General Conference Legislation

GC2016-logo-color-hi-resListing of Legislative Proposals for General Conference

The petitions posted below are offered for the consideration of annual conference and General Conference delegates. When you click on each petition, it will download in Word format on your computer. You may change them however you like and introduce them for approval at your annual conferences session. Some reformatting may be necessary. Suggestions and comments are welcome! (Email: tlambrecht@goodnewsmag.org)

Added Chargeable Offense
Adds as a chargeable offense: “interfering with the General Conference or another United Methodist body or agency’s ability to conduct business”

Church Right to Appeal
Gives the Counsel for the Church the right to appeal egregious errors in church law during the trial process

Clergy Pension Preserved
Specifies the right of clergy to withdraw from the denomination and keep their pensions intact

Commission on General Conference Powers
Limits the Commission’s ability to arbitrarily set the number of General Conference delegates

Complainant as Party to Just Resolution
Requires the person filing a complaint to be a party to any resolution of the complaint

Counsel for the Church
Stipulates that, by agreeing to serve, Counsel for the Church signifies his/her willingness to vigorously and with integrity uphold the requirements of church law and the Discipline

Definition of Spousal Benefits
Defines a spouse as a person of the opposite gender legally married to the employee; restricts church sponsored benefits for spouses to those defined as such

Disaffiliation for Reasons of Conscience
Allows congregations to withdraw from The United Methodist Church as a matter of conscience, while keeping their building and property

End Support for Anti-Israel Coalition
Directs the General Board of Global Ministries to end its membership in the “U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation,” which is a one-sided group that targets Israel while failing to address Palestinian and Arab violence against Israel, as well.

•  Expedited Exit
Allows congregations to withdraw from The United Methodist Church for reasons of conscience, witness, or mission, while keeping their building and property.

Homosexual Practice
Adds to the definition of “self-avowed practicing homosexual” any person who enters into a civil union, domestic partnership, or marriage with a person of the same sex or gender, or communicates in any public setting that they are a practicing homosexual

Joining of Coalitions
Requires general agencies’ participation in coalitions to be approved by the Connectional Table and General Conference

Jurisdictional Support for Bishops
Constitutional amendment providing that each jurisdiction support the financial costs of all the bishops serving in that jurisdiction

Limiting Apportionments
Limits general church and conference apportionments to ten percent of each local congregation’s expenses for operations and missions

Mandatory Penalty
Imposes a mandatory minimum penalty for performing same-sex weddings

• Members of Annual Conference Agencies
Provides that members of annual conference agencies have the same qualifications as those serving on general church agencies

Membership of University Senate
Revises membership on the University Senate to limit employees of United Methodist educational institutions to one-third of the membership, reducing an inherent conflict of interest

Mission Statement
Adds the phrase “for the eternal salvation of persons” to the church’s mission statement, reinforcing the equal priority of evangelism with world transformation

Number of Bishops
Stipulates that annual conferences with fewer than 70,000 members share a bishop with another annual conference, while limiting the number of bishops to what a jurisdiction can afford

Number of General Conference Delegates
Constitutional amendment raising the minimum number of GC delegates to 850

Retired Clergy Annual Conference Membership
Constitutional amendment giving retired clergy voice, but not vote, at annual conference, and removing them from the formula for determining the number of annual conference members and General Conference delegates

Right to Appeal Membership Decision
Clarifies that pastors have the discretion to determine prospective members’ readiness to assume the vows of professing membership, while instituting a process for appealing the delay or denial of membership

Standards for Program Staff
Institutes the same requirements for annual conference program staff that are in place for general church staff

Status of Retired Bishops
Constitutional amendments limiting membership on the Council and College of Bishops to those serving in the effective relationship, removing retired bishops

Vote on Petitions Required
Requiring that all petitions approved by a legislative committee must receive a vote by the plenary session of the General Conference

Lifewatch Petitions

Changes to Paragraph on Abortion
These amendments to Paragraph 161J would more clearly align our church with biblical, historic Christian teaching that defends unborn children and their mothers from abortion.

Consistent Life Investment Ethics
Changes the investment parameters of the church’s investment policies so that our church does not profit from the violence of abortion.

Delete Sentence
Deletes the sentence supporting the legal right to abortion in the U.S. in order to make the overall resolution more applicable to a global context.

Disabled Babies
A Christian church should not support the possibility of a child’s having mental retardation or another disability being used as a reason for abortion. This petition deletes such support.

Mother’s Life
This petition brings the wording of this resolution in line with our statement on abortion in the Social Principles.

Taxpayer Funding
This petition adds opposition to the taxpayer funding of abortions.

Withdraw from the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice
This petitions removes the United Methodist Church from membership in a coalition that actively promotes the legality of abortion in all circumstances, contradicting our Social Principles.