Petition 81021

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Church Membership Eligibility (81021-LC-¶214)

Amend ¶214 of The Book of Discipline as follows:
The United Methodist Church is part of the holy catholic (universal) church, as we confess in the Apostles’ Creed.  In the church, Jesus Christ is proclaimed and professed as Lord and Savior.  All people may attend its worship services, participate in its programs, receive the sacraments and become members in any local church in the connection (Par. 4).  No person shall be excluded from the United Methodist Church for any reason that includes race, color, national origin, status, economic condition, gender, gender identity, marital status, sexual orientation or ability.   In the case of persons whose disabilities prevent them from reciting the vows, their legal guardian[s], themselves members in full covenant relationship with God and the Church, the community of faith, may recite the appropriate vows on their behalf.

Rationale

    Paragraph IV of the Constitution of the United Methodist Church acknowledges that all persons are of sacred worth and establishes the church as open to all persons. In light of Judicial Council Decision 1032, the proposed amendment removes ambiguity regarding qualification for membership in the United Methodist local churches.