Petition 80108

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Optional Addition to Membership Vows (80108-LC-¶217)

Amend ¶217 by adding optional vow 8 after current vow 7:
  
8.  (optional, based on prayerful introspection) To specifically reject violence in all their human relations, using the following words as a guide:  “In joining the United Methodist Church, I accept and affirm the authority of Jesus in all his aspects, Word, Works, and Spirit, as the revelation of God’s will for His people, both in this world and the next.  I therefore repent of my sins against man and humanity; and henceforth, I fully and unconditionally renounce all further acts of violence against man and humanity, whether in word or in deed, whether in anger or self-defense.  In so doing, and with eyes open, I accept the risks of reprisal and alienation that will severely test my faith, and that of those whom I hold dear.  From this day forward, I ask no one to defend me, but God Himself.”

Rationale

There may be individuals, even among today’s unchurched, who pray for a symbolic or personal contribution they can make to ending the cycle of violence that sustains never-ending bloodshed.  To that end, the proposed addition is a short, public  declaration, to be offered to prospective UMC members for prayerful consideration.