Petition 81141

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Year 44 Task Force (81141-GA-NonDis-!)

   Year 44 Task Force
   The General Conference directs the Council of Bishops, the Connectional Table, and the General Council on Finance and Administration to form a joint Year 44 Task Force to study the worldwide Church structure and draft legislation for restructuring general church agencies to be considered at the 2012 General Conference, the forty-fourth year in the life of The United Methodist Church.
   Membership. The task force shall consist of one hundred members. Thirty-four shall be appointed by the Council of Bishops and thirty-three each by the Connectional Table and the General Council on Finance and Administration. Representation of central conferences and jurisdictions shall be proportional to the share each has in the total church membership. To the extent possible with this principle of proportionality, the Connectional Table and General Council on Finance and Administration appointments shall follow the recommendations of ¶ 705 in the Discipline.
   Funding. The General Council on Finance and Administration shall determine the task force’s funding needs and provide for them.
   Mission. The task force shall research and report to the general Church the changes in the Church Constitution and the Discipline necessary to:
1   merge the jurisdictions into one USA-wide central conference, eliminating the jurisdictions entirely.
2       merge the Connectional Table with the Commission on Central Conference Affairs.
3       dissolve the General Commission on the General Conference and transfer its duties to a unit of the General Council on Finance and Administration.
4       make the General Board of Church and Society a unit of the General Board of Discipleship.
5       merge the Women’s Division of the General Board of Global Ministries with the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women as the General Commission on United Methodist Women.
   The commission shall also research the extent to which general agency activities are concerned exclusively with concerns of the Church in the United States and recommend which agencies should be transferred to USA central conference control.
   Schedule and Reporting. The task force’s initial report shall be published by January 31, 2010. The General Council on Finance and Administration shall be the clearinghouse for feedback from across the Church concerning this initial report. The task force shall make its final recommendations incorporating this feedback, where relevant. These recommendations shall take the form of General Conference petitions made in accordance with ¶ 507. Task force members shall be available for interpreting their recommendations at the 2012 General Conference.
   Dissolution. The task force shall dissolve at the adjournment of the 2012 General Conferences. Its records shall be deposited with the General Commission on Archives and History.

Rationale

The principle is downsizing. Let’s create a USA central conference (first proposed in 1999) and dissolve the jurisdictions. We cannot afford a new bureaucracy. Jurisdictions and central conferences are equivalent. Wesley taught that social and personal holiness cannot be separated; therefore, Church and Society and Discipleship should merge.