General Conference Resolutions

upcoming meeting

NICEA
Northern Illinois Conference
Evangelical Association
ANNUAL DINNER
Thursday
June 7, 2012
5:30 p.m.
Broadway Ballroom
Pheasant Run Resort

NICEA usually meets on the first Saturday morning of each month.
Next Meeting:
TBA

James Blue, 1771 Sherwood Road, Des Plaines, IL 60016
NICEA RESOLUTIONS

Title:  AMENDING PARAGRAPH 161J ON ABORTION Discipline ¶161J

Title:  CRITERIA FOR AFFILIATION WITH THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH Discipline ¶1415.1

Title:  DELETE “3204. SUPPORT FOR THE RELIGIOUS COALITION FOR REPRODUCTIVE CHOICE” FROM THE BOOK OF RESOLUTIONS (2008) Book of Resolutions 3204

Title:  NOMINATION OF MEMBERS TO SERVE ON THE COMMISSION ON THE GENERAL CONFERENCE (¶511) Discipline ¶511.1b

Title:  AMENDING ¶120 MISSION STATEMENT Discipline ¶120 Financial Implications:  None

Title: DEFENDING RELIGIOUS FREEDOM Discipline ¶ 1004 Financial Implications: None


Title:  AMENDING PARAGRAPH 161J ON ABORTION
Discipline ¶161J

Financial Implications:  None

The Northern Illinois  Annual Conference hereby petitions the 2012 General Conference to amend Paragraph 161J of The Book of Discipline by deleting the fifth sentence “We recognize tragic conflicts of life with life that may justify abortion, and in such cases we support the legal option of abortion under proper medical procedures.,”

So that the amended ¶161J would read:
“Paragraph 161J) Abortion -- The beginning of life and the ending of life are the God-given boundaries of human existence. While individuals have always had some degree of control over when they would die, they now have the awesome power to determine when and even whether new individuals will be born. Our belief in the sanctity of unborn human life makes us reluctant to approve abortion. But we are equally bound to respect the sacredness of the life and well-being of the mother and the unborn child. We recognize tragic conflicts of life with life that may justify abortion, and in such cases we support the legal option of abortion under proper medical procedures. We support parental, guardian, or other responsible adult notification and consent before abortions can be performed on girls who have not yet reached the age of legal adulthood. We cannot affirm abortion as an acceptable means of birth control, and we unconditionally reject it as a means of gender selection. We oppose the use of late-term abortion known as dilation and extraction (partial-birth abortion) and call for the end of this practice except when the physical life of the mother is in danger and no other medical procedure is available, or in the case of severe fetal anomalies incompatible with life. Before providing their services, abortion providers should be required to offer women the option of anesthesia. We call all Christians to a searching and prayerful inquiry into the sorts of conditions that may cause them to consider abortion. The Church shall offer ministries to reduce unintended pregnancies. We commit our Church to continue to provide nurturing ministries to those who terminate a pregnancy, to those in the midst of a crisis pregnancy, and to those who give birth. We particularly encourage the Church, the government, and social service agencies to support and facilitate the option of adoption. (See Paragraph 161L.) We affirm and encourage the Church to assist the ministry of crisis pregnancy centers and pregnancy resource centers that compassionately help women find feasible alternatives to abortion. Governmental laws and regulations do not provide all the guidance required by the informed Christian conscience. Therefore, a decision concerning abortion should be made only after thoughtful and prayerful consideration by the parties involved, with medical, family, pastoral, and other appropriate counsel.”

RATIONALE:
¶ 161J is currently morally inconsistent because it speaks of “the unborn child” and yet supports laws that permit abortion, which takes the life of the unborn child.  ¶ 161J, as amended, can lead The United Methodist Church to rejoin historic Christianity on life and abortion in aspiring to protect the unborn child and mother.

John E. Juergensmeyer

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Title:  CRITERIA FOR AFFILIATION WITH THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
Discipline ¶1415.1

Financial Implications:  Potential reduction in expenses of an undeterminable amount


The Illinois Northern IAnnual Conference hereby petitions the 2012 General Conference to AMEND ¶1415.1 by ADDING the following sentence after the first sentence:  No institution that provides officially recognized training for ministry in a non-Christian religion shall be listed as affiliated with, or provided funding by, The United Methodist Church.
So that ¶1415.1 would read:
     ¶ 1415. Purposes and Objectives-1.  To establish the criteria that must be met by schools, colleges, universities, and theological schools to achieve and retain listing as institutions affiliated with The United Methodist Church.  No institution that provides officially recognized training for ministry in a non-Christian religion shall be listed as affiliated with, or provided funding by, The United Methodist Church.

