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On August 29 (after the Judicial Council decision), our board issued a statement which says, in part,

"Therefore, the Wisconsin Board of Church and Society supports those pastors and congregations who have conducted homosexual unions in the past, those who are working to change the Book of Discipline to again allow the celebration of such unions, and those pastors who, for reasons of conscience, are currently conducting such unions."

This statement was posted on the Affirmation web site, but did not get wide distribution.

One of our WACUM board members asked our Bishop for an interpretation about whether this statement was consistent with the Discipline, and particularly whether an official church board could in essence support disobedience to the order and discipline of the UMC. She responded, in part,

"Clearly any individual, board, annual conference has the right to disagree with the Book of Discipline (save for the General Rules and Confession of Faith). . . I believe that the Conference Board of Church and Society does have the right to indicate their pastoral concern for those who have performed unions in the past and to work to change the Book of Discipline. With regard to the matter of pastors who may conduct holy unions in the future, the Judicial Council and the Book of Discipline are clear. Pastors are not to perform such ceremonies. Although the current church law is a matter of deep sadness for me, as a Bishop of the church, I have been consecrated to uphold the Book of Discipline and will to the best of my ability do so. I anticipate the Board of Church and Society will be willing to stand with any pastor who may be charged with violating the current law of the church and that is the intention of the third phrase of their resolution."

In Christ, Tom Lambrecht


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