Learn: Articles and Resources on the United Methodist Church, Social Justice, gender equality and More

NAMI released a new report, Mental Health Parity at Risk, that looks at mental health and substance use coverage before and after the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Removing protections for people with mental health and substance use conditions could take us back to a time when:

  • People were denied health insurance, charged more or turned down for renewal just because they had a mental health or substance use condition
  • People had yearly or lifetime limits on mental health and substance use care
  • Over half of states had no requirement that individual market plans cover or even offer mental health services.

Before the ACA, people with mental illness often faced a 20-50% increase in premiums. And when they could get insurance, they often faced limits on outpatient visits, yearly or lifetime caps on coverage and limited access to mental health medications. It was legal to discriminate against people with mental health and substance use conditions. Read the report to learn how you can advocate for continued mental health parity. 

Mental Health Disparities 

Special General Conference Planning

In 2019, a special conference of the United Methodist Council of Bishops to discuss the inclusion, participation, and ordination of LGBTQ members. Read the latest article here.  

Way Forward Commission Issues Status Update

The Commission on a Way Forward has released a slideshow status report on its work to foster unity in The United Methodist Church amid divisions on issues related to human sexuality.
Read press release and report
Read UMNS coverage of last meeting
Way Forward gets input on church future

Jerusalem Embassy

Read the General Conference's statement on the U.S. Jerusalem Embassy decision. 

United Methodists & Racial Justice

The news has been full of stories of children separated from their families at the border and other mistreatment of immigrants and refugees. Feeling powerless? Here are a few local ways to help: 1. Follow the MICA Project on Facebook, 2) check out MO Dreamers and 3) Alex Belongs Here.

The union that created The United Methodist Church also abolished its racially segregated institution. That history is a reminder that the church still struggles with race relations. Read the history here. 

United Methodists stand, act to end racism

“It’s not enough to be non-racist; you need to be anti-racist and do something.” -  Bishop Farr

Liberians in U.S. anxious after DED termination. DED is "Deferred Enforced Departure." 

Read about how an immigrant family found room at the inn!

United Methodism believes that racism is a sin and it's the duty of all Christians to advocate for the equal treatment of all persons. You can read more, learn what you can do to help, and download resources here

Gender Resources

Our new welcome statement includes "gender identity." These links will give you some background on gender identity in the UMC and resources to learn more about gender identity. 

Gender Identity within the UMC

No official policy excludes people from United Methodist ordination based on gender identity. Whether or not someone's gender matches the gender assigned to them at birth, they are eligible to be ordained and serve as pastors. An attempt in 2008 to deny ordination to transgender persons failed at the General Conference. 

Transgender ministers currently serve United Methodist churches. You can read one transgender pastor's story here.

You can also read more from the United Methodist Alliance for Transgender Inclusion(UMATI) (part of Reconciling Ministries Network).

Trans Christians Gathering in Chicago

What is it like to be trans/ gender non-conforming and a Christian? The answer: it's often lonely.

Reconciling Ministries sponsored a recent retreat in Chicago to gather trans and gender-nonconforming Christians to share their experiences and learn that they are not alone or unloved in the church. It was the first gathering of its kind.

Morgan Hunlen went to this retreat, with UUMC's prayers and blessing. 

General Resources on Gender Identity

Confused about the terminology? Check out this fun graphic: the Gender Unicorn (printed image available in Fellowship Hall). 

Listen to "Discussing changing conceptions of gender identity and how to talk about it" from St. Louis on the Air in Podcasts