RECONSIDERATION OF JCM 1213
A request for reconsideration of JCM 1213 was denied. JCM 1213 was about funding for Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice by the General Board of Church and Society and the Women’s Division of the General Board of Global Ministries. Because the North Alabama Annual Conference had taken no specific action related to that funding, the original request was not covered under church law as appropriate for them to raise. So the Council pointed out it had no jurisdiction (authority) to take up the request.
This is one of those legal technicalities that frustrates people. I would love to see what arguments were made by those seeking reconsideration. What grounds did they feel they as an annual conference had to challenge an action of the General Conference or of General Conference agencies?
Usually when the Council refuses reconsideration, they do not offer any rationale for their decision. They offered none here so we learn nothing about their reasoning. Maybe there is nothing exceptional or new that the Council feels worth sharing about their decision not to reconsider.
In this case, it seems clear that the conservative faction of the North Alabama Conference wanted to express its (political? conscientious?) position on RCRR and see if it could affect the funding. With no rationale by the Council, the decision will appear either arbitrary at best or part of the “liberal conspiracy” to allow abortion on demand. The resulting misunderstanding will further alienate the conservatives and play into their theory of what is “going on.”
The Council might be wise to make it a practice to explain their position in future cases. It won’t affect the “true believers” but it would help everybody else.