If The United Methodist Church is to remain one denomination, it will be necessary for us to decide together that our teachings, policies, and decision-making processes really do matter. If we cannot affirm this, then we may be a loose confederation of churches, but we do not constitute a church. Any denomination needs to be “United” by more than an uneasy compromise between rival groups with incompatible views. Authentic unity must be grounded in doctrine, discipline, and Kingdom-centered mission. Anything less is cheap ecclesiology, which values unity above theological substance. Genuine unity in our denomination cannot be simply an uneasy détente. We long for unity that is authentic and missionally grounded, and therefore must go beyond unity of ‘discipline.’
You can find the full preamble here.
There are changes to the “Just Resolution” process, revising to the process of charging a bishop, mandatory penalties for violation of 2702.1(b) (I think there should be mandatory penalties for all chargeable offenses), and more, including this one:
A covenant enforced only by legal strictures cannot have the moral force or spiritual cohesiveness required for true unity in Christ or the church. Our covenant must not be enforced only by trust clauses and pension programs, but by a willingness to walk together and live by the covenant in agreement and disagreement. Different parts of our church have grown in two directions. Some can no longer in good conscience uphold parts of our covenant. The Church, as an act of grace, needs to value the deep convictions of our people and provide an honorable way for congregations which cannot uphold our covenant to disaffiliate without the loss of property in order to continue in ministry in ways consistent with their conscience.
There is also a space to endorse it.
From Beth Ann Cook:
1) Why CUP Name? At the 2004 General Conference of the United Methodist Church in Pittsburgh demonstrators shattered a communion chalice protesting the exclusion of persons from practicing LGBTQ ministry and marriage to same gender persons in the UMC. A dozen years later, as we gather in Portland, Oregon for General Conference did broken cup remains a powerful reminder of the widening fissure in the United Methodist Church. We need to restore our clergy covenant. We believe people can advocate for change but did not include disobeying our clergy does vows.
2) Can people in the pews endorse it as well as clergy? Yes! If you are a lay person where it says “Church or organization affiliation” just type in members, ____________ United Methodist Church.
3) Will this make a real difference? The plan as 6 petitions to # gc2016. The most significant in my opinion is # 3 Which moves responsibility for holding accountable Bishop out of the College (regional body) of Bishops. Bishop Talbert acted with impunity in performing a marriage ceremony in another Bishop Gay’s Episcopal Area Because his Western Jurisdiction episcopal colleagues had already Agreed not to give him any kind of significant penalty for doing that.