On Saturday morning, the business of the Annual Conference returned to consideration of the last three resolutions as found on pages 94-97 in the Conference workbook.
Rev. Laura Johnson from Apex UMC, in a point of personal privilege, explained that people were asking her about the purpose of resolutions at Annual Conference. Johnson stated that resolutions are written “to raise awareness, to make statements, to seek out our call to justice. We are people, in our baptism vows, who commit to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves. And resolutions are a way for us, as people of faith, to discuss those forms of evil, oppression, and injustice when we see them in our lives. These resolutions are prayerfully written and offered to us for consideration.”
5. Resolution 5 was submitted to Annual Conference from the Youth. It encourages equal pay between clergymen and clergywomen. This resolution does not provide a specific solution to this endemic issue, but it does call attention to it. Ken Smith from Angier UMC made an amendment to equalize housing allowances between men and women. However, Lisa Reynolds from the Corridor District made an amendment to the amendment to move that change to the “therefore be it be resolved” section of the resolution. That change to the amendment was accepted by the Annual Conference, and the resolution passed by a majority vote.
6. Resolution 6 came from a committee of the Annual Conference, UM Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM). It encouraged and commended all churches to support the work of UMVIM with our prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness. Because it was submitted by a committee, this resolution was presented automatically before the Annual Conference and was passed by a majority vote.
7. Resolution 7 came from the North Carolina Chapter of the Methodist Federation for Social Action and encourages the Annual Conference to be a welcoming community of disciples that “shall continue to open the doors of inclusion of all God’s children, including LGBTQIA+ persons.”
- MFSA member and one of the authors of the resolution, Henry Jarrett, spoke on the resolution saying, “The intent of this resolution is to continue moving forward realizing that yes, we are going to continue to disagree with each other. Families have disagreements… we work through them, and we pray over them. But we move forward as a church, lovingly disagreeing with each other.”
- Rev. Paul Stallsworth from the Heritage District spoke against the resolution and stated that we are “citizens of a divided and polarized nation… and a divided and polarized church. We have been together this week, fellowshipping, eating, worshipping, and working together. It has not always been easy. But because of God’s help and forgiveness, and the Bishop’s good encouragement, we have persisted.” He said that the resolution, which calls for unity and inclusion, is excluding those who disagree.
- After further discussion for and against, the question was called, and Resolution 7 passed by majority vote.
Rev. Ben Wolf thanked the four laity and four clergy serving on the Resolutions Committee.
Wolf noted that the amended resolutions passed on Friday and Saturday would be posted at nccumc.org/ac2022/resolutions. He encouraged churches to use the resolutions as resources for discussion and study.