Petition 81213

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Eligibility (81213-LC-¶214)

Amend ¶ 214 of the Book of Discipline
¶ 214. Eligibility—The United Methodist Church is a 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 (¶ 4). All people are welcome to attend its worship services, participate in its programs and receive the sacraments. They may become members in any local church in the connection subject to the discretion of the local church pastor, provided that membership is not denied because of the applicant’s race, color, national origin, economic condition, or legal sexual practice in committed, loving, consensual relationships.

Rationale

The petition prohibits pastors from denying membership to anyone solely on the basis of the practice of homosexuality in caring, loving, committed relationships.
It clarifies that pastors have some discretion to deny membership.
By not including “status” in the protected categories it allows denial of membership to sex offenders.