Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Some Suggested Resolutions for the United Methodist Church

Sisters and Brothers – General Conference happens every four years in the United Methodist Church.  It will meet again in 2012.  The General Conference of the UMC is the law making body of our church.  It is to this body that resolutions are sent to be discussed and voted up or down and they become law or not.  The place to start would be the local church – and passing on resolutions to the Annual Conference which would in turn pass them on to General Conference.

Mark Tooley – IRD (Institute on Religion and Democracy) President and Director of UMAction – has passed these sample resolutions to his readers and I pass them on to our readers for discussion and prayerful discernment for action or inaction.

Resolutions for Your UMC Committee
Mark Tooley
March 31, 2011

Here are some suggested resolutions to submit to your local Annual Conference. If the deadline has passed for this year, submit for NEXT year. Or submit to your local church’s administrative board or charge conference, possibly even your local district conference. You can also share these resolutions with your Sunday school class, United Methodist Women, United Methodist Men or other church group. Remember, a better informed and a more involved church membership is vital for United Methodism’s reform!


Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice

Whereas, the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society and the United Methodist Women’s Division are long time members of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC); and

Whereas, the RCRC opposes ALL restrictions on abortion, including parental notification laws; and

Whereas, RCRC has advocated that the 2010 federal health care law (“Obamacare”) should include federal funding of abortion through newly created state insurance exchanges; and

Whereas, Christianity has traditionally affirmed the sanctity of all human life, including the unborn;

Therefore be it resolved that we urge withdrawal of all United Methodist agencies from RCRC.

Defending Marriage

Whereas, in 2011 at least 36 retired United Methodist bishops publicly urged United Methodism to abandon its prohibition on actively, self-avowed homosexual clergy; and

Whereas, in 2011 the General Board of Church and Society continued its longtime tradition of urging that United Methodism delete from its Social Principles the assertion that homosexual practice is “incompatible” with Christian teaching; and

Whereas, United Methodist agencies and bishops have remained silent about ongoing debates over legalizing same-sex “marriage” even though the United Methodist Social Principles clearly support “laws in civil society that define marriage as the union of one man and one woman;” and

Christianity has universally affirmed marriage as uniquely the union of one man and one woman and affirmed sex as God’s gift for marriage;

Therefore, we urge that United Methodism continue to affirm its official teaching that sex is for marriage between man and woman, that clergy are called to uphold this standard, and church agencies and leaders should extol our church’s stance for laws protecting traditional marriage.

United Methodism and Obamacare

Whereas, the United Methodist Board of Church and Society supported the 2010 federal health care law (“Obamacare”), prompting then U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi publicly to thank The United Methodist Church for its “support;” and

Whereas the United Methodist Social Principles declare that “health care is best funded through the government’s ability to tax each person equitably and directly fund the provider entities;” and

Whereas the United Methodist Book of Resolutions also support government directed “single-payer” health care in the United States; and

Whereas, United Methodists may and do disagree about the best way to ensure quality health care for all persons; and

Whereas, Christianity provides no direct guidance as to the extent government should control health care;

Therefore, we urge the General Board of Church and Society to avoid endorsing Obamacare and other forms of government controlled health care and instead to seek consensus among United Methodist as to how our church might improve health care for all persons.

Solidarity with Persecuted Christians

Whereas, a 2010 missions study found that over 1 million Christians globally were martyred for their faith between 200-2010; and

Whereas, many millions of Christians have died for their faith across the centuries, with the 20th century the worst century for martyrdom; and

Whereas, too many Christians in the United States and elsewhere take their religious liberty for granted; and

Whereas, United Methodism is increasingly a global church, with over 4 million church members now outside the U.S., mostly in Africa, where many Christians struggle against persecution;

Therefore, we call upon bishops and church agencies vigorously to advocate on behalf of persecuted Christians globally, giving special attention to struggles by United Methodists in Africa; and we implore all United Methodists to designate at least one Sunday annually for special prayer and commemoration on behalf of persecuted Christians globally.

April 13, 2011 Posted by | Church, Community, Denomination | , , | 1 Comment

Vision and Mission at Mt. Oak Fellowship – Part 3

This week we have been sharing some thoughts on the need for a vision – a focus.  Where there is no vision, the people perish: Proverbs 29:18 – KJV. As humans – most of us need direction – focus.  Most cannot wander aimlessly through life.

A church family is no different.  If we aimlessly meet – week after week – without vision – we will find ourselves – twenty years later – in the same place.  We need focus – we need vision – we need a direction.

For this reason – the leadership at Mt. Oak – prayerfully discerned a direction – a vision for our church family.  We looked around us – in the community around our physical location – and discerned that there was a problem we felt called of God to address.  Something was amiss – something that the church could not sit by and watch without taking some action.

The Problem – as we see it: Families are under attack.  We mentioned this on Monday.

The Solution to the Problem – as we see it – is to reach the whole family for Christ.  Jesus is the answer to all our problems.

Today we want to begin to unfold our mission – our plan to carry out our vision.  Now please understand that the mission is only a basic map – not a detailed plan.  The strategy or detailed plan is being discerned by our church leadership even as we carry out our mission.

The Mission of our church – the basic plan to carry out our vision can be simply said this way: bring in, build up, send out.

Let me share a little about the first part – bring in.  In a more detailed definition we would say – in order to reach the whole family for Christ – we plan to bring people into environments where they can encounter Christ. Our main bring in ministry is our worship experiences – but we are not limited to those.  Any experience – be it in the church or in the community – where we can help others encounter Christ can be used.  Our men’s ministry – for instance – has events where our men can invite their friends to a non-church event like target shooting – and let them encounter Jesus in their fellowship.

As a church family – we should see everything in our lives as opportunities to let others encounter Christ in us – through us – and in spite of us!  Bringing people into environments where they can encounter Christ should be a moment by moment reality for us.

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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April 13, 2011 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, Vision | Leave a comment

   

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