The Council of Bishops announced today that all four amendments to The United Methodist Church’s constitution approved by the 2012 General Conference received the required majority of votes to be ratified by annual conferences.
A two-thirds majority vote of General Conference delegates is required to amend the Constitution of The United Methodist Church. The amendments must also be ratified by annual conferences by a two-thirds affirmative vote. The vote results are reported to the Council of Bishops, where they are counted, verified and certified.
The vote counts for each of the amendments were as follows:
Amendment 1: Yes 42,816 No 1,158
Amends Division One, Paragraph 6, Article VI by adding the word "pray" before the words "seek, and work for, unity" so that it reads:
Ecumenical Relations—As part of the church universal, The United Methodist Church believes that the Lord of the church is calling Christians everywhere to strive toward unity; and therefore it will pray, seek, and work for unity at all levels of church life: through world relationships with other Methodist churches and united churches related to The Methodist Church or The Evangelical United Brethren Church, through councils of churches, and through plans of union and covenantal relationships with churches of Methodist or other denominational traditions.
Amendment 2: Yes 41,684 No 1,991
Amends Division Two, Section II, Paragraph 14, Article II by replacing the words "in the month of April or May" so that it reads, "The General Conference shall meet once in four years at such time and in such place as shall be determined by the General Conference or by its duly authorized committees. The change in the preceding sentence shall become effective at the close of General Conference in 2016.
Amendment 3: Yes 41,223 No 2,324
Amends Division Two, Section VI, Paragraph 32, Article I by changing the term "Lay Speaking Ministries" to "Lay Servant Ministries"
Amendment 4: Yes 41,176 No 1,920
Amends Division Two, Section VII, Paragraph 40, Article I to read: "The number, names, and boundaries of the annual conferences and episcopal areas shall be determined by the jurisdictional conferences in the United States of America and by the central conferences outside the United States of America according to the provisions under the respective powers and pursuant to the respective structures of the jurisdictional and the central conferences. The authority of jurisdictional and central conferences provided herein is not circumscribed or limited by the authority provided to the College of Bishops to arrange a plan of episcopal supervision."