* Inclusiveness in All Dimensions of the Church (deleted or expired 2012)
A door of opportunity has been opened to The United Methodist Church-the opportunity to consolidate endeavors to discern the barriers to racial and cultural inclusiveness. Many annual conferences responded to the action of the 1992 and 1996 General Conferences calling upon annual conferences to develop "programs to emphasize inclusiveness in all dimensions of the church." However, many annual conferences have not yet responded to that call.
In recognition of the need to plan in order to implement intentions to be inclusive, the 2004 General Conference reaffirms the commitment that each annual conference, led by the bishop and cabinet, develop comprehensive programs that place fresh emphasis upon inclusiveness-cultural, racial, lingual, gender-throughout the life and ministry of The United Methodist Church.
These plans should provide that strategies similar to those outlined in the resolution adopted in 1992 continue:
1. that this program include a conference-wide enlistment and recruitment program that seeks clergy and laity who will give themselves to cross-racial and cross-cultural appointments, to begin new Sunday schools and congregations among poor people and people
2. that the program include a determined effort to enlist and recruit some of the most competent, experienced pastors for such cross-racial and cross-cultural appointments rather than simply enlisting the newest clergy;
3. that local churches are trained and enabled to reach out to their surrounding communities;
4. that this "inclusive" emphasis include asking and actively encouraging all multistaff congregations to deliberately make their staffs inclusive in terms of gender, race, and ethnicity;
5. that goals and strategies be established in each conference so that cross-racial and cross-cultural appointments become normative for the conference and one of the essential ways in which the conference engages in the mission of Christ;
6. that the program include experiences for the conference lay and clergy leadership that increase their knowledge and understanding of all the people and cultures who reside within the borders of the conference;
7. that this conference program include programs for children and youth, such as multicultural camps, human-relations conferences/
seminars, and various kinds of work camps;
8. that the conference program include the enlisting and recruitment of young adults to become "people in mission" who work on a subsistence basis or pay their own way;
9. that this program enable the establishment of new congregations-rural, suburban, and urban-in town and country;
10. that this program will encourage diversity in styles and kinds of ministries, in worship styles, and in language and thought forms in order to enable the gospel and The United Methodist Church to again have impact on working-class people, the poor, people of color, and other target groups of people;
11. that this program make appointments of clergy to ministries of justice and peace, to ministries of prevention and rehabilitation in drug abuse, and to children and young people caught in the spiraling crisis of drugs, violence, racism, and poverty;
12. that each conference program will include assisting local congregations and pastors in sharing-facilities situations to develop an "inclusive" model for the congregation, even though worship services occur in several languages, and in eliminating the "landlord-tenant" model of relationships;
13. that the program include a provision that we will no longer sell church buildings in the urban areas to churches of other denominations but will instead place clergy and laity in those situations, assisting them in finding the way to create a new people in that place for mission to the people in that community;
14. that the conference program will include a major training and additional skills strategy, using pastors' schools, annual conference sessions, and United Methodist theological schools (where a United Methodist seminary is not within the bounds of the conference or area, the conference should enlist schools of other denominations) to create resources for the inclusive ministry and to empower conference clergy and laity; and
15. that this conference program also include innovative ministries in urban, suburban, and rural areas, so that an unfettered gospel can do the work of the Crucified and Risen One.
Further, that as annual conferences continue to revise and perfect their inclusiveness programs, that special attention be given to the following points of concentration:
1. that Comprehensive Plans for Racial Ethnic Ministries be reviewed, revised, and implemented. Further, that the Comprehensive Plans incorporate the recommendations of the national plans adopted by General Conference, the National Plan for Hispanic/Latino-Latina Ministries, the Native American Comprehensive Plan, Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century, Advancing United Methodist Ministries Among Korean Americans, the Asian American Language Ministry Plan, and other plans for racial and ethnic ministries that may be approved by General Conference;
2. that bishops and cabinets design specific strategies with timelines to make cross-racial and cross-cultural appointments the norm rather than the exception. That these strategies include preparation of pastors, congregations, and pastor-parish relations committees before an appointment is made, and provisions for support for pastors and congregations in cross-racial and cross-cultural appointments;
3. that annual conference leaders at all levels-local church, district, conference, bishops, and cabinets-seek ways to enhance their skills in the areas of interpersonal communication, cross-cultural communication, and conflict management and resolution. The General Commission on Religion and Race may be consulted for resources;
4. that councils on ministries (or their equivalent) provide opportunities for ongoing dialogue among people of different races, cultures, ethnicities, gender, ages, abilities, disabilities, and theological perspectives at all levels of the conference about what it means to be the inclusive church.
And further, that the delegates at the various jurisdictional conferences and their nominating committees be urged to be intentional in their nominations to the various general boards and agencies to ensure that racial/ethnic persons are elected to these boards and agencies in representative numbers; and that the nominating committees of each annual conference include in their nomination and election process an equitable number of racial/ethnic persons on every board and agency.
We call upon the General Commission on Religion and Race to monitor the progress of each annual conference's plans for inclusiveness and the content of jurisdictional and conference nominations reports.
AMENDEDAND Readopted 2004
Resolution #77, 2004 Book of Resolutions
Resolution #68, 2000 Book of Resolutions
See Social Principles, ¶ 162A and J.