United Methodist Constitution

Report
United Methodist
Constitution
Proposed Amendments
San Antonio District Conference
May 17, 2009
Mark A. Nerio
1
United Methodist Constitution

Can it be changed?
•
•
•
•
General Conference
Required 2/3 vote of delegates
Annual Conference
2/3 affirmative vote of all AC members in the
US, Asia, Africa & Europe (n=134 total 62 in
US)
• Debate but not change; vote FOR or AGAINST

Vote is scheduled Saturday, June 6;
9:00 a.m. at Annual Conference
2
32 Amendments (10 issues)
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
Global Nature of the Church n=23
Church Membership n=1
Voting Eligibility Clergy n=1
Ethics Policy for Boards n=1
Gen. Conf. Representation Newly Established
Conf. n=1
Gender Protection n=1
Minimum # Members in Juris. N=1
AC Delegate Eligibility n=1
Baltimore-Wash AC n=1
Laity Inclusion on Committee on Investigation
n=1
3
Global Nature of the Church n=23



2005-2008 study by the Council of
Bishops' Task Force on the Global
Nature of the Church
Name of conferences outside the
United States be changed from
"Central" to "Regional“
Name change will not make the
United States into a separate
regional conference
4
Grant church membership to all
who take vows no.1


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would clarify that all people are eligible to attend worship
services and receive the sacraments, and upon baptism, be
admitted as baptized members by striking the words
"without regard to race, color, national origin, status or
other economic condition”
Review of Bishop's Decisions of law in the Virginia Annual
Conference Related to the Authority of a Pastor under ¶¶
214 and 225 of the 2004 Discipline to Exercise Judgment in
Determining Who May Be Received into Membership in the
Local Church.
The 2004 Discipline invests discretion in the pastor-incharge to make the determination of a person’s readiness
to affirm the vows of membership (¶ 217). Paragraphs 214
and 225 are permissive and do not mandate receipt into
membership of all persons regardless of their willingness to
affirm membership vows.
5
Allow all clergy members of annual
to vote to elect clergy delegates 19


Only ordained elders and deacons in full
connection now vote
would extend voting privileges to
associate members, provisional members
who have completed all of their
educational requirements and local
pastors who have completed course of
study or a Master of Divinity degree and
have served a minimum of two
consecutive years under appointment
immediately preceding the election.
6
Other Amendments


Amendment 2 would require all United Methodist
organizations to adopt ethics and conflict-ofinterest policies for board members and
employees.
Amendment 6 addresses an issue that followed
the 2004 admission of the Cote d'Ivoire Annual
Conference to the denomination. The conference
has more than 500,000 members, but had only
two delegates to the 2008 General Conference.
The amendment says that newly established
conferences could be represented on a nonproportional basis for two quadrennia.
7
Other Amendments


Amendment 8 adds the word "gender" to
paragraphs declaring the power of General
Conference to govern membership of
agencies. They would allow the conference
to fix conditions, privileges and duties of
church membership, which shall, in every
case, be without reference to race, gender
or status.
Amendment 9 would ensure that every
jurisdictional conference has at least 100
members
8
Other Amendments
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
Amendment 15 would reduce from two to one the
number of years a lay person must be a church
member before being elected a member of an
annual conference. It also eliminates a
requirement that they be active participants in
church.
Amendment 17 would reinstate legislation
adopted by the 2004 General Conference and
subsequently declared unconstitutional by the
Judicial Council allowing laity on the committee
on investigation to vote on matters of ordination,
character, and conference relations of clergy.
9
Other Amendments

Amendment 22 would recognize
Bermuda congregations as part of
the Baltimore-Washington Annual
Conference.
10
Additional Information

Worldwide church
• http://www.worldwideumc.org/ (report
of the Task Force on the Global Nature of the
Church)
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SWTx AC site http://www.umcswtx.org/
West Ohio AC
http://www.2009annualconference.org/co
ntent/proposed-constitutionalamendments
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