Here is a petition I have submitted to the 2012 General Conference of the United Methodist Church.
If this petition is adopted, I believe it will transform the culture of our denomination dramatically. I believe it will do the following:
1) Change the way our bishops and cabinets appoint clergy to local congregations by removing money from consideration in appointment making
2) Allow the appointment of new clergy to healthy, thriving churches and the appointment of experienced clergy to struggling congregations
3) Allow all clergy to provide adequately for their family needs and protect clergy from the danger of riches (as Wesley would say)
4) Eliminate the “ladder of success” mentality that currently afflicts the spiritual health and integrity of our community.
5) Restore a sense of community among clergy who are now forced to be competitive with one another
7) Support salaries of pastors in areas where the church serves the poor such as in our central conferences
8) Serve as a CHRISTIAN witness to corporate America and
MOST importantly the adoption of this petition will BRING OUR CHURCH INTO CONFORMITY WITH THE SCRIPTURE (1 Timothy 5:17-18) with regard to our use of money.
Since I have submitted this petition as an individual to the General Conference, I am concerned that it might quietly become lost in the Finance/Adminitrative Committee. I am hoping that social media will help to bring this petition to a wider audience and will aid it’s passage. My bishop, Timothy Whitaker says that he believes this amendment would be constitutional. And the petition DOES have some significant support from bishops in Africa, who assure me they will promote it among their delegates. Since MORE than 40% of 2012 delegates will be from central conferences, I believe that this proposal may be adopted if some delegates in the United States choose to support it as well.
So, I am inviting your discussion here. Please offer your concerns, and questions in the comments on this blog; and share this post with others (especially delegates), so this idea will receive the attention I believe it deserves.