Petition to 2019 Called General Conference Affirmation of the Movement of the Holy Spirit in Scripture, Our Tradition, and Our Current Context

Whereas, we affirm that the mark of a faithful believer is the presence of the Holy Spirit. Acts 10:44-48;

Whereas, we affirm that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Galatians 5:22-23;

Whereas, we affirm that the fruit of the Spirit and the presence of the Spirit are evident in the lives and relationships of Christians of all gender identities and sexual orientations. Galatians 3:26-29;

Whereas, we affirm that throughout salvation history, God is continually doing new things. Isaiah 43:19; Ephesians 3:5-6;

Whereas, within our own tradition as Wesleyan Christians, our founder, John Wesley, recognized that certain canons and practices of the Church of England were in tension with where the Holy Spirit was leading and at work;

Whereas, in response to the movement of the Holy Spirit, Wesley consecrated Thomas Coke to spread the good news of the Gospel in America and authorized him to ordain deacons and elders and to consecrate Francis Asbury;

Whereas, also in response to the movement of the Holy Spirit, John Wesley licensed women to preach, teach and exhort; and

Whereas, Francis Asbury, responding to the movement of the Holy Spirit, ordained Richard Allen, an African-American, as a deacon in 1799 even before General Conference approved the ordination of African-American clergy;

(Ted A. Campbell, “Negotiating Wesleyan Catholicity,” in Daniel Castelo, ed., Embodying Wesley’s Catholic Spirit (Eugene, Oregon: Pickwick Publications, 2017), pp. 7-11.)

Therefore, be it resolved that the Arkansas Annual Conference urges delegates to the Called Session of the General Conference 2019 to remove from the United Methodist Book of Discipline any language that restricts the movement of the Holy Spirit, including the “incompatibility clause,” restrictions on “same-sex” marriage and/or “conducting ceremonies which celebrate homosexual unions or performing same-sex wedding ceremonies” by ordained or licensed clergy, restrictions on the ordination of “self-avowed practicing homosexuals,” and other restrictions “ensuring that no board, agency, committee, commission, or council shall give United Methodist funds to any gay caucus or group, or otherwise use such funds to promote the acceptance of homosexuality,” so that the power of God for salvation will be expressed to its fullest for all people. Romans 1:16

(Book of Discipline: ¶ 161.F – Human Sexuality; ¶ 341.6 – Ceremonies that celebrate homosexual unions; ¶ 806.9 -Ban on Funding; ¶ 304.3- Ordained Ministry; ¶ 304.2b – Ordained Ministry; ¶ 2702.1b – Chargeable Offenses)

Action: to be forwarded to called General Conference (2019).
Submitted by (open) ARMS Reconciling Methodists, Harold Hughes, Suzie Bell, Joy Williams, Rev Velda Bell, Larry Cook, Rev Keith Coker, Julie Cabe, Nate Clark, K D Reep, Anne Holcomb, Rachel Alwis-Lindstrom, David Holcomb, Jennifer Boulden, Rev Roger Armstrong, Vernon Stokay, Julie Atkins, Jennifer Atkins-Gordeeva, Nikolai Gordeev, Barbara Mullins, Mary Brinks, Mattie Green, Lisa Headstream, Sara Brown, Lacey B Gebhart, Amy Harrod, Vicky Harrod, Connie Riner, Vickie Estes, Chuck Covey, Janet Cooper, Hal Brown

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