Petition 81316

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Chargeable Offense (81316-JA-¶2702.1a)

Amend ¶2702.1a as follows:  
2702. Chargeable Offenses and the Statute of Limitations-1. A bishop, clergy member of an annual conference (¶368), local pastor,  14  clergy on honorable or administrative location, or diaconal minister may be tried when charged (subject to the statute of limitations in ¶2702.4)* with one or more of the following offenses: (a) immorality including but not limited to, not being celibate in singleness or not faithful in a heterosexual marriage, or refusing to answer relevant questions from a bishop, district superintendent, committee on investigation, church trial court, or committee on appeals as to whether or not one is committed to abstaining from sexual relations outside of marriage, defined as the holy union of one man and one woman; (b) practices declared...

Rationale

Clergy who have refused to forthrightly declare whether or not they are living in harmony with the standards for our ministers demonstrate a lack of integrity to which our church should be better equipped to respond.  Clergy need to be willing to honestly share their lives with each other.