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United Methodist Constitution. Proposed Amendments San Antonio District Conference May 17, 2009 Mark A. Nerio. United Methodist Constitution. Can it be changed? General Conference Required 2/3 vote of delegates Annual Conference

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United Methodist Constitution

Proposed Amendments

San Antonio District Conference

May 17, 2009 Mark A. Nerio

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

32 Amendments (10 issues)

  • 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

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

Grant church membership to all who take vows no.1

  • 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-in-charge 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.

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.

Other Amendments

  • Amendment 2 would require all United Methodist organizations to adopt ethics and conflict-of-interest 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 non-proportional basis for two quadrennia.

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

Other Amendments

  • 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.

Other Amendments

  • Amendment 22 would recognize Bermuda congregations as part of the Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference.

Additional Information

  • Worldwide church

    • http://www.worldwideumc.org/(report of the Task Force on the Global Nature of the Church)

  • SWTx AC site http://www.umcswtx.org/

  • West Ohio AC http://www.2009annualconference.org/content/proposed-constitutional-amendments

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