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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church


    events

    General Conference Decisions 2019

    The following is a summary of the Judicial Council Decisions 1378 and 1379 related to the petitions supported by the delegates of the special session of The General Conference.  

    In Decision 1378, the Judicial Council applied “a severability test” to arrive at the conclusion that any unconstitutional provisions of the Traditional Plan could be severed from what remained.  In their decision the Judicial Council maintained that seven of the petitions remained unconstitutional, with the remaining found to be constitutional and able to be upheld independently.  All petitions deemed constitutional and able to be upheld independently will become a part of The United Methodist Book of Discipline effective January 1, 2020, with the exception of the disaffiliation petition which is effective immediately.

    In Decision 1379, the Judicial Council ruled on the amended version of Petition 90066 substituted as the “Minority Report on Disaffiliation” and found “any legislation of the General Conference permitting the “gracious exit” of a local church must require at a minimum that (1) the disaffiliation resolution be approved by a two-thirds majority of the professing members of the local church present and voting at the church conference, (2) the terms and conditions, including effective date, of the agreement between the annual conference and the existing local church be established by the conference board of trustees in accordance with applicable church law and civil laws, and (3) the disaffiliation agreement be ratified by a simple majority of the members of the annual conference present and voting.”  

    When taken together with the consent of the annual conference pursuant to Paragraph 2529.1(b)(3), this petition is constitutional and provides a means for the disaffiliation of a local church.”  The basis of disaffiliation in this petition is important to note: “a local church shall have a limited right, under the provisions of this paragraph, to disaffiliate from the denomination for reasons of conscience regarding a change in the requirements and provisions of The Book of Discipline related to the practice of homosexuality or the ordination or marriage of self-avowed practicing homosexuals as resolved and adopted by the 2019 General Conference, or the actions or inactions of its annual conference related to these issues which follows.” The process of disaffiliation must be completed by December 31, 2023.

    Petition 90066 substituted as the “Minority Report on Disaffiliation” creates a new paragraph, 2253, in The United Methodist Book of Discipline and will be effective January 1, 2020.

    The remainder of this document indicates the Traditional Plan petitions that have been ruled by the Judicial Council as null and void and those which have been ruled constitutional and will become a part of The United Methodist Book of Discipline, effective January 1, 2020.  

    Click the following links for more information:


    Traditional Plan #2-4 – Petitions 90033-35 – Episcopal Accountability – Par. 408.3, 410 & 422
    Traditional Plan #6 – Petition 90037 – Composition of Board of Ordained Ministry – Par. 635.1a
    Traditional Plan #7 – Petition 90038 – Full Examination – Par. 635.2h
    Traditional Pan #8-9 – Petition 90039-90040 – Composition of Board of Ordained Ministry – Par. 806.9 & 613.19
    Traditional Plan #1 – Petition 90032 – Footnote 1 Qualifications for Ministry – Par. 304.3
    Traditional Plan #5 - Petition 90036 – Episcopal Responsibilities – Par. 415.6
    Traditional Plan #11 – Petition 90042 – Minimum Penalty – Par. 2711.3
    Traditional Plan #12 – Petition 90043 – Qualifications for Ministry – Par. 304.5
    Traditional Plan #13 – Petition 90044 – Complaint Process – Par. 362.1e & 413.3d
    Traditional Plan #14 – Petition 90045 – Just Resolution – Par. 362.1c, 413.3c, 2701.5 & 2706.5.c.3
    Traditional Plan #15 – Petition 90046 – Just Resolution - Par. 362.1c, 413.3c, 2701.5 & 2706.5.c.3
    Traditional Plan #16 – Petition 90047 – Church Appeal – Par. 2715.10
    Petition 90066 – Minority Report – Disaffiliation – NEW Par. 2553


    Petitions Ruled Null and Void by Judicial Council

    Traditional Plan #2-4 – Petitions 90033-35 – Episcopal Accountability – Par. 408.3, 410 & 422

    Amended ¶ ¶ 408, 410 and 422 to make bishops subject to disciplinary review by the entire Council of Bishops rather than just the College of Bishops in a bishop’s own jurisdiction.

    Ruling:  Null & Void

    Traditional Plan #6 – Petition 90037 – Composition of Board of Ordained Ministry – Par. 635.1a

    Amended ¶ 635 to “Prior to being nominated for membership on the Board of Ministry by the bishop, any individual must certify to the bishop that he or she will uphold, enforce, and maintain the Book of Discipline in its entirety, including but not limited to all qualifications for ordination (¶¶304, 330, 335, 336). Additionally, the bishop must certify to the annual conference secretary that he or she only has nominated individuals who will uphold, enforce, and maintain The Book of Discipline in its entirety, including but not limited to the qualifications for ordination (¶¶304, 330, 335, 336).

