Petition 81127

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Special Sundays (81127-GA-¶265)

   Amend ¶¶ 265 and 1902.6, per ¶ 507.2 (composite petition) as shown:
    1. Amend ¶ 265:
   ¶ 265. Four  Six special Sundays without....functions to be implemented.
    1. Heritage Sunday—Heritage Sunday  Aldersgate Sunday—Aldersgate Sunday shall be observed on Aldersgate Day (May 24), or the Sunday preceding that date. It commemorates John Wesley’s heart-warming (born-again) experience on May 24, 1738, and marks the beginning of the Wesleyan Revival, the British phase of Europe’s Pietistic Reformation.
    2. Heritage Sunday—shall be observed on the third Sunday in June (Father’s Day) or, if Pentecost falls in June, on Pentecost.
The day provides an opportunity for reflection on heritage, celebration of where the Church has been, what it has received from “so great a cloud of witnesses” (Hebrews 12:1), and how it understands itself as it shapes us today , and the meaning of Christian conferencing . It is scheduled in June, a month when several United Methodist pioneers were born including: John Wesley (born June 17 or June 28, New Style, 1703), Philip William Otterbein (born June 3, 1726), Henry Boehm (June 8, 1775), and William Nast (born June 15, 1807).  Its observance on Pentecost, when Pentecost falls in June, commemorates the birthday of the church (33 A.D.) and the beginning of the Evangelical United Brethren tradition with the first meeting of Philip Otterbein and Martin Boehm on Pentecost 1767. The observance of Heritage Sunday shall be under the general supervision of the General Commission on Archives and...
    2.  3. Laity Sunday—Laity Sunday shall be observed...
   4. International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church—The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church shall be observed on the second Sunday in November. Since 1996, more than 100,000 churches around the world have gathered on this Sunday to pray for persecuted Christians as well as for their persecutors (Matthew 5:44). More Christians have died for their faith in the twentieth century than in the previous nineteen combined. The United Methodist Church joined in 2000. The observance of the International Day of Prayer in The United Methodist Church shall be under the supervision of the General Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns in cooperation with national and international organizations concerned with persecuted Christians and religious liberty.
    3.  5. Organ and Tissue Donor Sunday—Organ and Tissue Donor Sunday shall be observed on the second  third Sunday in November...
    4.  6. Men’s Ministry Sunday—Men’s Ministry Sunday may be observed...
  
    2. Amend ¶ 1902.6:
    6.  To pursue or initiate relationships...in the U.S.A., to cooperate with national and international agencies concerned with persecuted Christians and religious liberty, promoting the churchwide observance of the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (¶ 265.4), and to seek other areas of cooperation and common cause in the advancement of the cause of Christ.

Rationale

Conflicting observances keep upstaging May Heritage Sundays (1977-1980, 2005-2008) and April (1981-2004). May (Aldersgate) observances denigrate EUB legacies. “Easter fatigue” undermines April. In 1995, Chicago’s Calvary UMC switched to June. Since 2000, our International Day of Prayer observance suffers from no sponsor. The GCCUIC should sponsor it.