference 2012. Native American United Methodists know what it means to be kept on the margins of the church. Through the Love Your Neighbor Coalition we will work together for a more grace-filled, inclusive church.”
The mission of the Native American International Caucus is to sensitize The United Methodist Church about customs and religious expressions of Native Americans; to educate, inform and discuss critical issues that affect Native Americans; and, to advocate for full participation of United Methodist Native Americans at all levels of the church and in the life of the church. Through educating, informing and engaging the church in dialogue about the issues, we advocate for justice in issues that confront Native people. The Native American International Caucus makes Disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world as part of The United Methodist Church.
AFFIRMATION is an independent voice of LGBTQ people and our supporters. We are an activist, all-volunteer organization that challenges The United Methodist Church to be inclusive.
BMCR: Represents and is dedicated to more than 2,100 Black United Methodist congregations in the U.S., approximately 500,000 African American members, and numerous United Methodists of African descent to raise spiritual and prophetic leaders in the church.
MFSA: A place where Progressive United Methodists lead and sustain a progressive United Methodist movement, energizing people to be agents of God’s justice, peace and reconciliation.
NAICUMC: Native American International Caucus of The United Methodist Church: Mission is to educate, inform and engage The United Methodist Church on justice issues that confront Native Americans and to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
NFAAUM is committed to the empowerment of Asian American local churches and to articulate the concerns, interest and needs of Asian Americans in all levels of The United Methodist Church.
RMN: Mobilizes United Methodists of all sexual orientations and gender identities to transform our Church and world into the full expression of Christ’s inclusive love.