Nordic #UMC Opposes Classic Strategy, Seeks to Prevent Punitive Methodism

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Credit: Anne Jorunn Midtkil

Norwegian Response to GC2019

Final week, 88 professing members from 15 distinctive congregations in the Norwegian Annual Conference (pastors, deacons and lay members of Metodistkirken I Norge) have presented formal legislation to the Norwegian Annual Conference 2019, that “The Annual Conference 2019 establishes a committee that will present to the annual conference 2021, doable option models that give LGBTQ + persons the very same chance to enter into marriage and to serve in the Methodist Church in Norway, on the very same basis as other members of the church.” In addition to the 88, a petition is circulating on the net exactly where members and pals of the church can assistance the proposal. This petition has so far gathered 135 names, and it will continue till the AC begins in the middle of June.

Even though the numbers may well be not impressive in an international viewpoint, the Norwegian Annual Conference has only 47 congregations, and the quantity of professing members are about four,150. The total UMC population in Norway is around 11,500. A very good work!

Right here is the original document and signatories. The following is an English translation supplied by a member of a Facebook group “Nordic Methodists for a New Way Forward.”

Legislation to the 2019 Norwegian Annual Conference

BACKGROUND TO THE PROPOSAL:
Primarily based on our interpretation of the Bible, and with the assistance of private knowledge, we sincerely think that God currently blesses marriage in between genders and that our church commits a good injustice by refusing to do the very same. Additionally, we are convinced that God himself calls each heterosexual and LGBTQ + persons, and believes that our church commits a good injustice by actively stopping persons from following their godly get in touch with, no matter if to turn out to be a priest / deacon, or to marry, solely on the basis of their orientation.

Just after the Common Conference in St. Louis, we recognize that the Methodist Church in Norway, by means of its affiliation with the United Methodist Church, should reside with the church’s existing attitude to homosexual practices, and continue to refuse marriage and ordination of LGBTQ + persons.
Mainly because we think this is an assault on LGBTQ + persons inside and outdoors the church,
… since we think this is contrary to the fundamental message of the Church of God’s really like for, and acceptance of, all mankind produced God’s image,
… since we think this is in the way of the Methodist Church getting capable to preach a credible message in today’s Norwegian society,

WE PRESENT THE FOLLOWING PROPOSAL to the Methodist Church’s Annual Conference 2019:

The annual conference 2019 establishes a committee that will present to the annual conference 2021 doable option models that give LGBTQ + persons the very same chance to enter into marriage and to serve in the Methodist Church in Norway, on the very same basis as other members of the church.

The committee’s mandate is to recognize what possibilities the Norwegian Methodist churches have to realize this, inside or outdoors the United Methodist Church, and to market concrete proposals. The committee will also describe how the Norwegian Annual Conference, if needed, can leave the United Methodist Church. The Committee shall assess the consequences of the many options, organizationally and economically.

In its function, the committee will maintain itself informed of equivalent / parallel processes inside the United Methodist Church in our personal episcopal location (Nordic &amp Baltic Nations), Europe and the United States. The committee should seek the advice of these environments, amongst other points with a view to membership / affiliation with a new international methodist movement that may well be established in the course of the committee’s term of function. The committee will present a preliminary report / briefing on its function for the Annual Conference 2020.

The committee will consist of 3 ordained (pastors / deacons) and 3 lay members of the Methodist Church in Norway. These are selected by priests and laymen, respectively, in the course of the annual conference, but in a joint, open session. The committee constitutes itself and organizes its personal function. In the case of voting, the committee’s leader has a double vote.
The committee will function with the greatest doable openness and transparency. To maintain expenses down, comprehensive use of digital communication is essential, but the committee really should be provided a framework that permits up to 3 open meetings / hearings associated to neighborhood churches in distinctive components of the nation.

Your turn

We are seeing a increasing tide of these now: initially the German executive leadership of their central conference pledged to not stick to the Classic Strategy, and now the Norwegian area has pledged to strategy to override the Classic Strategy or to leave United Methodism altogether.

Our worldwide church has some critical choices to make if it desires to continue to be a worldwide 1.

Thoughts?

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