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A PLAN OF INCLUSIVENESS

Tennessee Conference United Methodist Church

2006

Approved 2006
Tennessee Annual Conference
A PLAN OF INCLUSIVENESS

(OPPORTUNITIES FOR MODELING INCLUSIVENESS)


TENNESSEE CONFERENCE of THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
Adopted 2006 Tennessee Annual Conference

BECOMING A MORE FAITHFUL CHURCH:


A BIBLICAL/THEOLOGICAL VISION

The Letter to the Ephesians issues the crucial challenge which confronts the
church in every age: "Therefore, be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live
in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and
sacrifice to God" (Ephesians 5:1-2). The church exists to be a visible sign of
God's presence and mission in the world. But the critical question is this: What is
the nature and purpose of the God we are to imitate and reveal to the world?

The nature and mission of the God we are to imitate was made known to Moses.
From the burning bush, God declared, “I have observed the misery of my people
who are in Egypt; I have heard their cries on account of their taskmasters. Indeed,
I know their sufferings, and I have come to deliver them" (Exodus 3:7-8, 10). God
hears the cries of the vulnerable, the oppressed, the suffering, the outcasts and
God seeks to deliver all who are marginalized and lead them to "the land of milk
and honey." God chooses the weak and powerless to be a light to all nations and
peoples as they live in a covenant of justice, compassion, and generosity. As the
creator God brought order out of chaos and declared the diversity and
interdependency of creation "good", the God of salvation brings freedom out of
bondage and brings shalom, peace, to the human family.

The God made known in creation, the Exodus, and the Hebrew people is
distinguishable from other gods by this: Yahweh defends the orphans and the
widows and the immigrants, the powerless and the vulnerable, and chooses them
as both recipients and means of divine blessing. Yahweh practices and demands
justice and righteousness, which are defined primarily in terms of what happens to
the poor, the slaves, the strangers, and the sojourners. Faithfulness to Yahweh
requires practicing justice and righteousness toward those outside the circle of
privilege and prominence. Chosenness involves participation in God's mission of
liberating the oppressed and incorporating the strangers into the community of
God's grace and justice.

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Yahweh's vision of shalom is universal and all inclusive. The Hebrew community is
chosen to extend God's gracious hospitality and blessing to all peoples. As
participants in the covenant story, we are to practice the same hospitality, justice,
and blessing that we have received from God. Failure to do so results in betrayal
of the covenant and loss of identity and mission. Forgetting our own origin as
creatures made in the divine image, who have been freed from captivity and given
a new future, means certain destruction as a distinct people who reflect God's
presence and mission. The failure to live our distinctive identity as imitators of the
God who intends gracious hospitality and blessing to all people is a betrayal of
covenant and the essence of sin. God, however, remains faithful to the covenant
and persistently calls us to repentance, reconciliation, and renewal.

The God whom we imitate became flesh in Jesus Christ. Jesus announced and
brought near the reign of God, a reign of justice, hospitality, and joy. He declared:
"The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent and believe
the good news" (Mark 1:14). He lived God's vision for humanity and declared love
for God and neighbor as the supreme commandment. He welcomed the
marginalized into the circle of divine community, called diverse disciples as co-
workers, extended healing and hospitality to outcasts and even those labeled as
enemies. The One who was the incarnation of God's presence and mission died
among criminals and pronounced forgiveness to his executioners, thereby
extending the reach of divine love into the depths of alienation and hatred.

The Apostle Paul affirms that in Jesus Christ the old has passed away and
everything has become new. A new community has been brought into being for
"in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself...and entrusting the message of
reconciliation to us" (2 Corinthians 5:19). The New Testament affirms that Christ
breaks down the dividing walls of hostility and that "There is no longer Jew or
Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all
of you are one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:28)

At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit brought into being this new community, the church.
The differences in languages, cultures, nationalities, and political and economic
systems were transcended by a common loyalty to the Risen Christ. This
community of the Crucified and Risen Christ was empowered by the Holy Spirit
and came to the affirmation "that God shows no partiality..." (Acts 10:34), and to
exclude anyone for whom Christ died is to exclude Christ.

