New website, new leadership model for South Carolina Reconciling Ministries Network

By Jessica Brodie

A South Carolina group that works to support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and others in The United Methodist Church now has a new website and a new leadership model.

South Carolina Reconciling Ministries Network has shifted to a team-led structure, with a council of 12 comprising half laity and half clergy.

It also has a new website found at

Lynn Shirley, one of the council members, said the difficulties of the pandemic forced them to take a new look at their former leadership model, which put much of the burden of hard work on one person.

“We brainstormed and decided to relaunch as a leadership model with up to 12 council members who meet and make decisions and leadership goals as a unit, not primarily through a president,” he said.

As part of this, they decided they also needed a website, as well as a clear understanding of their mission goals. New bylaws were adopted in June 2022.

Shirley said they are hoping to ensure the group has geographical diversity across the state. He said of the 12 council members, only two identify as LGBTQ+, indicating the strong support among their allies.

The group primarily focuses on advocacy and education.

According to their website, SCRMN comprises almost 1,000 persons, the vast majority in connection with the UMC in South Carolina, both clergy and laity. 

“Our purpose is to support, encourage and defend the rights of LGBTQ persons to be in full communion with their local congregations and the UMC in general,” the website states. “We do this through engagement with other SCRMN participants, through connection and conversation with those in the UMC not in full support of our passion and though holy listening to the opinions of all.”

Get Periodic Updates from the Advocate We never sell or share your information. You can unsubscribe from receiving our emails at any time.