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2014 Detroit Annual Conference Voting Items

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LEAD #8 A Call That God’s Grace and Love is Available to All

Motion: Therefore be it resolved the Detroit Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church in response to our common belief that God’s grace and love is available to all persons and in keeping with the United Methodist tradition of diversity that each member, pastor, congregation, bishop, and committee be strongly encouraged to: 1. Support lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender lay members who marry and to refrain from filing complaints against pastors who perform marriages between gender and sexual minorities (also referred to as “same-sex marriages”), and 2. Refrain from using its resources to investigate or enforce a ban on marriages between lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, or for church trials, or for otherwise disciplining clergy that offer the ministry of marriage to all persons in their congregation or community; and 3. Refrain from using its resources to investigate the gender or sexual orientation of a minister or candidate for ministry, and not to use its resources to enforce a ban on the certification of an lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender candidate for ministry, or the ban on ordination of an lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender minister. Rationale: WHEREAS, The 2012 General Conference could not agree to disagree on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) inclusion in the church, marking 40 years of discussion and discord. The Council of Bishops of the UMC has stated that they are not of one mind on the full inclusion of LGBT people in the life of the church. Learned scholars disagree on the scriptural interpretation that is at the heart of the debate. The UMC continues a struggle that takes time and effort away from “being the church;” and WHEREAS, Biblical discernment with the aid of the Holy Spirit and Wesley’s quadrilateral has created a divergence of thoughtful, theological and reasoned opinions among United Methodists as to whether the “practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching”, and this divergence was recognized by the Council of Bishops who stated in their November 2013 report that “neither they nor the other members of the church they lead are of one mind regarding ministering with gays and lesbians,” and WHEREAS, this disagreement regarding homosexuality has become one of the defining public images of United Methodism in the US, has hampered reaching new disciples, particularly young people and even created an exodus of members, discouraged talented candidates from following God’s call to ministry, and drained resources away from the traditional Methodist focus on fighting such evils as poverty, malnutrition, and promoting education while spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, and WHEREAS, It is time for the UMC to move beyond the harm done and be in ministry with and to all of our neighbors; as commanded in Mark 12:30-31: “...You must love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.’ The second is this: ‘You must love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.’” Submitted by: Carl Thomas Stroud Gladstone Deacon in Full Connection Joseph Lopez, Lay Member, Central UMC-Detroit And supported by six others


2014 DAC Resolutions  
2014 DAC Resolutions  

2014 Resolutions of the Detroit Annual Conference