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NCJ Delegates acknowledge harm done

Posted: November 14 2019 at 09:47 AM
Delegation

General and Jurisdictional delegates from the North Central Jurisdiction (NCJ), meeting in suburban Chicago, have released the following statement:

Gathering on November 8 and 9, 2019, in a crucial moment in the life of The United Methodist Church, we, 140 members present and voting from the North Central Jurisdiction’s Annual Conference delegations and the North Central Jurisdiction’s Mission Council, through honest, prayerful dialogue discerned the following:

  • We as NCJ delegations acknowledge and apologize for the harm that is being done and the escalation of potential harm that will begin January 1, 2020. We repent of the ways we have abused our privilege and the ways that it has harmed the marginalized.
  • We witness the Holy Spirit moving in our midst. We witness God’s seeking, saving, healing and liberating grace at work in our communities. We renew our commitment to follow the Spirit’s leading and joining in God’s gracious work.
  • We believe that God is not finished with the people called United Methodist. We renew our commitment to lead our conferences, congregations and ministry settings in “making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world” in just, compassionate, creative, equitable and innovative ways.
  • We call NCJ laity, clergy, Annual Conferences and bishops to covenant to a moratorium on complaints, charges, and trials related to officiating same-gendered weddings and LGBTQIA+ identity and credentialing.
  • We call laity, clergy, Annual Conferences, Boards of Ordained Ministry and bishops to covenant for greater freedom and diversity for ministry with LGBTQIA+ people.
  • We will hold accountable and support laity, clergy, Annual Conferences and bishops in these commitments and calls.
  • When we gather for the 2020 NCJ Conference, we desire to elect bishops who will join us in these commitments and calls.

ADOPTED November 9, 2019

80% support, 18% does not support, 2% abstain

The statement was written during a Pre-General Conference gathering.  The 177 delegates, alternates, and the Mission Council from around the Jurisdiction were guided through small group discussions and open conversations.  While officially non-binding, the statement was adopted by a vote of YES: 80%    NO: 18%    ABSTAIN: 2%

NCJ Mission Council Chairperson, Ryan M. Russell described the outcome

“As the chair of the Mission Council, I had some concrete hopes for the gathering. As the body worked together, the spirit of openness and respect was present even with some disagreement. I am heartened that we as the United Methodist in the NCJ were able to come to a commonplace with the document adopted by this gathering.”

The North Central Jurisdiction includes Northern Illinois, Dakotas, East Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, West Ohio, and Wisconsin Annual Conferences.
 
The 2020 General Conference will take place May 5-15 in Minneapolis, and the 2020 North Central Jurisdictional Conference will take place July 15-18 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. At General Conference, delegates play a key role in making decisions that impact the future of The United Methodist Church, and at Jurisdictional Conference, delegates elect bishops.

For more information:
Contact Jim Searls
NCJ Mission Council, Communications Coordinator
jsearls10@gmail.com

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