The church has been called into being by God to be a sign, foretaste, and herald
of God's coming reign brought near in Jesus Christ.

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Our mission is to be a visible sign of the Triune God whose being consists of unity
amid diversity. The church is to be a living sign of the new creation, an instrument
by which the Risen Christ through the Holy Spirit continues to reconcile and heal
humanity's brokenness. As the body of Christ, the church is to welcome to the
table of grace all whom Christ loves and for whom he died. As the church, our
mission is one of providing hospitality as a foreshadowing of the heavenly banquet
where people will come from the east and the west, the north and the south, and
sit at table with Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Rachel.

As a sign, foretaste, and instrument of God's reign, the church is a unique


community, rooted in and shaped by Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit. As a
community of grace, the church values persons as children of God created in the
divine image and redeemed in Jesus Christ and not in terms of their
achievements, racial characteristics, genetic qualities, economic or social status or
any other trait. As a sign of the oneness in Jesus Christ, the church intentionally
extends the circle of hospitality as wide as God's grace. Since we imitate a God
who identifies with the captives, the poor, the widows, and the orphans and whose
power is the power of sacrificial love, the church risks its own life by sharing in
God's ministry of reconciliation, hospitality, justice, inclusivity, and salvation.

The biblical/theological vision for becoming a more faithful church has been set
forth above. However, unless this vision is concretized and implemented in a plan
of action it will never be actualized in the local churches, or in the districts and the
annual conferences.

James, in his discussion on the relationship between faith and works, declares:
"For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is also dead."
(2:26-NRSV). To carry out the vision set forth here the following plan* of action is
proposed for the local churches, districts and annual conferences of the
Tennessee Conference of the United Methodist Church.

*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 are incorporated herein by reference.

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I. CROSS- RACIAL AND CROSS-CULTURAL APPOINTMENTS

GOAL #1 Long-range plan by Bishop and cabinets to make appointments


without regard to race, or gender, class disability or age.

OBJECTIVE
To create an atmosphere in the Annual Conference where pastors can be
deployed based on their gifts and talents, without regard to race, gender,
class, disability or age.

ACTION STRATEGIES
1. District Superintendents will meet in cluster groups with pastors and
members of Pastor/Staff-Parish Relations Committee to engage them in
dialogue and training on appointments across racial and gender lines.
Dialogue and training will include, among other things, a discussion of the
theological understandings of inclusiveness in ministry.
2. Training sessions will be held with pastors and Pastor/Staff Relations
Committees where such appointments are anticipated to acquaint them
with unique issues and possible responses.
3. All elders, deacons, and local pastors will have an immersion experience
each quadrennium in a cultural/racial context different from their own.
Intensive cross-racial and cross-cultural experiences will be part of the
requirements of deacons and elders during the probationary period or
local pastors during the licensing process.
4. Plans for intentional support and nurture of pastors appointed to cross-
racial appointments will be formulated in each District.

RESOURCES NEEDED Human Resources


Pastors and laity to implement the plans and programs.

FINANCIAL RESOURCES
Funds will be provided by the Districts and local churches for the training
events.

EVALUATION
A Monitoring Task Force from the District, chaired by the District Chair of
Religion and Race, will review the progress being made toward the realization
of the goal at the end of each six month period, and make recommendations
for groups to monitor further action.

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NEXT STEPS
Future plans and actions will be developed based on the evaluation.

GOAL #2 Establish cluster ministries in each District.


OBJECTIVE

To model inclusivity in ministry, including the sharing of resources.

ACTION STRATEGIES
1. District Superintendents and District Councils on Ministries will be
responsible for organizing the clusters.
2. Local churches will be recruited by the DCOM to participate in the
clusters.
3. Intentional effort will be made to assure that clusters include churches of
different cultural/racial groups and churches served by women pastors.
4. Intentional effort will be made to make the clusters inclusive of churches
from diverse economic levels.
5. Intentional effort will be made to enlist the participation of a large number
of lay persons.

RESOURCES NEEDED Human Resources


Members of the District Councils on Ministries, the District Superintendents,
staff of the Conference Council on Ministries.

