Petition 81104

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Inclusivity (81104-GA-¶4-C)

Amend 4 Article IV as follows:
Inclusiveness of the Church--
The United Methodist Church is a part of the church universal, which is one Body in Christ.  The United Methodist Church acknowledges that all persons are of sacred worth.  All persons without regard to race, color, national origin, status, or economic conditions, shall be eligible to attend its worship services, participate in its programs, receive the sacraments, upon  baptism be admitted as baptized members, and upon taking vows declaring the Christian faith, become professing members in any local church in the connection.  In The United Methodist Church no conference or other organizational unit of the Church shall be structured so as to exclude any member or any constituent body of the Church because of race, color, national  
origin, status or economic condition
.. All unbaptized persons willing to be baptized and recite the appropriate vows, and all baptized persons willing to recite the appropriate vows, shall be accepted into membership in any local church in the connection.

Rationale

The Gospels affirm the radical inclusion of all persons in the Body of Christ.  Paragraph 127 of the Book of Discipline states “Entrance into the church is acknowledged in baptism...Baptism is followed by nurture and the consequent awareness by the baptized of the claim to ministry in Christ placed upon...