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Monday Conference decisions…
The proposed Strategic Priorities were endorsed as a working document following a thirty-minute discussion that included the approval of several “friendly amendments.”
Four amendments to the United Methodist Church’s constitution were reviewed and voted upon. They were originally approved at the 2012 General Conference of The United Methodist Church and required ratification by two-thirds of the voting members of Annual Conferences worldwide. Essentially editorial modifications, each of the four received nearly unanimous support.
Action on five Resolutions was postponed until the 2014 session of the Iowa Annual Conference. The decision to wait until next year was made because of the limited time remaining for adequate discussion prior to the required adjournment. An assurance was given that the postponed Resolutions would be scheduled early in next year’s agenda.
The resolutions focused on “a National Amendment to the US Constitution on Corporate Personhood,” calling for support an “amendment to the Constitution that will abolish corporate personhood and that money is not equivalent to free-speech;” “Immigration Reform,” calling for prayer “for all whose lives are affected by unjust immigration laws, including enforcers; to practice holy conferencing in local communities” among other measures; “Labeling of Genetically Engineered Foods” calling for “state and federal legislation for labeling of Genetically Engineered foods” and the Conference to “Urge both individuals and churches to educate congregations about Genetically Engineered foods and why it is important to label our food;” “Combating Racism and Sexism” which calls the Conference to “take the call to repent of racism and sexism seriously by holding quadrennial seminars or workshops;” and “Response to General Conference In action” which calls the Conference to affirm “its commitment to the ecclesiastical rights of all persons and declares its opposition to continue distinctions of church law that restrict ministries to LGBT persons,” the dollars that “clergy and congregations encountering institutional discrimination may feel bound by conscience to offer the ministries of the church to all persons on an equal basis,” and that the “pursuit of disciplinary action against any person providing equal access to the sacraments or rituals of the church may cause harm to LGBT persons, their sisters and brothers in Christ, faithful clergy, the church itself, and all members of the family of God.”