FINANCIAL RESOURCES
Funds for establishing the cluster groups will be provided by the DCOM.

EVALUATION
A Monitoring Task Force from the Conference Commission on Religion and
Race and/or other appropriate group will review the progress being made
toward the implementation of the goal and make further recommendations.

NEXT STEPS
Action based on the evaluation.

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Goal #3 Annual exchange of pulpits and/or extended periods for exchange
of pastoral leadership between churches of different cultural/racial
backgrounds, and churches with women pastors.

OBJECTIVE
To expose the various churches to pastors of a different racial group, and
pastors who are women, so as to equip congregations and pastors to be
more accepting of inclusive appointments.

ACTION STRATEGIES
1. District Superintendents will secure a list of pastors to participate in such
an exchange through questionnaires, conversations, pastors' meetings,
etc.
2. List of participants will be shared at pastors' meetings.
3. District Superintendents shall arrange for these exchanges annually and
for follow-up reflection.

RESOURCES NEEDED Human Resources


Pastors and congregations who will participate in the exchange.

FINANCIAL RESOURCES
No additional financial resources needed.

EVALUATION
District Superintendents will review the number of pastors participating and
engage in dialogue with Pastor/Parish Relations Committees to see if there
have been any attitudinal changes and to reflect upon the experience.

NEXT STEPS
Continue the process.

II. NEW CHURCH DEVELOPMENT


GOAL #1 Establish churches that are composed of
multicultural/multiracial persons from their inception.

OBJECTIVE
To model an inclusive church community.

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ACTION STRATEGIES
1. Consult with the Conference Committee on New Church Development
and Congregational Revitalization regarding establishment of
multiracial/multicultural churches.
2. In cooperation with the Conference Committee on New Church
Development and Congregational Revitalization, identify geographical
areas where a multiracial/multicultural church would be established.
3. Consult with multiracial/multicultural congregations that began as such, to
receive insights into the procedures, plans and challenges in establishing
such a congregation.
4. Encourage the Conference Committee on New Church Development to
initiate the establishment of multiracial/multicultural churches.

RESOURCES NEEDED Human Resources


1. Members, Conferences Committee on New Church Development.
2. Members, District Board of Church Location and Building.
3. Consultants, General Board of Global Ministries.
4. A core group of persons to establish the churches.

FINANCIAL RESOURCES
General Church, Conference, District and Local Church funds.

EVALUATION
The Conference Commission on Religion and Race will monitor the
Conference New Church Development Committee to see if it is designing and
implementing this goal, and make recommendations.

NEXT STEPS
Follow recommendations of the Conference Commission on Religion and
Race.

GOAL #2 Develop an expanded vision of "church."

OBJECTIVE
To assist clergy and church members in appreciating the potential for
effective ministry in a variety of settings.

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ACTION STRATEGIES
I. Develop ministries apart from buildings, staffs and large budgets.
2. Develop ways to provide nurture and support for pastors and members
of small congregations where there is (or may be) demoraIization.
3. Establish lay-led small groups, in the Wesleyan tradition, tied together in
Circuits.
4. Provide training for indigenous lay persons to become bi-vocational
church leaders, thereby reducing reliance on ordained pastoral
leadership.

RESOURCES NEEDED Human Resources


1. District Superintendents
2. CCOM Staff
3. Pastors
4. Lay Leadership
5. Members of the Commission on Equitable Compensation

FINANCIAL RESOURCES
Conference and District funds.

EVALUATION
Local church work areas on evangelism (outreach), and Conference New
Church Development Committee members will review progress made toward
accomplishment of established goals and objectives and make
recommendations for future action.

NEXT STEPS
Follow recommendation set forth in the evaluation.

GOAL #3 Establish outpost Sunday School Classes among low-income


people.

OBJECTIVE
To provide a teaching ministry in low income communities.

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ACTION STRATEGIES
1. Recruit and train a number of persons who will give their time to establish
and maintain such ministry.
2. Identify locations where such a ministry could be established.
3. District and Conference Council on Ministries, District and Conference
Education work areas, and District and Conference Nurture work areas
will recruit local churches who will sponsor such ministries to provide
human and financial resources.

