Don't You Think Everyone Should Be Welcome in the UMC?

February 26, 2009

By Robin Ridenour
CA-NV Annual Conference Committee on Reconciliation

This year at Annual Conference Session, there will be a vote on an important and historic amendment to the UM Constitution that would ensure that the United Methodist Church is committed to being an inclusive church.

 

On May 2, 2008, at a session of the General Conference of The United Methodist Church held in Fort Worth, Texas, the following constitutional amendment was made by a recorded vote of 558 Yes, 276 No. It will be presented to the annual conferences for vote in 2009.

 

The amended Paragraph 4, Article IV of the constitution is as follows:

 

Inclusiveness of the Church - The United Methodist Church is a part of the church universal, which is one Body in Christ. The United Methodist Church acknowledges that all persons are of sacred worth and that we are in ministry to all. All persons shall be eligible to attend its worship services, participate in its programs, receive the sacraments, and upon baptism be admitted as baptized members. All persons, upon taking vows declaring the Christian faith and relationship in Jesus Christ, shall be eligible to become professing members in any local church in the connection. In the United Methodist Church no conference or other organizational unit of the Church shall be structured so as to exclude any member or any constituent body of the Church because of race, color, national origin, status of economic condition.

 

In other words, "all means all!" All people are welcome in the United Methodist Church!

 

In order to become a part of the constitution, voting members of annual conferences will be voting on the amendment this year. The amendment is adopted if it receives a 2/3 majority vote from throughout the global church. It would become effective January 1, 2010.

 

The Reconciling Ministries Network has implemented a grassroots organizational plan to pass the amendment to Article IV, "Called to Witness." Called to Witness utilizes a strategy of building one-on-one relationships through the telling of personal stories. The stories are told in such a way that people will find common values with one another as all seek to create a church that is fully inclusive.

 

Reconciling Ministries will be holding a training in which attendees will learn how to tell their stories to effect change in the Church. This training will be Saturday, March 14, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the United Methodist Conference Center in West Sacramento (California-Nevada Annual Conference Center, 1276 Halyard Drive, West Sacramento, CA 95691; off the Harbor Blvd. exit of Business 80). Tiffany Steinwert, a national trainer from Reconciling Ministries Network, will be leading this training. If you would like to be a part of making the United Methodist Church more inclusive through personal storytelling, please reserve a space. The training is free and lunch will be provided.

 

To reserve your space or for more information, please call or email:

 

Robin Ridenour, (member) California-Nevada Annual Conference Committee on Reconciliation, 650-270-4801, RRide2000@aol.com.