Petition 80018

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Remove Some Chargeable Offenses (80018-JA-¶2702.1b)

Amend ¶2702, item 1b, of the Book of Discipline as follows:
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) The statute of limitations went into effect as law on a prospective basis starting on January 1, 1993. All alleged offenses that occurred prior to this date are time barred. * 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; (b) practices declared by The United Methodist Church to be incompatible with Christian teachings including but not limited to: being a self-avowed practicing homosexual; or conducting ceremonies which celebrate homosexual unions; or performing same-sex wedding ceremonies , (c) crime; (d) failure to perform the work of the ministry; (e) disobedience to the Order and Discipline of The United Methodist Church; (f) dissemination of doctrines contrary to the established standards of doctrine of The United Methodist Church; (g) relationships and/or behavior that undermines the ministry of another pastor; 16 (h) child abuse; (i) sexual abuse; 17 (j) sexual misconduct or (k) harassment, including, but not limited to racial and/or sexual harassment; or (l) racial or gender discrimination.  

Rationale

The United Methodist Church acknowledges that all persons are of sacred worth.  Jesus calls us to act in ways that enhance life, expand love and call people into the experience of a new being.