RESOURCES NEEDED Human Resources


1. Churches that will provide members to engage in such a ministry.
2. Persons who will commit to such a ministry.
3. DCOM and CCOM, Chairs and Committees on Education, Chairs and
Committees on Nurture of the District and Conference.

FINANCIAL RESOURCES
Local churches and clusters of churches will provide funds.

EVALUATION
The Chair and/or Committee on Education will review the outpost Sunday
Schools to determine their effectiveness and make recommendations.

NEXT STEPS
Action based on the evaluation.

GOAL #4 Determine the feasibility of establishing Faith Communities


and/or “house churches” in low income areas, among people of color, and
other cultural groups.

OBJECTIVE
To provide an opportunity for worship and involvement in ministry with
persons who are otherwise unserved.

ACTION STRATEGIES
1. Recruit and train a number of persons who will give their time to establish
and maintain such a ministry.
2. Select particular areas where these ministries might be initiated.
3. Identify specific persons who would participate in such ministries.
4. Recruit the leadership for these ministries from among the churches in
the geographical area. Identify sources to finance these ministries.

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Find facilities in which the ministries could be housed.
5. Establish the ministries.

RESOURCES NEEDED Human Resources


Members of Conference Work Area on (Board of) Evangelism, the
Conference Council on Finance and Administration, volunteers from various
local churches, persons identified through community activity for leadership,
members of the Conference Committee on New Church Development.

FINANCIAL RESOURCES
Funds from the Conference, the Districts, and local churches.

EVALUATION
Members of the Conference Work Area on (Board of) Evangelism will
assess the effectiveness of the ministry and make recommendations.

NEXT STEPS
Action based on the evaluation.

III. ALL MINISTRIES INCLUSIVE IN NATURE

GOAL #1 Develop awareness and understanding of all people and


cultures within the Conferences.

OBJECTIVE
To have persons develop a greater appreciation for diversity and gifts of
others.

ACTION STRATEGIES
1. Organize a bridge builders partners program by selecting persons from
particular congregations to build a bridge of relationship with a person of
a different racial, ethnic or cultural group for understanding and inclusion.
2. Bring those persons to church for worship and/or fellowship.
3. Provide a time for persons to share out of their own cultural experience.

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RESOURCES NEEDED Human Resources
Members, local church Work Areas on Church and Society, Evangelism
(Outreach), Missions, United Methodist Women, United Methodist Men,
United Methodist Youth, etc,

FINANCIAL RESOURCES
Funds from budgets of Work Areas, United Methodist Women,
United Methodist Men, etc.

EVALUATION
The Administrative Council (Council on Ministries) will review the program
to assess how successful it is, and make further recommendations.

NEXT STEPS
Local churches will take further action based on recommendations from the
evaluation. The District Council on Ministries will seek to expand the number
of local churches that are participating.

GOAL #2 Develop and implement programs for children and youth that
will foster better human relations.

OBJECTIVE
To provide opportunity for children and youth to interact and relate to persons
of different racial/cultural backgrounds without fear, intimidation or suspicion.

ACTION STRATEGIES
1. Provide training and support for staff at the camps and assemblies with
the purpose of helping them to be sensitive to creating an atmosphere of
acceptance for all racial and cultural groups and persons with disabilities
at the various activities.
2. Intentionally identify and invite persons of different cultural/racial groups
to provide leadership at various camps, assemblies, and church activities.
3. Provide scholarships for impoverished children and youth to attend
various district and conference activities.

RESOURCES NEEDED Human Resources


Conference Council on Ministries Staff, District Council on Ministries
members, children and youth leaders of the various churches.

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FINANCIAL RESOURCES
Funds from the Conference Council on Ministries, local churches, Sunday
School classes, United Methodist Women, United Methodist Men, etc.

EVALUATION
A monitoring task force from the Conference Commission on Religion and
Race will monitor the program to see if it is being implemented and to gauge
effectiveness. It will make recommendations based on its findings.

