Calendar Item 991

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The Petition is amended as follows:
Whereas the Office of Loans and Scholarships, a unit of The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, administers about 0 scholarship programs that provided $4.8 million in awards to about 60 scholarship programs that provided $4.8 million in awards to about 3,540 students in 2006, and
Whereas this Office provided another $1.2 million in loans to 500 students, and
Whereas applicants must be active, full members of a United Methodist Church, and
Whereas applicants must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States of America, and
Whereas these programs relate require enrollment in colleges or universities accredited by professional accrediting agencies in the USA, and
Whereas, these conditions the requirement of US citizenship or permanent resident status excludes substantial  significant portion of our members from access to these loans and scholarships, and
Whereas The United Methodist Church is maturing rapidly as a global denomination with over 30% of this membership outside the USA, principally in Africa , and with increasing U.S. membership from among various immigrant groups such as Hispanics and Latinos.
Therefore, be it resolved that the 2008 General Conference instructs the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry to compete a review by 2012 or sooner  as soon as possible of all policies and legal restrictions governing its student loans and scholarships .  and eliminate any requirements for U.S. citizenship or legal resident status for applicants.   The review should be designed to discover and correct any policies or practices that violate our principles of inclusiveness and justice by precluding any of our members.