Petition 81341

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Deaconesses and Home Missioners (81341-GM-¶1313.2)

Amend ¶1313.2 as follows:
    2.    Deaconesses, who are lay women, and home missioners, who are lay men, are professionally trained persons who have been led by the Holy Spirit to devote their lives to Christlike service under the authority of the Church.  Their area of service shall be consistent with the doctrinal standards and Social Principles of The United Methodist Church.  They are approved by the General Board of Global Ministries and commissioned by a bishop at a session of the board or at a setting approved by the board.  They shall have a continuing relationship to The United Methodist Church through the General Board of Global Ministries.

Rationale

The Discipline currently provides few concrete, permanent standards for the work of deaconesses and home missioners.  This simple, minimal requirement would help ensure that no such work will be in opposition to the well-established core beliefs of our church.