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California-Pacific Conference Chooses "Fence Sitting" Over Affirmations

The California-Pacific Annual Conference decided not to decide on the issue of homosexuality by becoming a "Welcoming Conference." According to some observers it was obvious the resolution could best be described as fence sitting. Given the liberal theological make up of the conference, not becoming a Reconciling Conference was a major achievement for traditional Christian Methodism. A contributing factor in not making the pro-homosexuality affirmation by becoming a Reconciling Conference, was the leadership of Bishop Sano.  He worked to maintain "unity" in the conference with the resolution.  The outcome of the debate seemed predetermined, making the welcoming decision appear artificial.

Presentations of the resolution included:

  • 3 minutes for the Reconciling Church Program
  • 3 minutes for Transforming Congregations
  • 5 minutes for testimony for the homosexual lifestyle
  • 5 minutes for a testimony of a former homosexual's transformation in Christ.

Another factor in preventing a pro-homosexuality affirmation by the conference was a 60 page booklet on homosexuality sent out by evangelicals and put together by Newt Maloney (a member of that Conference and professor in the School of Psychology at Fuller).

The Conference also attempted to identify itself with a vague mission/identity statement presented by a committee (with no evangelicals members) which seemed to confirm the Conference leadership's commitment to unity by sitting on the fence.

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