June 25, 2016 | Puyallup, Wash.

After much debate, legislation received from a task force empowered by the previous day’s Committee of the Whole was approved by the members of the Pacific Northwest Annual Conference during its 143rd session at the Showplex Center on the Washington State Fairgrounds in Puyallup.

The “Action of Non-Conformity with the General Conference of The United Methodist Church” was affirmed with a vote of 315 in favor, 74 against, and 6 abstentions. It was modeled after similar actions of nonconformity previously taken in the New England, Desert Southwest, and California-Pacific Annual Conferences.

“Trusting in the Author of Life who makes no mistakes when creating her children, inspired by the nonconforming Christ who taught us to defy oppression in all its forms, and led by the Holy Spirit who continually liberates us from our addiction to law and into a life of grace, The Pacific Northwest Annual Conference as a body affirms our commitment to be a radically hospitable church.

With a deep appreciation of our common ministry, a desire to practice Biblical obedience, united in God’s love for one another, and a commitment to allowing for our many understandings of following Christ, we the People of the Pacific Northwest move together.­­

The PNWAC will not conform or comply with provisions of the Discipline which discriminate against LGBTQIA+* persons, including marriage (161.B), the incompatibility clause (161.F), ordination and appointments (304.3), homosexual unions (341.6), AC funding ban (613.19), GCFA funding ban (806.9), chargeable offenses pertaining to being “a self avowed practicing homosexual” or to officiating at weddings for couples regardless of the sex of the partners (2702.1b,d).

The PNWAC and its members will not participate in or conduct judicial procedures related to the Discipline’s prohibitions against LGBTQIA+* persons.

The PNWAC will realign its funding to reflect these commitments, using no reserve funds to pay for judicial procedures related to the Discipline’s prohibitions against LGBTQIA+ persons, and instead asking the Connectional Table to lead and fund efforts in cultural competency, anti-racism, anti-sexism, anti-ageism, anti-homophobia, and anti-oppression training at the conference and district levels, as well as for advocacy and implementation efforts related to the same.

*LGBTQIA+ is an acronym names the identities including Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, and the many other forms of identity related to gender and sexuality.”

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The Pacific Northwest Conference of The United Methodist Church is called to be a community, diverse and united in God’s saving love, sent out in vital life-giving ministry for and with Jesus Christ.

32 COMMENTS

    • It is my fervent prayer that soon all conferences will follow you. We must, if we are to be true followers of Jesus to allow our LBGT sisters and brothers to be able to marry and be ordained. Ordination, of course, will depend upon the graduation from a three to four year seminary.

  1. It looks like we take the lead in showing love to all persons. All who were created in the image of God. God bless us all.

  2. Holy Jesus and Almighty God, thanks be to you and all your followers who act on the precepts of welcoming love and mutual support of all who seek the shelter of the almighty. Halladamnlullia!

  3. This enormous step warrants prayer for discernment and unity throughout the entire Methodist church. All opinions deserve respect as we move toward extending love and equality to all people. Judy Skog

  4. At least one small part of the United Methodist Church has read the New Testament stories of Jesus and know that he spent a great deal of effort including individuals within his circle of fellowship and healing that his contemporaries worked very hard to exclude. We can do nothing less.

    • One by one conferences are including all of God’s children into the fold of the UMC. One by one and soon,, and none too soon, all conferences will stop calling our LBGT sisters and brothers “sinners,” who need to be “transformed.”

  5. Hmmm, the New Testament I read shows a Jesus that includes any and all in presence so He could minister to them, but He also challenged them to go and sin no more. Love begins by being willing to engage with anyone in meaningful relationship, but it continues by showing them where they have strayed from the path that God has ordained for them. After all, would you consider it loving to let someone drive a 100 miles an hour towards a cliff or would you perhaps suggest they take their foot off the gas and hit the brakes?

    • I don’t recall Jesus commenting on driving 100 miles an hour toward a cliff, nor do I recall Jesus commenting on sexuality. We don’t know what Jesus wrote in the sand, but it did cause some people holding rocks to decide to change their rock throwing behavior. And he ate with sinners or at least he was accused of eating with sinners. I would be nice to know the conversation at dinner, but I think it might shock some contemporary so-called religious folk. Why, it even shocked some of the religious folk in the time of Jesus. They were called Pharisees. And if I understand the situation, they were very, very religious. In fact, some scholars suggest that Jesus was a Pharisee, which would have given him some standing to criticize them. Biblical scholarship is very helpful, but the Bible is silent on several subjects where contemporary Christians need not only to speak, but to take stands. What do we do with the power of the bomb? What do we do about pollution?
      What do we do about global warming? Silence is an option, but is it what Jesus would do?

