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.”