NEXT STEPS
Action based on the evaluation.

GOAL #3 Acquaint members of churches with different forms and styles of


worship.

OBJECTIVE
To assist members in gaining an appreciation for different forms and styles of
worship, especially those that come out of a different racial/ethnic experience.

ACTION STRATEGIES
1. District Superintendents and District Council on Ministries will recruit local
churches which are interested in experimenting with different forms and
styles of worship.
2. Local churches will invite pastors and congregations from a different
racial/ ethnic background to conduct a service of worship with and for the
home congregation.
3. Local churches will invite pastors and congregations from a variety of
geographical settings and/or economic situations to conduct a service of
worship with and for the home congregation.
4. Churches will be encouraged to solicit participation in the worship services
from all age levels.
5. Encourage participation in ecumenical worship services.
6. Encourage Worship Committees to visit other churches to become
familiar with forms of worship different from their own.
7. Encourage Worship Committees to utilize forms of worship different from
the traditional ones which they ordinarily use.
8. Encourage congregations to explore the possibility of different times for
worship service.
9. Encourage congregations to blend different forms of worship in the same
worship service.

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10. Ask the Conference Work Area on Worship to develop a list of worship
resources, utilizing art, dance, etc.
11. Provide a day in each district to briefly model different forms of worship
services.

RESOURCES NEEDED
Human Resources
Members, District Council on Ministries, District Superintendent, Work Area
on Worship.

FINANCIAL RESOURCES
General Church Agencies, Conference, District, Local Church, Community
Foundations and Institutions.

EVALUATION
District Representative of Religion and Race, The District Representative of
Religion and Race and a special task force from the District Council on
Ministries will review the program to determine its effectiveness.
Recommendations will be made by the task force for the further
implementation.

NEXT STEPS
Action by the District Council on Ministries, based on the evaluation.

GOAL #4 Affirm, develop, and enable ministries that have as their primary
purpose the embodiment of justice. Justice shall be understood to include
the realities of equity and fairness among all of God’s people.

OBJECTIVE
To assist people in coming to a recognition that justice ministries are
mandates of the gospel.

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ACTION STRATEGIES
1. Annual conferences and districts will provide resources, interpretation,
and training to local churches and individuals for the development and
improvement of justice ministries in the church and community.
2. Churches in the various districts will share models of justice ministries
that are effecting change.
3. Worship services will be held in local churches that acknowledge and
celebrate participation in justice ministries.
4. During the reception of the offering at worship service the pastor or
leading lay person will identify and briefly explain one of the justice
ministries which the offering supports.
5. Provide an opportunity in a worship service or fellowship occasion for
people who are benefactors of a justice ministry to share how they have
been helped and what the ministry has meant to them.
6. Local churches will select a particular justice ministry to which they wish
to give financial support.

RESOURCES NEEDED
Human Resources
Members of Conference Work Areas on Church and Society, Outreach
and Worship. Members of Local Church Work Areas on Church and
Society, Outreach, Worship, Stewardship Committee; etc.

FINANCIAL RESOURCES
Church Agencies, Conference, District, Local Church and Secular Institutions.

EVALUATION
Conference Work Area on Church and Society will review the program and
make recommendations for its continuance, modification, extension, etc.

NEXT STEPS
Action in accord with the evaluation.

IV. LEADERSHIP

GOAL #1. Conference Leadership to become familiar with the various


National Comprehensive Plans for Racial, Ethnic and Linguistic Ministries.

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OBJECTIVE
Acquisition of an understanding of the Plans so that they can be more
fully implemented in the Annual Conference.

ACTION STRATEGIES
1. Conference Council on Ministries, District Superintendents, District Council
on Ministries will hold training sessions on the Plans for conference
leaders.
2. Resource persons from the General Board of Global Ministries, General
Council on Ministries, and General Commission on Religion and Race will
be asked to conduct the training sessions.
3. Intentional efforts will be made by the Conference Council on Ministries to
incorporate facets of the National Plans into the programs and plans of
the Annual Conference.

RESOURCES NEEDED
Human Resources
Members, CCOM, District Superintendents, DCOM, staff from various
General Agencies.

