PETITION TO 2000 GENERAL CONFERENCE THE UNITED
METHODIST CHURCH PROPOSED ACTION
That the General Conference of the United Methodist Church
establish an Evangelical Missionary Conference in the Western Jurisdiction.
1. The heritage, as well as the future of the United Methodist
Church relies on the strength of the United Methodist connectional system.
Evangelical United Methodists in the Western Jurisdiction observe that the leadership and
many of the clergy of their Annual Conferences have broken faith with United Methodists
worldwide. In several Western Jurisdiction Annual Conferences there is no longer trust
that the will of the United Methodist Church, as expressed by the General Conference, will
be followed. The Discipline of our church has been ignored and its authority
flouted. One pastor publicly proclaims that her church has been blessing gay holy
unions for decades, and another said he has lost count of how many he has performed.
All this has been done with seeming impunity and even with the tacit approval of the
Bishop and Conference leadership. Since 1972 the General Conference has consistently
spoken in clear terms that homosexual practice is not compatible with Christian teaching,
yet many clergy in the Western Jurisdiction Annual Conferences continue to bless
what the General Conference does not condone.
2. Evangelical United Methodists in the Western Jurisdiction have
consistently supported the connection and The Book of Discipline and have
often been excluded from full participation in the life of their Annual
Although there are capable and competent evangelical pastors in
these annual conferences they have, by and large, been excluded from key leadership
positions, such as the district superintendency and other key leadership
appointments. (In some Annual Conferences there has not been an evangelical
district superintendent in 40 years or more.) Appointments to extension
ministries which have been sought by evangelicals have been consistently
denied. At least two pastors in one Annual Conference [California/Nevada]
requested such appointments and were denied by the Bishop, even though the clergy
session of that Annual Conference overwhelmingly agreed with the request as an
approved site for United Methodist ministry. That same Annual Conference, in
that same appointment year, had pastors appointed to extension ministries serving
as an elementary school teacher, a financial services representative, a
psychodramatist, a president of a sex institute, and a political science
instructor, just to name a few. These extension ministries were considered
"to be a true extension of the Christian ministry of the church."
Evangelicals have been consistently excluded from leadership
positions even as annual conferences of the Western Jurisdiction have touted the
virtues of "inclusion and tolerance" as the dominant values of Methodism.
Inclusion and tolerance are held as values of United Methodism, and The
Book of Discipline says, "We proclaim no personal gospel that fails to express
itself in relevant social concerns; we proclaim no social gospel that does not
include the personal transformation of sinners." Nevertheless,
evangelicals, who support these values and uphold a scriptural Christianity, that
emphasizes repentance and turning from sin, as well as God's grace offered to all,
have often been marginalized in the life of these annual conferences.
The deep desire to continue ministry in the traditional Wesleyan
and evangelical tradition motivates us to bring the Evangelical Missionary
Conference before the General Conference for approval. Evangelicals in the
Western Jurisdiction simply wish to find a way to rejoin the United Methodist
Church and minister in a conference that upholds Scripture and The Book of
1. The Evangelical Missionary Conference will be created in the
Western Jurisdiction. 2. The Evangelical Missionary Conference will be supportive of
the connectional mission of the United Methodist Church. 3. A bishop will be
assigned by the Western Jurisdiction's College of Bishops to provide episcopal supervision
as prescribed by The Book of Discipline (¶559.1) 4. The organization, membership
and relationship of the Evangelical Missionary Conference shall be consistent with the
polity and provisions of The Book of Discipline as stated in ¶558, ¶559, ¶560,
¶561, ¶12 and ¶21, ¶22, ¶23. 5. The Evangelical Missionary Conference shall
comply with the disciplinary provisions of inclusiveness as provided in ¶117 and other
1. Organization of the Evangelical Missionary Conference will
follow the process of organizing an annual conference (¶607).
2. Membership a) Membership of the
Evangelical Missionary Conference will come from United Methodist churches in the Western
Jurisdiction who choose to [request] transfer from their current annual conference
following the provisions of ¶39. b) Clergy members may
transfer their membership following the provisions of ¶338.
c) Lay membership of the Evangelical Missionary Conference
will follow the provisions of ¶30.
ADMINISTRATIVE STRUCTURE THE CABINET
1. The cabinet shall be composed of the bishop and the district
2. The conference budget shall cover the expenses of the district
superintendent(s), including office expense and the portion of the episcopal expenses
assigned to the Evangelical Missionary Conference.
3. In the selection of district superintendents due consideration
shall be given to inclusiveness (¶517).
THE BASIC STRUCTURES
The basic structures shall include a Council on Finance and
Administration, Trustees, Board of Ordained Ministry, and other administrative and program
agencies as required by the Discipline, and as the Missionary Conference may decide.
The General Board of Global Ministries shall encourage and
support the Evangelical Missionary Conference according to the provisions of the Book of
During the Annual Conference session of May-June 2000 each Annual
Conference in the Western Jurisdiction shall make it known to all of its churches and
pastors that an Evangelical Missionary Conference (EMC) is being formed in the Western
Jurisdiction. During the 2000 - 2001 Conference year churches and pastors will have
the opportunity to pray, discuss and choose whether or not they will be part of the
Evangelical Missionary Conference. In the Fall of 2001 the Evangelical Missionary
Conference may hold its organizing conference.
The Evangelical Missionary Conference shall hold its first
regular session in June of 2002 according to the provisions of the Book of Discipline. At
this time a plan and goals for the balance of the quadrennium may be adopted.
The number of pastors and churches who might join the Evangelical
Missionary Conference is not known at this time. However, as time passes more
interest in being part of such a conference is being expressed. The figures below
are very general and will be subject to adjustment after consultation with the General
Board of Global Ministries. It is anticipated that substantial General Board support
will be needed during the first several years on a decreasing basis.
Bishop's salary and administrative expenses (?)
District Superintendent(s) salary (?)
District Superintendent (s) travel
and related expenses $100,000
Office administrator 50,000
Office equipment and related start-up
expenses: space, utilities etc. 25,000
Personnel for pensions and health insur. 20,000
New Church Development Fund $350,000
Conference Program 10,000
Laity Training 5,000
Annual Conference Session expense 3,000
Equitable Salary Fund 50,000
Miscellaneous Fund 10,000
Grand Total Direct Expenditures $623,000
Insurance and Pension
Insurance and pension will be provided according to the
provisions of the 2000 Book of Discipline.
History and Stories about the ERF
March 3, 1998 - UMNS releases story claiming that the CN Cabinet
supported homosexual unions and promising a place in the conference for the Rev. Jimmy
Creech if convicted. http://umns.umc.org/98/mar/127.htm
March 11 - cabinet qualifies its position
March 11-13 Creech Trial held in Nebraska, uproar ensues across
the UMC http://umns.umc.org/98/mar/150.htm
April 1 - ERF meets in Oakdale and asks to separate, story
includes full text of statement
May 20 ERF meets with Ministry Staff, proposal
May 22, head of ERF leaves the denomination
June 28 Kingsburg UMC leaves the denomination
Judicial council rules conducting homosexual unions are
Bishop Talbert's reaction to decision, "saddened by
Judicial Council Decision No. 833
August 3 Kingsburg church declared abandoned and assets
October 27 Order of Elders held in effort to bring peace in
the conference but while the mass homosexual union to be held in Sacramento in January of
1999 is known by the leadership, nothing is said at that meeting about it.
UMNS story on planned homosexual union
December 7 ERF prepares statement on homosexual union
UMNS story on January 16 homosexual union
September, 1999 Good News article about Missionary
December 1999 Proposal submitted to General Conference