RATIONALE:
It is counterproductive for The UMC to fund and support with its name an institution that actively undermines its stated mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world and our Doctrinal Standards.  It dilutes our message to an unbelieving world, to whom we invite to faith in Jesus Christ.

John E. Juergensmeyer

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Title:  DELETE “3204. SUPPORT FOR THE RELIGIOUS COALITION FOR REPRODUCTIVE CHOICE” FROM THE BOOK OF RESOLUTIONS (2008)
Book of Resolutions #3204

Financial Implications:  Substantial reduction in expenses

The Northern Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church hereby petitions the 2012 General Conference to delete “3204. Support for the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice” in its entirety from The Book of Resolutions of The United Methodist Church (2008).
RATIONALE:
The “RCRC declares that it” was founded in 1973 to safeguard the newly won constitutional right to abortion,” and  RCRC works for abortion rights in any and all circumstances.  The UMC teaches that moral discernment on matters related to abortion is essential; the church is “equally bound to respect the sacredness of the life and well-being of the mother and the unborn child.”   (Discipline [2008], Paragraph 161J);

John E. Juergensmeyer

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Title:  NOMINATION OF MEMBERS TO SERVE ON THE COMMISSION ON THE GENERAL CONFERENCE (¶511)
Discipline ¶511.1b

Financial Implications:  None

The Northern Illinois Annual Conference hereby petitions the 2012 General Conference to AMEND ¶511.1b by ADDING the following sentence after the first sentence:  Additional persons who meet the qualifications may be nominated from the floor of General Conference.
So that ¶511.1b would read:
     b) Members shall be nominated from the elected delegates to the General Conference by the Council of Bishops at its fall meeting preceding General Conference and elected by the General Conference for a term of eight years.  Additional persons who meet the qualifications may be nominated from the floor of General Conference.  The commission shall be equally divided between clergy and lay membership to the extent possible with consideration of the membership qualifications specified in ¶710.  Approximately half of the commission shall be elected by the General Conference each quadrennium.

RATIONALE:
The Commission on the General Conference makes crucial decisions regarding the location, rules, and agenda of the General Conference.  The delegates of the General Conference should be able to have input into who can be elected to this commission. 

Dr. Dan Henry

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Title:  AMENDING ¶120 MISSION STATEMENT
Discipline ¶120
Financial Implications:  None

The Northern Illinois Annual Conference hereby petitions the 2012 General Conference to amend ¶120 in the 2008 Book of Discipline by adding the following phrase in the first sentence, “for the salvation of souls and”
So that the amended ¶120 would read:
“The mission of the Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the salvation of souls and for the transformation of the world.  Local churches provide the most significant arena through which disciple-making occurs.”

RATIONALE: 

The transformation of the world only becomes a realistic goal AFTER people have experienced salvation and new birth through Jesus Christ.  And the transformation of the world will not be completed until Jesus Christ returns in glory.  In the meantime, the Church should be clear that saving souls is our first order of business, and transforming the world follows from it.

Dr. Dan Henry

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Title: DEFENDING RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
Discipline ¶ 1004
Financial Implications: None


The Northern Illinois Annual Conference hereby petitions the 2012 General Conference to
amend the Book of Discipline ¶ 1004 by adding the following paragraph to the third paragraph:

     Out of concern for the persecution of religious minorities, particularly Christians, in

many nations, the board shall regularly bring to the Church's attention one of those countries

in which the most egregious violations of religious freedom are occurring, and call the

Church to pray for those who are persecuted because of their faith.  The board shall use its

considerable resources and contacts to petition members of the U.S. Congress and the

Executive Branch, as well as leaders and legislators of other nations, to use their influence

and to apply appropriate pressure on those countries in which the most egregious

violations of religious freedom are occurring. The board shall report to the 2016 General

Conference and each successive General Conference on the work of the General Board in

this area and the current status of religious freedom and religious persecution in the world.


RATIONALE:
It is estimated that more Christians were martyred in the 20th century than in the nineteen previous centuries combined, and the 21st century may witness even more persecution than the 20th century.  The U.S. State Department currently lists 13 countries of “particular concern” for egregious violations of religious freedom.  The Voice of the Martyrs organization estimates that Christian persecution exists in more than 40 nations today. The prevalence of persecution because of religious beliefs presents an urgent  call for work on objective #4 in the General Board of Church and Society; “Encourage Christian lines of action that assist humankind to move toward a world where peace and justice are achieved.”  (¶ 1003, Book of Discipline.).

Carol M. Noren

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