FINANCIAL RESOURCES
Funds from CCOM and DCOM to finance training sessions.

EVALUATION
The Conference Commission on Religion and Race will review the plans of
the Conference Council on Ministries for two purposes:
1. To determine if the training sessions have been conducted;
2. To determine if facets of the National Plans and programs of the Annual
Conference are being implemented. Recommendations will be made for
further planning and implementation.

NEXT STEPS
Actions based on the evaluation.

Goal #2 Provide diversity training in every district.

OBJECTIVE
To help members in the local churches to appreciate and affirm God-given
differences in persons.

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ACTION STRATEGIES
1. District Council on Ministries will develop training programs at the district
level for members of the local churches.
2. District Council on Ministries will arrange for churches of different racial
and cultural backgrounds to meet in clusters to engage in dialogue on
issues of diversity.
3. Issues of diversity will be incorporated into existing training programs.
4. The School of Ministry will provide opportunity for dialogue on issues of
diversity one year during each quadrennium.
5. The Bishop will include issues of diversity in teaching days.
6. District Council on Ministries will set aside some time for dialogue on
what it means to be an inclusive church.

EVALUATION
The Conference Commission on Religion and Race will review the program
for effectiveness and for modifications, if needed.

NEXT STEPS
Action based on the evaluation.

GOAL #3 Establishment of a definitive plan and strategies for the


hiring and appointment of persons across lines of race, gender, class,
disability or age.

OBJECTIVE
To assure that hiring and appointments are made based on needs, gifts and
talents, across lines of race, gender, class, language, disability or age.

ACTION STRATEGIES
1. The Cabinet, in collaboration with the Conference Board of Ordained
Ministry, will develop the Plan.
2. The cabinet will coordinate training for local church Staff/Pastor Relations
Committee to prepare churches to receive employed or appointed
persons without regard to race, gender class, disability, or age.
3. Conference Council on Finance and Administration and Conference
Commission on Equitable Compensation will provide funds to support
cross racial appointments and appointment of gender, where needed.
4. The Conference Board of Ordained Ministry, in collaboration with the
Cabinet, will develop plans to recruit persons of ethnic/racial backgrounds
for ministry within the Conference.

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RESOURCES NEEDED
Human Resources
Members of the Cabinet, Conference Commission on Equitable
Compensation, Conference Council on Finance and Administration,
Conference Board of Ordained Ministry, and pastors willing to serve in
cross-racial appointments.

FINANCIAL RESOURCES
Funds provided by Conference Commission on Equitable Compensation,
Conference Council on Finance and Administration, Conference Board of
Ordained Ministry for the implementation of program.

EVALUATION
The Commissions on Religion and Race, and Status and Role of Women will
monitor the progress toward appointments across racial lines and
appointments of women to see if the plan is effective, and make
recommendations for modifications if needed.

NEXT STEPS
Action based on the evaluation.

GOAL #4 Increase the inclusivity in conference institutions regarding


race, linguistic group, class, gender, disability or age in employment
opportunities, and as students and clients in conference institutions.

OBJECTIVE
To make the institutions more inclusive of persons from different racial/cultural
backgrounds, with women and persons with disabilities, or age.

ACTION STRATEGIES
1. Institutions will develop a plan and programs for the recruitment and
retention of persons of different racial/cultural backgrounds, as well as
representing diversity in class and disability, including leadership
positions.
2. Institutions will develop a plan and programs for the recruitment and
retention of women employees, including positions of leadership.
3. Institutions of higher education will develop a plan and programs to recruit
more students from different racial/cultural backgrounds as well as
students of diverse class, gender, disability or age.

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4. All institutions will develop a plan and programs to serve more persons of
different racial/cultural backgrounds as well as class, gender and
disability.

RESOURCES NEEDED
Human Resources
Members, Boards of Trustees, Board of Directors, Administrators,
Faculty, Staff Students.

FINANCIAL RESOURCES
More funds for salaries, scholarships, financial aid.

EVALUATION
Conference Commissions on Religion and Race, and Status and Role of
Women will monitor the programs and plans for implementation, and make
further recommendations, if needed.

