Interesting information for those attending Annual Conference in June @ Lake Junaluska. Please be in prayer for Our United Methodist Church and take action when possible. Please be familiar with the issues and vote the way you are convicted.
Here is another view of Amendment #1 to be voted on at Annual Conference in June. I add it here because I believe that everyone has the right to be heard.
Here are a couple of thoughts as you watch all of these video’s and then decide what Scripture teaches.
#1 It is obvious that amendment 1 is in reference to Our United Methodist Book of Discipline and the stance against ordination of practicing homosexuals.
#2 The wording seems mis-leading in this first video: In the church that I am a part of, no one is excluded from attending the services. Everyone is welcome. However, I would never vote to ordain anyone who is living in a continual sin. Be that adultery, homosexual practice, cheating, stealing, gossip, etc.
#3 We must deal with what the Bible says and not what the culture dictates.
#4 Everyone has the right and responsibility to know what the issues are and to vote what is biblically correct.
#5 Watch all of the videos. read your Scripture and Pray for Discernment.
Here is information on the oficial United Methodist Church Stance
HomosexualityWho sets policy for the United Methodist Church? Only the General Conference can speak officially for the United Methodist Church. Every four years, delegates at each conference revise the Book of Discipline and Book of Resolutions. The Social Principles, in both books, are described as a “prayerful and thoughtful effort on the part of the General Conference to speak to the human issues in the contemporary world from a sound biblical and theological foundation as historically demonstrated in United Methodist traditions.” The Book of Resolutions is not legally binding but serves as a guide for the church for reference, encouragement, study and support.
Controversy during the United Methodist Church’s 1997-2000 quadrennium swirled around a prohibition placed in the Social Principles by the 1996 General Conference. The Judicial Council ruled Aug. 11, 1998, that the following statement does have the force of church law: “Ceremonies that celebrate homosexual unions shall not be conducted by our ministers and shall not be conducted in our churches.” Clergy violating this prohibition can, according to the Judicial Council, be charged with violating the order and discipline of the church. They can be tried in a church court, and penalties upon conviction can include loss of ministerial credentials. The 2000 General Conference moved the statement from the Social Principles to a section of law and procedures dealing with ordained clergy, where it appears in a list of “unauthorized conduct.”
An outline of the church’s current statements on homosexuality appears below, followed immediately by a historical outline of the controversy within the denomination. Relevant proposals rejected by the 2000 General Conference are also summarized.
The positions of The United Methodist Church on matters related to homosexuality are found in several sections of the current 2000 Book of Discipline and 2000 Book of Resolutions.
1. Regarding inclusiveness
Underlying all other positions of the denomination is the constitutional principle of “Inclusiveness of the Church,” stated in Paragraph 4 of the Book of Discipline: “The United Methodist Church is a part of the church universal, which is one Body in Christ. Therefore all persons shall be eligible to attend its worship services, to participate in its programs, and, when they take the appropriate vows, to be admitted into its membership in any local church in the connection.”
2. Regarding the practice of homosexuality
(Part of a larger statement on “Human Sexuality” appearing in “The Nurturing Community,” a section of the church’s Social Principles. Paragraph 161G. The 2000 General Conference added the sentence in boldface to this paragraph.)
“Homosexual persons no less than heterosexual persons are individuals of sacred worth. All persons need the ministry and guidance of the church in their struggles for human fulfillment, as well as the spiritual and emotional care of a fellowship that enables reconciling relationships with God, with others, and with self. Although we do not condone the practice of homosexuality and consider this practice incompatible with Christian teaching, we affirm that God’s grace is available to all. We implore families and churches not to reject or condemn their lesbian and gay members and friends. We commit ourselves to be in ministry for and with all persons.”
3. Regarding equal rights
(Section H, Paragraph 162, of the Social Principles under “III. The Social Community.”)
“Equal Rights Regardless of Sexual Orientation — Certain basic human rights and civil liberties are due all persons. We are committed to supporting those rights and liberties for homosexual persons. We see a clear issue of simple justice in protecting their rightful claims where they have shared material resources, pensions, guardian relationships, mutual powers of attorney, and other such lawful claims typically attendant to contractual relationships that involve shared contributions, responsibilities, and liabilities, and equal protection before the law. Moreover, we support efforts to stop violence and other forms of coercion against gays and lesbians. We also commit ourselves to social witness against the coercion and marginalization of former homosexuals.”
