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NIC Voice GC2004 Update - Part I


NIC VOICE is a network of laity in the Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church.
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How to listen/watch GC2004 session:
 
It has been very difficult to gain access to video/audio feeds at the UMC site.  If you aren't able to gain access, try these alternative links:
 
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Council of Bishops Pastor Letter, 04/26/2004
 
Bishops Express Hope for 'Holy Conferencing'
A UMNS Report By Neill Caldwell*

PITTSBURGH (UMNS) -- On the eve of the United Methodist Church's 2004
General Conference, the denomination's Council of Bishops has issued
a pastoral letter expressing hope for an atmosphere of love and
prayerful Christian conferencing.
 
<snip>
"On some issues, including human sexuality, we are not of one
opinion. At the same time, we are united in our commitment to Jesus
Christ. We are united in our commitment to practice and advocate
unity. We are united in our commitment to uphold the Book of
Discipline. Schism is not a part of God's plan for the church."
 
 
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Secular Articles on GC2004 - Many were published; this one is of interest to Northern Illinois Conference:
BAPTISMAL REMINDERS

As Methodist delegates filed in to a sprawling convention center in downtown Pittsburgh, more liberal members of the church stood by with glass bowls of water and asked conference participants not to forget their baptism.

Among those bearing water was the Rev. Bonnie Beckonchrist, lead pastor of the First United Methodist Church in Arlington Heights, Illinois, who is part of a group seeking greater inclusiveness.

"We baptize people in the Methodist church long before we know their sexual orientation," she said. "We want to remind people that in our baptism we are named and claimed by Christ, and you can't erase a watermark."

This year's conference will run through May 7 but because of the fluid nature of the conference, it is not known when delegates will take up the question of homosexuality.

Some conservative Methodists say the church may find a way to weather the current storm, as it did in 1999 when dozens of Methodist ministers on the West Coast participated in a homosexual wedding ceremony in Sacramento, California.
 

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Reports on GC2004 04/27/2004 session:
 
UMNS Articles: 
There is a daily wrap up article, but it's very difficult to get to the UMC site to provide you links.  As an alternative, this site posts UMNS news articles and other news:  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/UMCalledOut/
Called Out" is an information service about LGBT religious concerns sponsored by Affirmation: United Methodists for Lesbian, Gay, and Transgendered Concerns. Affirmation is not an official body of the UMC. This is a public, read-only mailing list. Anyone may join, no matter what their opinions. The sponsors of this list support full inclusion and justice for LGBT people in society and The United Methodist Church. Content and viewpoints of materials and links will vary with the source. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/UMCalledOut/messages/
 
There is also a transcript of Bishop Carder's address on the UMC site, but again, can't get access right now.
 
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Reporter Interactive: 

Effort fails to have bishops preside in committees  04/27/04 By Cynthia B. Astle Editor

PITTSBURGH | An effort to defuse political tensions at General Conference by having bishops preside in legislative committees was defeated by a surprisingly narrow margin April 27.

Delegates voted 493 to 480 in favor of an amendment by the Rev. David Severe of the Oklahoma Annual Conference to restore the historic practice of legislative committees electing their own leaders.

Comment:  I believe I heard NIC delegate Lonnie Chafin move to bring this to a vote while debate was going on -- bkk.
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Affirmation Daily Newsletter, Drops of Water:
 
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GC2004 Updates by Faithful Christian Laity:  http://www.ucmpage.org/discuss_bb/viewtopic.php?t=1287
This unofficial BB is being used by Faithful Christian Laity (evangelical group in PNWAC) to provide updates.  Cathy Biehler is volunteering with Good News and is attending the entire conference.
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Updates to NIC VOICE Website:
 
 
 

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