Resolution 1524 – Call for a Church Wide Task Force on the Sense of the Assembly Resolution Process

GA-1524
(Sense-of-the-Assembly)
CALL FOR A CHURCH-WIDE TASK FORCE ON THE
SENSE-OF-THE-ASSEMBLY RESOLUTION PROCESS
Download GA-1524 as a PDF · Discuss this Resolution

WHEREAS, being and sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ includes prayerful consideration and faithful action regarding contemporary issues in the light of Scripture, faith, reason, and experience; and

WHEREAS, moral, ethical or religious matters confronting the church, our two nations, and/or the world are important in the life of the church, requiring spiritual discernment and  informed engagement; and

WHEREAS, the current Sense of the Assembly Resolution process provides few, if any, resources to congregations and pastors and few opportunities for meaningful dialogue by the majority of those who attend General Assemblies; and

WHEREAS, the exact status and purpose of Sense of the Assembly resolutions are often misunderstood by the media and by our own members to be official doctrine, stances or statements; and

WHEREAS, this misunderstanding can cause unnecessary confusion and dissension among and within our congregations; and

WHEREAS, our church, as it endeavors to be a movement for wholeness in a broken and fragmented world, has an opportunity to model alternative ways of talking about important issues with one another, ways that are inclusive, holistic and theologically grounded; and

WHEREAS congregations of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and a Task Force of the denomination’s Administrative Committee have faithfully worked over the past biennium on an alternative approach to how the church might engage in moral, ethical or religious matters confronting the church, our two nations, and/or the world; and

WHEREAS, our ecumenical partners, in addition to a number of our denominational ministries, have expressed concern about the ways in which some of the changes under consideration by this Task Force might negatively impact our ecumenical work, including but not limited to our partnership with the United Church of Christ through our combined Global Ministries; and

WHEREAS, Business Resolution 9522 (“Our Common Social Witness”), adopted by the 1995 General Assembly meeting in Pittsburgh, PA (see attached), affirms social witness as an expression of “the whole church,” and locates “the important functions of advocacy, information, and action in matters of peace and justice” in the Office of the General Minister and President, Disciples Home Missions, and the Division of Overseas Ministries;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the General Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada meeting in Columbus, OH, on July 18 – 22, 2015, reaffirms Business Resolution GA 9522 and its authorization of the use of pastoral judgement by the  Division of Overseas Ministries, Disciples Home Missions, and the Office of the General Minister and President in representing the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada in matters of justice and witness; and

FINALLY BE IT RESOLVED that this same General Assembly calls for the Office of General Minister and President, Disciples Home Missions, Division of Overseas Ministries, to convene a balanced broad-based and inclusive task force that shall include representatives of, but not limited to, these three ministries, the Council on Christian Unity, the General Board, historic justice and peace advocacy groups in the church, the three racial / ethnic ministries, and diverse congregations throughout our two nations for the purpose of bringing to the 2017 General Assembly, meeting in Indianapolis, IN, a jointly sponsored process for discussion of and education about important religious, ethical and social issues.

First Christian Church, Edmond, Oklahoma
Supported by:
Disciples Justice Action Network

The General Board recommends that the General Assembly
ADOPT GA-1524. (Discussion time: 12 minutes)