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General Conference

General Conference legislation: The details

The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church requires every local church, district, conference, and jurisdiction to have an organization of United Women in Faith and instructs the national organization to express the concerns of women organized for mission. One way in which we fulfill our purpose is by bringing petitions to the General Conference that prioritize women, children, and youth.

New resolutions

Children’s Sabbath
The Girl Child
The Status of Women
Voting Rights Protection in the United States

Children’s Sabbath

Encourages churches to observe Children’s Sabbath, a multifaith program of the Children’s Defense Fund, on the third Sunday of October. It does not ask for an offering or special Sunday, just time to prioritize children in prayers, programs, services, and action.

The Girl Child

Calls on the church to engage in advocacy to rectify conditions that limit girls from reaching their fullest potential. It asks for the church’s help in ending child marriage, female genital mutilation, and child labor and in ensuring girls have access to clean water, safe homes, and quality health care and education.

The Status of Women

Calls on the church to address rights of women and work toward women’s equity globally in areas such as education, health, violence against women, migration, climate justice, and media.

Voting Rights Protections in the United States

Calls attention to the disproportionate impact of voter suppression and disenfranchisement of communities and women of color in the United States and recruits the church into ensuring all communities have access to full and equitable rights in the voting polls.

These can be found on pages 905 to 911 in the 2020 Advance Daily Christian Advocate.

Resolutions for readoption

1025. Environmental Racism in the US

1028. Law of the Sea

1029. Protection of Water

1032. Principles for Just and Sustainable Extraction and Production

1034. Environmental Health

3371. A Charter for Racial Justice in an Interdependent Global Community

3379. Stop Criminalizing Communities of Color in the United States

3422. Speaking Out for Compassion: Transforming the Context of Hate in the US

4056. Greed

4058. Privatization

8011. Biblical Language

You can find these in The Book of Resolutions, and ADCA pp. 1192-1193, 1194, 1230, 1233, 1234, 1289, 1503, and 1598.

Because this is a special General Conference in which the entire Book of Resolutions is up for readoption, United Women in Faith, along with many of our sister agencies, is seeking simple readoption at this time to hopefully ease the work of delegates while maintaining these important statements and calls to actions. We will update and expand these resolutions at a future General Conference.

Empowering deaconesses and home missioners

Deaconesses and home missioners, lay servant ministers, are consecrated to a lifetime of service in The United Methodist Church. The following petitions were submitted to support them and their work.

Equitable voting rights for deaconesses and home missioners

Recognizing their rich and varied learning and ministry experiences, United Women in Faith seeks to allow retired deaconesses and home missioners to retain their annual conference vote, just as retired clergy do, by removing the term “active” from ¶32 Article I in The Book of Discipline. ADCA p. 1289.

Deaconesses and home missioners home conference

We’re seeking to allow deaconesses and home missioners who live in one annual conference but work in another to be able to retain their membership in the conference in which they live. ADCA p. 1598.

Deaconesses and home missioners

The deaconess/home missioner relationship is the only gendered language in the Book of Discipline. Removing the gendered language gives the individual deaconess or home missioner the freedom to choose the title they prefer. It helps to create, honor, and foster an inclusive community while continuing the use of the historic name of deaconess. ADCA p. 1598.

Program Advisory Group flexibility

In 2012, United Women in Faith reduced its board of directors from 50 members to 25. To help ensure representation in decision-making, the agency established an 80- to 90-member group to meet once a year and advise the board. The petition “United Women in Faith Program Advisory Group Organization” seeks flexibility in the number of members on the advisory group. ADCA p. 1598.

Legislation by committee

Church and Society 1

20754-CA-R1025 Environmental Racism in the United States, p. 1192
20755-CA-R1028 Law of the Sea, p. 1192
20756-CA-R1029 Protection of Water, p. 1192
20757-CA-R1032 Principles for Just and Sustainable Extraction and Production, p. 1192
20759-CA-R1034 Environmental Health, p. 1192
20765-CA-R4056 Greed, p. 1194
20767-CA-R4058 Privatization, p. 1194

Church and Society 2

20831-CB-R3371 A Charter for Racial Justice in an Interdependent Global Community, p. 1230
20836-CB-R3379 Stop Criminalizing Communities of Color in the United States, p. 1233
20838-CB-R3422 Speaking Out for Compassion: Transforming the Context of Hate in the United States, p. 1234


20990-CO-¶32-C Equitable voting rights for deaconesses and home missioners, p. 1289

Faith and Order

20961-FO-R8011 Biblical Language, p. 1503

Independent Commissions

20589-IC-R9999-G The Girl Child, p. 905
20590-IC-R9999 Voting Rights Protections in the United States, p. 906
20591-IC-R9999 Children’s Sabbath, p. 907
20592-IC-R9999-G The Status of Women: Toward Realizing Human Rights for All Women, p. 908
20748-IC-¶1911 United Women in Faith Program Advisory Group Organization, p. 1598
20749-IC-¶1913.4 Deaconesses and Home Missioners Home Conference, p. 1598
20750-IC-¶1913.2 Deaconesses and Home Missioners, p. 1598

Cover photo by Kathleen Barry for United Methodist News.

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