Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Standing Committee adopts statement of confession, commitment.

Standing Committee adopted "A Statement of Confession and Commitment" with the
recommendation that it be adopted as a statement of the 2009 Annual Conference. Standing Committee is made up of the district delegates to Annual Conference holding meetings prior to the Conference, and adds sessions during the Conference as needed.

The action was taken at an early morning session of Standing Committee on Monday, July 14. The statement will come to the 2009 Annual Conference for consideration.

The statement was presented by a committee chosen by Standing Committee to formulate an appropriate response, after receiving a request for counsel from the Annual Conference Program and Arrangements Committee. The request for counsel came because the Conference exhibit hall has become a "battleground" between those who are for and against the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, according to Program and Arrangements.

The request prompted a discussion in Standing Committee of whether the denomination should revisit the 1983 Annual Conference statement "Human Sexuality from a Christian Perspective," and the committee also held a couple of closed sessions on the matter.

The one-page statement opens with the sentences, "The issue of homosexuality continues to bring tension and division within our Body. We are not of one mind on this matter. We believe it is time to name that brokenness." The statement goes on, in part, to confess brokenness, affirm the 1983 Annual Conference statement on Human Sexuality as containing "an honest tension," and state that the tension "provides a healthy, if uncomfortable, growing edge that turns us toward one another and toward Christ rather than away from each other." It also states that "the 1983 paper remains our official position," commits to continue to wrestle with tensions in that document, calls for the avoidance of unkindness toward those who differ, and commits "to continue to seek the mind of Christ together."

The "Statement of Confession and Commitment" was adopted by Standing Committee without opposition or abstention. Discussion focused on how to present the statement to the 2009 Conference and how to distribute it.

Source: 7/16/2008

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