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What's Next?

Six weeks ago, three hundred people gathered in the sanctuary of Topeka First UMC during Annual Conference to learn about what happened at the national UMCNext gathering and to learn more about what we can do here in the Great Plains. That week the Great Plains Annual Conference took courageous action to adopt the UMCNext principles, renounce the Traditional Plan, apologize for the harm the UMC has caused to LGBTQ+ persons, and establish a grant to raise up LGBTQ+ missional leaders. We elected an overwhelmingly inclusive delegation, and joined voices together to spread a message of hope for an expression of the church we so long to see.

We have reviewed the 120 responses to the survey we sent out during Annual Conference and see incredible hope in each of you. You bring passion, energy, and a resolve to create change right here in the Great Plains from the ground up. As our GP UMCNext Team discerned how to best move forward, we came to the consensus that our role (and your role) will be working to make sure Great Plains churches are resourced in ways that make sense to us locally.

Our action plan includes implementing the following:

  1.  Great Plains Next News. This will be your guide for resources, information about resistance, and hearing stories of how Great Plains people and Great Plains churches are doing the work of living out the four principles.
  2. Resource Team. This team, led by Rev. Lora Andrews, will collect and provide resources to facilitate inclusion at the local level. Resources will include things like language guides, small group studies, and information on how to have difficult conversations.
  3. Resistance Team. This team, led by Rev. Debra McKnight, will offer individual, church, and conference wide opportunities to actively resist the Traditional Plan. 

What Can You Do Next?

  1. Send Us Your Story

    We believe stories matter and inspire others. Great Plains Next News will include stories from people right here in Kansas and Nebraska. You could share anything from how you came to be a person committed to inclusion of LGBTQ+ people to how your local church is responding to General Conference 2019. Did your church participate in your local PRIDE festivities? Send us pictures and tell us about it! We are not alone and we'd love the chance to share your story with others.
  2. Adopt the UMCNext Principles

    Our Annual Conference resolution included a call to action that each congregation have a converastion about the four principles of UMCNext. One way to have this conversation is in the context of adopting them as a congregation like we did as an Annual Conference. If congregation-wide is too much for your context right now, consider your Missions Team, Social Justice Team, or a small group.
  3. Share this Email

    We are counting on all of you to spread the word. Encourage your friends to sign up for the Great Plains UMCNext News emails. Tell your Sunday School classes and networks about ways to keep informed.

Across the Connection

  • UMCNext National
    Here you will find the four commitments of UMCNext and links to what is happening in the larger connection.

  • Leadership Institute
    The theme of the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection's Leadership Institute this year is "Discerning the Future of the United Methodist Church." Registration is limited to two people per congregation to ensure that at least 1,500 churches can participate.
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