UNUSUAL AMENDING OF AN ANNUAL CONFERENCE RESOLUTION
A group of pastors in the New England Annual Conference, openly willing to disobey the Discipline on same sex issues, presented a resolution that skirted their own willingness and “strongly urged” churches and pastors to abide by our “open minds, open hearts, open doors” approach to ministry to include those wanting same sex marriage, those who have been convicted of violating same sex church law matters, and those who support in prayer anyone facing trial for violating the Discipline on same sex matters. The resolution further strongly urges changes at the next General Conference.
The bishop indicated that all were actually aspirational, though going beyond welcoming those seeking same sex marriage to actually conducting same sex marriage would be a violation.
The Council did something I have never seen them do before: amend a resolution of an annual conference to make it comply with church law. Actually, only the annual conference can do that, and probably will if that resolution or an updated version is brought to the floor next year. But the decision sure sounds like the Council did it!
The original questioner wanted to compare the resolution with something from the Articles of Religion, the first time I’ve seen the Council asked to deal directly with something doctrinal. The bishop addressed it by saying that nothing in the resolution actually violated anything in Article XXII. The Council ignored the issue, by default supporting the bishop’s ruling.