Petition 80518

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GCCUIC Support of the NCC (80518-IC-R9999)

Add a new resolution as follows:
Resolution 91    (Continue Membership in the National Council of Churches, pp. 263-264, The Book of Resolutions of the United Methodist Church, 2004, adopted 1992, amended and adopted 2000, 2004) reads as follows:
  
    WHEREAS, the Constitution of The United Methodist Church states that the dividedness in the church of Jesus Christ “is a hindrance to its mission in the world” and has committed us to ecumenical involvement; and,
WHEREAS, The United Methodist Church and its predecessor churches have been charter members of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A.; and,
WHEREAS, The NCCCUSA is a “community through which the churches are seeking to make visible their unity given in Christ”; and, WHEREAS, the NCCCUSA is “an instrument of the churches' ecumenical witness to live responsibly in mutual accountability and service”; and,
WHEREAS, the NCCCUSA provides a unique opportunity for denominational representatives to share divergent traditions in matters of faith and practice; and,
WHEREAS, the NCCCUSA provides a channel for denominational cooperation in Christian education, mission and justice issues, communications, interfaith matters, evangelism, and relationships with local ecumenical expressions; and,
WHEREAS, United Methodist delegates from each of the jurisdictions have offered distinguished leadership to the NCCCUSA, and successive General Conferences have supported the continuing membership in the NCCCUSA since its founding in 1950; and,
WHEREAS, we rejoiced in the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the NCCCUSA in 2000,
Therefore, be it resolved, that the 2004 General Conference of The United Methodist Church reaffirm its membership in and support of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., in accordance with the 2004 Book of Discipline, ¶2404.2.a.

The NCC, composed of member communions that include 45 million people, is the largest, oldest, and most representative ecumenical agency in the United States. The United Methodist Church’s strong support of the NCC reinforces the UMC’s role as a part of the ecumenical movement.  The NCC’s five program commissions ensure that the NCC’s founding goal of furthering Christian unity is advanced through a wide variety of approaches.  
  
The General Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns (GCCUIC) has primary responsibility for the administration of the Interdenominational Cooperation Fund, which supports the works of the NCC. The General Commission, in cooperation with the General Council on Finance and Administration and the The Council of Bishops, monitors the financial status of all agencies that receive support from ICF dollars. The GCCUIC understands its role to be that of a steward for funds that are provided for the work of ecumenical organizations. The Book of Discipline ¶ 814.5 provides guidelines for the disbursement of funds to ecumenical organizations and outlines the consequences in the event that an organization fails to fulfill the funding provisions set by the GCCUIC. 
  
Therefore be it resolved that the 2008 General Conference of The United Methodist Church affirm the General Commission on Christian Unity and Inter-religious Concern’s stewardship of the ‘Interdenominational Cooperation Fund,’ and oppose the arbitrary capping of or restricting the amount of funds that the GCCUIC may award to the NCC.