The Reconciling Ministries Network, with support from MFSA and others, has worked for months to develop a petition and Resolution to be approved by the Southwest Texas Annual Conference that calls on the UMC General Conference (2012) to amend the Constitution of the United Methodist Church. Many of you may have signed a copy of the petition. The Resolution was sponsored by the Conference Board of Church and Society, and formally presented to the Annual Conference by Rev. Cynthia Kepler-Karrer (Chair of CBCS) on Saturday, June 11.
The Resolution seeks to expand the list of people not to be discriminated against as stated in Paragraph 4, Article IV of Division 1 of the United Methodist Constitution to include those people who have traditionally excluded from membership and full participation in the church. Specifically, the Resolution would add “sexual orientation, or gender identity and expression” to the listing of those not to be excluded.
The Resolution was presented by Rev. Kepler, and after an hour of parliamentary wrangling and discussion, the Resolution WAS PASSED by the SWT Annual Conference! The vote was 384 “for” to 325 “against”. Special thanks to Ann Teich of First UMC Austin’s RMN team for heading up the effort to circulate this petition and resolution, and to Rev. Kepler-Karrer and the Conference Board of Church and Society for their courage in taking the Resolution forward.