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Petition


Free Choice - Redirecting Apportionments

Rationale for the Petition

PETITION

Regarding Apportionments

To the members of the 2000 General Conference of the United Methodist Church:

We respectfully petition that 811.5 of The Book of Discipline (1996) which now reads:

5. The apportionments for all apportioned general Church funds, as approved by the General Conference, shall not be subject to reduction either by the annual conference or by the charge or local church ( 612.1).

Be AMENDED by ADDING the following:

, except a local church shall be allowed to redirect one or more apportionments of the general Church to United Methodist-related or other Christian ministries, when the Charge:

a) Adopts by majority vote a resolution in which is declared the opposition of that Charge Conference to programs, activities or statements made by officials of any organization supported by a particular apportionment of the general Church which are deemed to be contrary to the teachings of Scripture and The Book of Discipline (1996) of the United Methodist Church;

b) Identifies the apportionment and the organization so opposed, giving the reason(s) for such opposition, and identifies all organizations which the local church shall support using such funds not paid to the apportionment; and

c) Certifies the local church’s opposition and desire to redirect the apportionment(s) so identified by delivery of a copy of the resolution to the District Superintendent at the Charge Conference.

811.5 as amended would then read:

5. The apportionments for all apportioned general Church funds, as approved by the General Conference, shall not be subject to reduction either by the annual conference or by the charge or local church ( 612.1), except a local church shall be allowed to redirect one or more apportionments of the general Church to United Methodist-related or other Christian ministries, when the Charge Conference or Church Conference:

a) Adopts by majority vote a resolution in which is declared the opposition of that Charge Conference to programs, activities or statements made by officials of any organization supported by a particular apportionment of the general Church which are deemed to be contrary to the teachings of Scripture and The Discipline of the United Methodist Church;

b) Identifies the apportionment and the organization so opposed, giving the reasons for such opposition, and identifies all organizations which the local church shall support using such funds not paid to the apportionment; and

c) Certifies the local church’s opposition and desire to redirect the apportionment(s) so identified by delivery of a copy of the resolution to the District Superintendent at the Charge Conference.

Submitted by:

 


Rationale

Rationale A

1. The United Methodist Church has become theologically diverse with members holding many views concerning God, humanity, revelation, authority, salvation, grace, atonement, worship, personal and corporate ethics, and the church, and these views are often mutually exclusive in content and application.

2. The mission statements, goals, and strategies of some agencies, boards, and commissions of The United Methodist Church are based on theological views which do not reflect the views of significant segments of the church’s membership.

3. The general agencies, boards, and commissions of The United Methodist Church are funded by apportionments on local churches many of which find themselves in significant disagreement with the views and policies of these agencies, boards, and commissions.

4. The disparity of theological viewpoints between members and national leadership is resulting in significant issues of conscience for many local churches as they struggle with the requirement that they support The UMC organizations whose mission and work substantially contradicts the mission and work of the congregation.

5. These issues of conscience are not rooted in misunderstanding, intolerance, prejudice, personal ambition, or a desire for local church autonomy for its own sake but are rooted in diverse theological views.

6. It is unloving and divisive to require a person or church to financially support activities to which they are conscientiously opposed. The intent of this petition is to help local churches who cannot in good conscience support the activities or positions of some UMC organizations but wish to remain loyal to the United Methodist Church.

7. This petition to the 2000 General Conference is a matter of justice, fairness, and love among United Methodists.

Rationale B

1. The United Methodist Church has become theologically diverse with members holding irreconcilable doctrinal differences regarding many views concerning God, humanity, revelation, authority, salvation, grace, atonement, worship, personal and corporate ethics, and the church; these views are often mutually exclusive in content and application and in conflict with Scripture and United Methodist doctrinal standards.

2. The mission statements, goals, and strategies of some agencies, boards, and commissions of the United Methodist Church are based on theological views which are in conflict with Scripture and are counterproductive to the overall mission of the Church.

3. The general agencies, boards, and commissions of the United Methodist Church are funded by apportionments on local churches, many of which find themselves in significant disagreement with the views and policies of the
organizations they support.

4. The conflict of theological viewpoints between members and national leadership is resulting in significant issues of Christian conscience for many local churches as they struggle with the requirement that they support these UMC organizations whose priorities and activities substantially undermine the faithful mission and work of the congregation.

5. It is unconscionable to require a person or church to financially support activities which they consider to be in opposition to Scripture and the established standards of the United Methodist Church.


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