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Good News Releases General Conference 2000 Agenda: Doctrine, Apportionments, Membership, CPT, Bishops, Homosexuality, Abortion

From: Maggie Schroeder Maggie@goodnewsmag.org
To: jwarrene@surfsouth.com
Sent: Wednesday, January 12, 2000 3:50 PM
Subject: UM Decision 2000

As Good News prepares for the 2000 General Conference, we believe that the problems facing United Methodism are primarily theological and spiritual. Our church’s greatest need is to experience a fresh touch of God upon us—a powerful outpouring of the Holy Spirit on our churches, seminaries, and leadership at every level. We also need a renewed fidelity to the historic doctrines of the Christian faith and to our Wesleyan doctrinal distinctives.

Having said that, we do recognize that issues of structure and polity can inhibit the spread of the gospel and growth of the kingdom. That is why Good News continues to invest much time and energy in each General Conference.

General Conference is still the body that speaks officially for the United Methodist Church. It can give to the denomination a mandate for course correction, new priorities, and important directional shifts. That happened in 1972 when delegates adopted the ill-conceived guideline of "theological pluralism." It happened again, this time positively, in 1988 when it approved a new theological statement that intentionally replaced "theological pluralism" with the affirmation of the "primacy of Scripture." It happened again in 1996 when delegates voted to prohibit our clergy from performing same-sex covenants.

Yes, what General Conference does can be very important.

Therefore, in preparation for the 2000 General Conference, Good News has produced a seven step renewal agenda which we are presenting to the church. The document, "UM Decision 2000—Seven Steps to Renew the United Methodist Church," represents the Good News platform for the upcoming General Conference. The document notes that United Methodism is a divided church and it is our hope that this platform might help lead us to a healing of the division that exists.

We believe positive action on these seven issues would go a long way toward beginning to rebuild a sense of integrity and hope within the life of our church.

United Methodists need a positive signal from the General Conference delegates in May that the church is moving into the new millennium with a new passion for God as well as a renewed commitment to theological orthodoxy and institutional accountability.

Good News’ strategy extends beyond this seven-point renewal agenda to include plans for a nation-wide prayer network beginning with monthly newsletters in January and daily reports and updates from Cleveland during the 11 days of General Conference. We are expecting an unprecedented, united effort for this very critical meeting which includes an all-out commitment to prayer, fasting, and church-wide prayer vigils unlike anything we’ve seen before.

What follows is the entire text of "UM Decision 2000—Seven Steps to Renew the United Methodist Church," as authorized by the Good News board of directors and approved by executive committee action
November 5, 1999.
—James V. Heidinger II, President and Publisher

UM Decision 2000—Seven Steps to Renew the United Methodist Church

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