UMF Take on the Indy Plan

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Public Response

Upon reviewing the Indianapolis Plan Draft released August 8th and engaging some members of the Indianapolis group in conversation, we see that this plan holds potential for contributing to the liberation of Persons of Color and Queer and Trans people. The promise of this plan is found in its vision of realignment into independent denominations, which would allow for a Liberationist denomination that does not compromise on the full inclusion of LGBTQIA+ people in every aspect of its ministry.  More is needed, though, to ensure that potential is realized and to minimize harm in the process of the envisioned realignment of conferences, congregations, clergy, and denominational bodies.

In responding to the enumerated points of the August 8th draft of the Indianapolis Plan, we offer the following:

  1. We envision at least three successor denominations to the current UMC - Traditionalist, Centrist, and Progressive.  At least one denomination include a constitutional prohibition on discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender, national origin, ability, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or economic condition.

  2. Legal continuation of the UMC would be through the Centrist denomination.

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  4. This may describe the Centrist denomination, but not a Progressive denomination.

  5. This expression will be an independent Progressive denomination from the outset.

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  9. Annual Conferences could decide by majority vote to align with a different denomination than their Jurisdiction or Central Conference.

  10. Central Conferences should be treated as the equivalent structures it is.  Each Central Conference will vote to align with a successor denomination or become an autonomous Methodist church.

  11. Local churches should not be prohibited from becoming independent due to the barrier of lump-sum payments for pension liabilities.  Wespath will develop a mechanism for payment of pension liability over time in keeping with the current expected payment over time.

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  14. See comment on 11.)

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  19. This process and principles will prioritize an investment in predominantly POC congregations, and address the historic and current discrimination in policy and practice against Persons of Color and Queer and Trans people.

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note: [] indicates points of the Indianapolis Plan that UM-Forward does not have a comment on.