Ideas for Action

Resist Harm offers these additional ideas for your use. They came from a broadly representative group of United Methodists who gathered after the Special General Conference. While the list is not exhaustive, we hope they will be helpful as you plan. They reflect the diversity of contexts around the connection.
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Plan a major worship event at GBCS, Lovers Lane, or Church of the Resurrection that is livestreamed online.

Host a worship service and/or offer Communion at the Pride Parade.

Celebrate the ordination/credentialing of LGBTQ clergy with a service of prayer and healing.

Preach on inclusion, justice, resistance, and Resistance to Harm.

Use special liturgies of lament; put out worship resources written by queer people and allies.

Have available a rainbow pin or ribbon or bracelet that people could wear.

Use Rainbow altar cloths for communion the first Sunday in January.

Consider as worship themes:

  • a funeral for the Traditionalist Plan
  • a funeral for the church as we have known it
  • a Resurrection service
  • a special communion liturgy on the first Sunday of January (the first Sunday under the Traditional Plan.)
  • a reaffirmation of baptismal vows with more inclusive language

Consider holding a watchnight service

Create a new liturgical season in your church called "building the beloved community.”

Participate in a personal act of repentance by writing a reflection on the Wesley Covenant Service. Ask your pastor or worship team to use multiple reflections in the liturgy – celebrating and supporting different relationships and different expressions of gender identity, racial and justice issues as well as including acts of reconciliation with Native Americans. (Note: Use the Wesley Covenant Renewal Service/Rewritten Wesley Covenant Service committing to justice and inclusivity.)

Use the same Scripture text (Genesis – rainbow) in every church early in 2020.

Provide resources to clergy for a sermon series related to Biblical resistance and particularly Resisting Harm.

Invite local LGBTQI Chorus to sing in a church service.

Gather and share testimonies regarding the harm that has been done by exclusion.

Commission a hymn especially for intersectional worship.

Hold an intersectional day of repentance on a weekday. During this intersectional day of repentance, consider services of repentance in public spaces like grocery store parking lots and street corners, as well as at your church.

Focus on scripture that leads people to faithfully live as Jesus calls.

Focus on our anchor, Christ, and how Christ calls us to live and embody grace.

Increase understanding of LGBTQ history through movie nights at your church, including screening a documentary of Stonewall.

Plan Mother’s Day and Father’s Day celebrations that educate and create awareness of LGBTQIA+ families.

Organize book studies, including scriptures, from centrist and progressive perspectives.

Invite and learn from LGBTQ people and families and their stories of suffering and resilience.

Increase knowledge about Reconciling Ministries.

Offer educational events and materials about inclusive Christianity and about what health science reveals on the development of sexual identities.

Talk about what true Biblical literalism looks like, and how we cannot (must not) practice it.

Schedule a clergy and a lay person to speak in opposition to the traditional plan on January 5.

Invite youth to speak on the kind of church they are looking for.

Bring in speakers with knowledge about the history and efficacy of resistance.

Prepare announcements and materials for congregations about what is happening in the larger United Methodist Church.

Hold workshops about resistance in Jurisdictions and other settings.

Prepare explanatory teaching materials on why it is important to Resist Harm, a Biblical basis for it, the historic difference resistance has made and how to get involved in this effort. A contextual motivational tool is needed to prepare pastors and lay leadership to ground and determine their actions.

Say everywhere that “All means all.”

Explain clearly what is being resisted: The profound harm to LGBTQ persons, their families and to the global United Methodist Church caused by the Traditional Plan.

Commit to Acts of Repentance for explicit harm that has been done and to Resist Harm going forward. Share your actions (and those of your church) widely through multiple forms of media.

Take a picture of your congregation with a Resist Harm sign and send to UM media (listed above) to show thousands of United Methodists who protest the Traditional Plan. (Reminiscent of Hands Across America).

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Resist Harm is organized by everyday United Methodists in every corner of the connection and is supported by a number of organizational partners.* To learn more about our partners, visit their websites:
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*The tools, resources, and opportunities posted on Resist Harm have been suggested by people or organizations associated with the movement. They are not necessarily endorsed by all of the partners.
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