Resources for Ministry With LGBTQ+ Persons

Supporters of full inclusion cheer at 2019 General Conference

Supporters of full inclusion for LGBTQ individuals in the life of the church cheer in the spectator section during a debate about church polity at the 2019  General Conference. (Photo by Paul Jeffrey, UMNS)

Many churches are wondering after the special-called General Conference how they can best be in ministry with LGBTQ+ members and neighbors. We are here to help you build safe and welcoming relationships with our marginalized and economically diverse neighbors, and that includes our LGBTQ+ neighbors. Our United Methodist Book of Discipline provides our basic guidance, in spite of other restrictive language around ordination and marriage: 

4. Article IV. Inclusiveness of the Church: The United Methodist Church acknowledges that all persons are of sacred worth. All persons without regard to race, color, national origin, status, or economic condition, shall be eligible to attend its worship services, participate in its programs, receive the sacraments, upon baptism be admitted as baptized members, and upon taking vows declaring the Christian faith, become professing members in any local church in the connection. View full statement

214. Eligibility: All people may attend its worship services, participate in its programs, receive the sacraments and become members in any local church in the connection (¶4). View full statement

For more concrete learning opportunities and guides, we have curated some resources produced by others that are available below or on our webpage for you to explore how your church can equip yourselves to care for and include persons of diverse gender identities and sexual orientations.

  • Lenten Devotional: “Becoming our True Selves” curated by the Human Rights Coalition.
  • The Resource Center (Dallas) is a trusted leader that empowers the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning communities and all people affected by HIV through improving health and wellness, strengthening families and communities and providing transformative education and advocacy.  A variety of inclusive counseling services are provided.
  • The Human Rights Campaign works to create a world where nobody is forced to choose between who they are, whom they love and what they believe. Engages faith communities in dialogue around LGBTQ equality. Publishes Bible studies and seasonal resources for Christians. 
  • Extensive LGBTQ+ Resource List developed by Reconciling Ministries Network. This United Methodist caucus group has assembled a wide-range of resources that cover helps for parents, youth and young adults, inclusive worship guides, guides for understanding Christianity and LGBTQ+ persons, and Bible studies. 

If you would like someone to speak with about how to use these resources, or be in conversation about how your church can connect with its LGBTQ+ neighbors, please email Rev. Andrew Fiser or call 972-526-5018.  If we cannot provide answers, we can connect you with others with the experience who can help you.

Published: Monday, March 18, 2019