Press Release

May 23, 2024

INTER-ETHNIC STRATEGY DEVELOPMENT GROUP (IESDG) CELEBRATES:

A Statement on the Postponed 2020 General Conference.

 

The Inter-Ethnic Strategy and Development Group (IESDG) celebrates the successful conclusion of the postponed 2020 General Conference.  With the culmination of the long delayed and much anticipated gathering, we continue to proclaim “God is our refuge and strength, a help always near in times of great trouble.”  (Psalm 46:1).  In light of the historic General Conference, John Wesley’s words ring true, “Best of all, God is with us.”  It is in that spirit, that we offer the following affirmations and observations:  

 

      We celebrate the work of this historic General Conference and the freedom it has provided for ALL to be able to participate in ALL levels of the mission and ministries of the church.  We represent over twenty racial ethnic UMC faith communities and we bring a multitude of theology, history, tradition, language, experience, spirituality, generations and other gifts to the connection.  We do not agree or think the same, but we find our unity in Jesus Christ who liberates us to accept ALL and move beyond the denominational infighting and focus on our mission.  We pledge to do all that we can to ensure that The UMC is a place where there is room for everyone in God’s kin-dom.

 

      We celebrate the passing of the Regionalization legislations that amend the Constitution and restructure the denomination.  We affirm this action of moving away from the colonial structure that centers the Church in the United States by creating more regional control and autonomy worldwide, while maintaining doctrinal standards, core beliefs, Social Principles, or the Ministry of All Christians.  We pledge to support and work toward the full ratification of these constitutional amendments. 

 

      We celebrate the passage of the 2025-2028 denominational Budget and the inclusion of a fifth area of focus under “Our Mission Strategies:”   The eradication of racism, white supremacy, patriarchy and colonialism.   We are grateful for the actions of General Conference in supporting and passing the racial ethnic ministry plans of The UMC.  However, we lament the further reduction of the general agencies’ budget, as this would have the effect of removing some of the most essential ministries for racial ethnic people all over the connection.  We pledge to continue our partnership with our general agencies in an effort to build capacities in mission fields that are greatly affected by diminished financial resources.

 

      We continue to celebrate the many parts of this worldwide connection and call upon The UMC to value and respect this reality.   A mandate of respect is necessary in this worldwide denomination that is made up of indigenous and native people, immigrants, racial ethnics as well as people from over 45 different countries, speaking many different languages.   We call upon The UMC to honor and respect the different parts of our worldwide body and to recognize the existence of white privilege as an underlying cause of inequality.  We pledge to more faithfully live into the realities of the worldwide nature of the church.

 

      Finally, we lament the fact that the sin of racism continues to plague the church even in spite of all of the good work we did at General Conference.  We will continue to call upon the church to continue the work to eradicate racism, white supremacy and colonialism. 

 

Together we pledge to continue to live out our baptismal vows “to resist evil, injustice and oppression, in whatever forms they present themselves.”

 

Inter-Ethnic Strategy Development Group (IESDG), May 17, 2024

Black Methodists for Church Renewal (BMCR)

Methodists Associated Representing the Cause of Hispanic/Latino Americans (MARCHA)

Native American International Caucus (NAIC)

New Federation of the Asian American United Methodists (NFAAUM)

Pacific Islanders National Caucus United Methodists (PINCUM)

Contact Information: Rev. Antoine Love, Convenor IESDG