NEXT STEPS
Actions based on the evaluation.

GOAL #5 Conference and District Boards and Agencies to be inclusive of


all ethnic/racial groups, genders, language groups, ages, classes, persons
with disabilities, age, laity and clergy.

OBJECTIVE
To have a wider variety of persons share in leadership and decision-making
roles in the Conference and Districts.

ACTION STRATEGIES
1. The Conference Committee on Nominations will be intentional in
nominating persons to serve in leadership positions and as members of
the conference agencies which include persons of all ethnic/racial
backgrounds, women, age-level and laity.
2. District Superintendent and District Nominating Committee will assure
that representatives from the district to the various conference entities will
be representative of every racial/cultural group, women, other laity, all
age levels and geographical locations.
3. District Superintendent and District Nominating Committee will assure
that all district boards and agencies include persons from all age levels,
women and other laity, and persons from all racial/cultural backgrounds.

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4. The Bishop and Cabinet will urge all conference entities to elect women,
other laity and persons from all racial/cultural backgrounds to positions of
leadership at both the conference and district level.

RESOURCES NEEDED
Human Resources
Bishop, District Superintendents, Conference Committee on Nominations,
District Committee on Nominations.

FINANCIAL RESOURCES
No additional resources needed.

EVALUATION
The Conference Commission on Religion and Race, and Status and Role of
Women will monitor the composition of all conference and district entities for
inclusiveness, and make recommendations, if needed.

NEXT STEPS
Action in accord with the evaluation.

GOAL #6 Develop and implement a strategy to increase basic equity and


fairness in salaries of employed and/or appointed church workers at local
church, district and conference levels.

OBJECTIVES
To increase justice in compensation for church workers.

ACTION STRATEGIES
1. Request the Commission on Equitable Compensation to develop a plan
that assures more equity where conference support is needed beyond
minimum salary provisions.
2. Re-evaluate the way clergy are deployed and supported by the Annual
Conference.

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RESOURCES NEEDED
Human Resources
Cabinet, Members, Commission on Equitable Compensation, Clergy,
Pastor-Parish Relations Committee and Charge Conference Members of
Local Churches.

FINANCIAL RESOURCES
Funds from Commission on Equitable Compensation.

EVALUATION
Members, Commission on Religion and Race, and Commission on Status and
Role of Women will renew plans and actions to see if greater equity in salary
compensation has been achieved, and make recommendations based on
findings.

NEXT STEPS
Action recommendations growing out of evaluation.

The Resolution from the 2004 General Conference

Inclusiveness in All Dimensions of the Church

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:

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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 of color;
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
multi-staff 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 again to 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;

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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 time lines 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;

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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 on-going 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.

Adopted 1996
Amended and Readopted 2004

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GLOSSARY TERMS

Experienced Pastors (ref: p22, subsection 2)


Experienced Pastors are those persons who have served long enough so as to receive an
evaluation as effective or ineffective. They could be persons whose experience is sufficient to
enable them to mentor or give guidance or support to persons recently entering the ministry or
who might be seeking information on the process.

Work Camps (ref: p22, item 7)


Work Camps are camp experiences intended for those who would benefit from hands on work
experience designed to educate or grant experience in some skill or work for temporary or long
term benefit. The courts have utilized a similar process for juveniles with certain legal
infractions.

Outpost (ref: p9-10)


Outpost centers are locations off the main campus of the sponsoring church where ministries
can be conducted for particular groups or results. John Wesley advocated house ministries or
neighborhood gatherings outside the walls of the sanctuary.

Bridge Builders Partners (ref: p11, Action Strategies Section)


Bridge Builders Partners are those persons who are willing to initiate special efforts or programs
with other ethnic, racial and various cultural groups to overcome any barriers or hindrances
toward a more inclusive, diverse community.

Teaching Days (ref: p17, item 5, Action Strategies Section)


Teaching Days are days set aside by the bishop or his or her designee to lead the Conference
in understanding the guidelines of the Plan of Inclusiveness and its implications for the life of the
United Methodist Church.

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