4. Regarding ordination
(From the Book of Discipline section dealing with the ordained ministry, Paragraph 304.3)
“While persons set apart by the Church for ordained ministry are subject to all the frailties of the human condition and the pressures of society, they are required to maintain the highest standards of holy living in the world. Since the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching, self-avowed practicing homosexuals* are not to be accepted as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve in The United Methodist Church.”
*Footnote — ” ‘Self-avowed practicing homosexual’ is understood to mean that a person openly acknowledges to a bishop, district superintendent, district committee of ordained ministry, board of ordained ministry, or clergy session that the person is a practicing homosexual.”
5. Regarding homosexual unions
As noted earlier, the sentence “Ceremonies that celebrate homosexual unions shall not be conducted by our ministers and shall not be conducted in our churches” was moved from the Social Principles section on marriage to a part of the Book of Discipline dealing with the behavior of ordained clergy.
While the sentence on same-sex unions was located in the Social Principles during the last quadrennium, it resulted in three clergy trials, a controversial investigation and a special session of the Judicial Council, the church’s equivalent of the Supreme Court.
The Rev. Jimmy Creech, a clergy member of the Nebraska Annual Conference, performed a union ceremony for two women at First United Methodist Church in Omaha Sept. 14, 1997. At the conclusion of a three-day church trial in Nebraska in March 1998, Creech was acquitted of violating the order and discipline of the church. He was again taken to trial in Nebraska in November 1999 after he performed a union ceremony for two men in North Carolina in April 1999. Between the trials, the church’s Judicial Council ruled Aug. 11, 1998, that the disciplinary sentence against same-sex unions is law and that clergy who violate the prohibition could be charged with disobeying the order and discipline of the church and could lose their ministerial credentials. That is what happened at Creech’s second trial. He is no longer a United Methodist clergyman.
Another United Methodist pastor, the Rev. Gregory Dell, a member of the Northern Illinois Annual Conference, performed a union ceremony for two men Sept. 19, 1998, at Broadway United Methodist Church in Chicago and was taken to trial March 25-26, 1999. There he was suspended from his ministerial duties. That suspension was lifted in summer 2000. Dell had been elected a delegate to the church’s 2000 General Conference from the Northern Illinois Annual Conference but was not seated because of the suspension.
Charges were filed against 69 United Methodist ministers who gathered Jan. 16, 1999, in a public building in Sacramento, Calif., to bless the union of two women. An investigation committee of the annual conference reviewed the charges and announced Feb. 11, 2000, that it would not place the clergy on trial and was dismissing the case. That decision, applauded by some and condemned by others, sparked a major debate across the church during the months before General Conference in Cleveland, May 2-12.
6. Regarding use of church money
(From the Book of Discipline section on “Administrative Order,” dealing with the responsibilities of the churchwide “Council on Finance and Administration,” Paragraph 806.9.)
“[The council] shall be responsible for ensuring that no board, agency, committee, commission, or council shall give United Methodist funds to any gay caucus or group, or otherwise use such funds to promote the acceptance of homosexuality. The council shall have the right to stop such expenditures.* This restriction shall not limit the church’s ministry in response to the HIV epidemic.”
* A footnote refers to Judicial Council Decision No. 491, which authorized the right of an annual conference to use funds to study homophobia, and No. 592, which gave the General Conference the right to create and fund a study of homosexuality.
7. Regarding homosexuals in the military
(A resolution passed by the 1996 General Conference. Found on Page 160 in the 2000 Book of Resolutions).
Homosexuals in the Military
“Basis: The United States of America, a nation built on equal rights, has denied the right of homosexuals to actively serve their country while being honest about who they are. Meanwhile, The United Methodist Church is moving toward accepting all people for who they are. The United Methodist Church needs to be an advocate for equal civil rights for all marginalized groups, including homosexuals.
“Conclusion: The U.S. military should not exclude persons from service solely on the basis of sexual orientation.”