Pro-homosexuality UM Forces Plead For "peace, when there is no peace" while Faithful UMs Murmur For Separation From Evil
Here's my report for today:
April 28, 2004
Day 2 – General Conference 2004
After opening worship this morning, a Delegate from Arkansas moved to refer a question to the Judicial Council regarding paragraphs 304 & 2702: Are these paragraphs binding? I do not have the copy of the exact question asked, but it is referring the Dammann trial decision to the Judicial Council.
The motion was made and seconded. No discussion. Vote taken: 64.1% yes; with 35.9% no. The motion carried.
The Judicial Council must respond with a declaratory decision within a day or two. J
Bob Hoshibata took a moment of personal privilege and invited all delegates to come by the PNW area and receive an origami crane. People could pray for peace and sign in a special book for this purpose.
Hoshibata spoke about the PNW’s good works (that should begin a nice dialogue - - as to whether good works save us or not ) that they are doing in mission to Honduras - - stating as to how they are making Disciples there.
Most of the day was spent in committee work.
I am observing the Discipleship Committee, which has broken down into sub-groups. My sub-group was following resolutions put forth regarding the hymnal & ordinal legislation, but also got assigned some other topics.
One was a resolution put forth regarding asking that General Conference assign responsibility to the General Board of Discipleship for providing and/or proposting program resources for UM’s for and with homosexual persons and family that is consistent with P. 161 and addresses how to be in ministry with persons wishing to come out of homosexuality.
The sub-committee really put forth some good discussion and it was recognized that the resolution put forth was grace-filled. I could see that some people were beginning to see that you can’t support both sides of the issue: either we support people who wish to be transformed or support people who don’t wish to be transformed. An African Delegate spoke eloquently on the subject and simply said that if the Americans wish to support homosexuality then the Africans will leave. In Africa they see persons with sexual problems as needing to be understood and ministered to but that it is a spiritual issue that they address. J
The sub-committee voted for non-concurrence and the larger committee will review the issue tomorrow.
I am here to also make connections and the Lord has opened some significant opportunities. “Jabez moments”. People are surprised to hear that persons in the PNW are greatly upset by the Dammann trial. Many have heard from their own constituents that this issue must be dealt with. Some have had hundreds and thousands of letters and e-mails. It’s a matter of keeping their own districts intact for some.
Discussion about possible scism / split is happening. In spite of the preaching of the Bishops and Layperson. As one person said it in committee: “People are saying ‘Peace, peace.’ But there is no peace.”
This committee is going to be dealing with hymnal / ordinal resolution tomorrow. I will say that I have very grave concerns about the qualifications of some of members of this sub-committee to deal with these issues.
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