Petition 80461

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Funding the GBCS (80461-C1-R9999)

New Resolution
A Call for Reflection on an Important Stewardship Concern
Whereas: The United Methodist Church in the United States of America is a religious body with total freedom from any government interference in its services, beliefs, practices, writings, or its social outreach as guaranteed by the first amendment of the United States Constitution; and
Whereas: The United Methodist Church in other countries enjoys similar legal protection; and

Whereas: The membership of the United Methodist Church is not a homogeneous body, but is made up of people with different ethnic backgrounds, norms, and different political opinions and social concerns; and
Whereas: Methodists in democratic countries have, by tradition, spoken for themselves through the many secular avenues available to everyone; and
Whereas: The 1965 Declaration of Trust for the Endowment Fund of the Methodist Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. currently run by the General Board of Church and Society (GBCS) restricts funds from that building to “work in the field of temperance and alcohol problems,” but the GBCS has used funds from the building for general operating expenses unrelated to temperance and alcoholism; and
Whereas: The present GBCS has become mainly a political lobbying organization whose members have taken upon themselves to speak about a wide variety of socio-political concerns ostensibly for the entire Church membership when they do not have the legitimate right to do so;
Be it therefore resolved, that the 2008 General Conference calls on the members of the United Methodist Church to prayerfully reflect on whether we should continue to fund the General Board of Church and Society through our apportionments, or whether that money would be better stewarded in non-political ministry work.