Thirty-five annual conferences of the United Methodist Church across the country are voting this summer on whether or not to amend the denominations inclusiveness statement. Here’s what that statement says now:
All persons without regard to race, color, national origin, status, or economic condition, shall be eligible to attend its worship services, participate in its programs, receive the sacraments, upon baptism be admitted as baptized members, and upon taking vows declaring the Christian faith, 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 or economic condition.
Here’s the language Amendment One would introduce:
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.
The Tennessee Annual Conference voted 285 in favor of Amendment One and 340 against, a difference of 65 votes. Ouch. I remain grateful that God’s grace continues to flow through other means.
You can get updates about this issue and follow the voting in other annual conferences by clicking here.