      • John 1;1-14 says in the beginning was the WORD. What word was John talking about, do you deny the trinity when you say the Jesus never spoke about Sexuality. Really!

        • I am not focusing on denying anything, but don’t get me started on what I do deny. The word “trinity” is not a biblical word, but a theological word created to explain some biblical words. My fundamentalist friends have created (in recent centuries, not in biblical times) five items that are essential to the Christian Faith. I deny all five of them on my good days. The inerrant Scriptures are the easier to deny. Thank God the United Methodist Church does not support that doctrine in its Book of Discipline. I hope it never does. But by the time it does, if it ever does, I will be swimming with the fishes.

  6. Kudos to all of the annual conferences that accept, in full inclusion, our LBGTQAI sisters and brothers. Conferences that accept all God’s children who love God and their neighbors are to be congratulated. I know that in the not too distant future, all annual conferences will be “on the same page,” allowing those of the same gender to marry the person whom they love, and in a church ceremony, if they so choose. Now, our LBGTAQI sisters and brothers can attain ordination in the UMC once they have completed a three or four year course of study at a seminary.

  7. Thank you for making it easier to divide the United Methodist Church. Your Rebellion against the Covenant will speed all of this up.

    • The Book of Discipline is not the ground of our covenant – the life and love of the Triune God does this. Paul couldn’t imagine that the world was round, let alone that there are different sexualities natural to the human species. He believe that Genesis spelled out in literal historical truth the manner in which the Creator called the creation into existence. You call allowing Paul to be a fallible human being (which he himself admits) “Rebellion”; I call it faithful. The Book of Discipline is not our sacred text. And those texts which are sacred to not confine God in any way. (check out: http://forusa.org/content/homosexuality-bible-walter-wink) I love you anyway. Jonathan

    • Is that a threat? Can’t leave and take your property with you. We live in complex days. I hope you repent and decide to stay in dialogue with some one who is open to dialogue.

  8. I hope that the UMC will not split but see the light of love. However, if the UMC does split it will not be the first time. We will eventually come together as one church, and someday realize that those who are born gay, lesbian, straight, bisexual, transsexual, or are still groping and call themselves queer, will no longer be considered to be “sinners,” because of whom they are at birth.

  9. What happened to obeying the moral code ste forth by those who spoke for God in both the old and new testament? That’s right. We now think we now know more

    • Charles, the “moral code,” used to say that slavery was allowed if the slaves were taken from another nation. OOOHHH, watch out Canada, and Mexico. 🙂 . It was also said that to consume shellfish, or pork was sinful or “an abomination.” Yes, our Orthodox Jewish sisters and brothers may still abide by these dietary restrictions but Christians do not. Once, wearing clothing of different threads was an abomination, now, we all wear clothing of several different threads, or materials.
      Some of my fundamentalist friends, whom I still love and respect, but disagree, seem to proof text, rather than interpret the Bible. I may disagree with their views of what the Bible says, but we are all God’s children. Yes, Charles, that does include our LBGTAQI sisters and brothers who, according to science, unavailable thousands of years ago, were born to be LBGTQAI, and therefore must be included in all of the rights and rites or the UMC

    • This is a complex issue. Paul was no legaist fool nor was Jesus a Pharisee. I am amazed when I read what passes off as academiemia. Professing themselves wise they became as fools. are we fools enough to distroy the unity created by the same Holy Spirit as you claim is leading you to be recalcitrant brothers? If we were led to this unity is reasonable we are being led on new path. One in which is districting to loving each other. This I affirm, any person of any race, color, color, creed or sexual orientation is welcome to the church and will not be embarrassed while enjoying full participation in parish life. Beyond this I can only see dis-unity and distructive which are not gifts if the spirit.

      • Studying the history of “how we got here” would be an useful exercise. Academic or not, the language was adopted fairly recently, as far as time is measured and without a lot of discussion about the implications that resulted from the actions. Removing the language (like we have done on several other issues) would be extremely helpful. I think the language was added in 1976, but I could be wrong. I don’t have the records of that meeting.

  10. […] After much debate, legislation entitled “Action of Non-Conformity with The General Conference of The United Methodist Church” was affirmed with a vote of 315 in favor, 74 against, and 6 abstentions. It was modeled after similar actions of nonconformity previously taken in the New England, Desert Southwest, and California-Pacific Annual Conferences. The full text is available on the PNW News Blog here. […]

  11. Agreed, may all conference soon follow suit. Love always trumps hate….pun intended. Ministers cannot voice their political views in the pulpit, but they must stand up strongly against discrimination, bigotry, hatred, xenophobia and misogyny.

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