                                                                                        RulingNull & Void

    Traditional Plan #7 – Petition 90038 – Full Examination – Par. 635.2h

    Amended ¶ 635.2 stating the Board of Ordained Ministry shall conduct an examination to ascertain whether an individual is a practicing homosexual, as defined by The Book of Discipline, including information on social media. The Board shall certify that such an examination has occurred.                                                                                                

                                                                                           Ruling:  Null & Void

    Traditional Pan #8-9 – Petition 90039-90040 – Composition of Board of Ordained Ministry – Par. 806.9 & 613.19

    Amended ¶¶ 806 & 613 to state that annual conferences certify that the bishop has nominated only members of the Board of Ministry who will uphold, enforce, and maintain The Book of Discipline related to ordination and marriage of practicing homosexuals. Failure to do so shall result in The General Council on Finance and Administration withholding all funds from The United Methodist Church and withdrawing the annual conference’s ability to use the denominational cross and flame logo.                                                                                                                  

                                                                                            Ruling:  Null & Void                 

    Petitions Ruled Constitutional and Upheld Independently Becoming a Part of The United Methodist Book of Discipline, effective January 1, 2020

    Traditional Plan #1 – Petition 90032 – Footnote 1 Qualifications for Ministry – Par. 304.3

    Amended footnote 1 attached to ¶ 304.3 to read: “Self-avowed practicing homosexual” is understood to mean that a person openly acknowledges to a bishop, district superintendent, district committee of ordained ministry, Board of Ordained Ministry, or clergy session that the person is a practicing homosexual; or is living in a same-sex marriage, domestic partnership or civil union, or is a person who publicly states she or he is a practicing homosexual.  

                                                                                           Ruling: Constitutional    

    Traditional Plan #5 - Petition 90036 – Episcopal Responsibilities – Par. 415.6

    Amended ¶ 415.6 was amended to prohibit bishops from consecrating bishops who are self-avowed homosexuals even if they have been elected. Bishops are prohibited from commissioning or ordaining those on the deacon or elder track if the Board of Ordained Ministry has determined the individual is a self-avowed homosexual, even if the Board of Ordained Ministry recommends and clergy session approves them. 

                                                                                             Ruling:  Constitutional      

    Traditional Plan #11 – Petition 90042 – Minimum Penalty – Par. 2711.3

    Amended ¶ 2711.3 to establish a minimum penalty if someone is convicted of conducting ceremonies or same-sex weddings of one-year suspension without pay (first offense), and termination (second offense).

                                                                                             Ruling: Constitutional   

    Traditional Plan #12 – Petition 90043 – Qualifications for Ministry – Par. 304.5

    Amended ¶ 304.5 to state that The District Committee on Ordained Ministry and the Board of Ordained Ministry shall not approve or recommend any person for candidacy, licensing, commissioning, or ordination who does not meet the qualifications of ¶ 304.1-3. The bishop presiding in the clergy session shall rule any such unqualified candidate out of order and not eligible to be acted upon.

                                                                                              Ruling: Constitutional   

    Traditional Plan #13 – Petition 90044 – Complaint Process – Par. 362.1e & 413.3d

    Amended ¶¶ 362 & 413 to state that bishops can only dismiss a complaint if it has no basis in law or fact and the reason for dismissal is shared with the complainant.

                                                                                               Ruling: Constitutional   

    Traditional Plan #14 – Petition 90045 – Just Resolution – Par. 362.1c, 413.3c, 2701.5 & 2706.5.c.3

    Amended “Just Resolution” provisions in ¶¶ 362.1, 413.3c, 2701.5, 2706.5.c.3 to provide:  Just resolutions shall state all identified harms and how they shall be addressed by the Church and other parties to the complaint.”  In cases where the respondent acknowledges action(s) that are a clear violation of the provisions of the Discipline, a just resolution shall include, but not be limited to, a commitment not to repeat the action(s) that were a violation.

                                                                                              Ruling:  Constitutional with exception

    *Second sentence starting with “In cases where the respondent . . .” was ruled unconstitutional.

    Traditional Plan #15 – Petition 90046 – Just Resolution - Par. 362.1c, 413.3c, 2701.5 & 2706.5.c.3

    Amended ¶¶ 362.1, 413.3c, 2701.5, 2706.5.c.3 by adding the same sentence to all four as follows:  “No matter where in the process a just resolution is achieved, the complainant(s) shall be a party to the resolution process and every effort shall be made to have the complainant(s) agree to the resolution before in may take effect.

                                                                                              Ruling: Constitutional   

    Traditional Plan #16 – Petition 90047 – Church Appeal – Par. 2715.10

    Amends ¶ 2715.10 to provide that the Church (not just the Respondent) can appeal a trial court judgment to the committee on appeals and then to the Judicial Council “based on egregious errors of Church law or administration that could reasonably have affected the findings of the trial court.”

                                                                                              Ruling: Constitutional   

    Petition 90066 – Minority Report – Disaffiliation – NEW Par. 2553

    The Minority Report amended the original petition 90066 adding to Chapter 6, Church Property a new section VIII – Disaffiliation of Local Churches Over Issues Related to Human Sexuality that would add a new ¶ 2553. 

                Ruling: Constitutional    

     

     


    With more than 168,000 members, the Upper New York Annual (Regional) Conference of The United Methodist Church comprises 865 local churches and 91 new faith communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our mission is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."