|
|
Examiner
  • Community of Christ U.S. delegates address same sex marriage

  • The 2013 Community of Christ World Conference has barely ended and church leaders are gearing up for another significant conference where they will address issues of same sex/gender marriage.

    • email print
  • The 2013 Community of Christ World Conference has barely ended and church leaders are gearing up for another significant conference where they will address issues of same sex/gender marriage.
    The Community of Christ USA National Conference began Friday and runs through Sunday. More than 2,000 people, including 1,500 delegates, are attending the conference.
    “Delegates from around the United States will participate in the Community of Christ 2013 USA National Conference, ‘Together in Christ: A Journey of Faith,’ to worship together, listen to a variety of perspectives and provide recommendations to the Council of Twelve Apostles and First Presidency regarding two pressing policy issues,” said Kendra Friend, communications. “Holding two major conferences consecutively involves most of our International Headquarters staff. Throughout the United States, our congregations have also been preparing using resources for small and large-group activities open to all members over the past three years.”
    Delegates will be working to address two issues – same-sex/gender marriage where legal, and covenant commitment services where marriage is not legal and the ordination of people regardless of sexual orientation. The conference will be a continuation of the consensus-building process, using methods that ensure multiple perspectives are heard. A 67 percent majority will be required to make recommendations to the First Presidency and Council of Twelve Apostles for the final decision. If delegates reach this level of consent, they can recommend a current policy be changed or that a current policy remain in place. If this level is not reached, recommendations will be put on hold and dialogue will continue.
    Potential policy change recommendations include extending the sacrament of marriage, where legal in the United States, to persons of the same sex/gender; making available a church-recognized way for two persons of the same sex/gender to publicly express their covenant to each other in places in the United States where marriage is not legal and allowing a priesthood call to be processed according to established procedures regardless of sexual orientation, including a person in a monogamous, committed, same-sex/gender relationship (i.e., legal marriage, civil partnership, covenant relationship) in the United States.
    “USA mission centers submitted 15 resolutions to the 2010 World Conference related to same-sex/gender marriage and ordination of people in same-sex/gender relationships,” Ffriend said about how the topics were selected. “During a meeting of USA delegates at the 2010 World Conference, it was indicated that these two topics should be addressed at a future USA National Conference. The USA Team of Apostles and the First Presidency decided these issues needed timely attention to allow the ‘restoring work of the gospel to move forward with all of its potential’ (Doctrine and Covenants 164:7c).”
    To develop, approve and implement interim policies will take up to one year. Any policy changes will pertain only to the United States. Other nations will continue to abide by existing church policies.
    Page 2 of 2 - “Mission centers in Australia, Canada, Central America and the United States sent numerous resolutions to the 2010 World Conference, seeking to resolve questions about same-sex/gender marriage and ordination of persons in same-sex/gender committed relationships,” Friend said. “There are significant cultural and legal differences around these issues in many nations.”
     

        calendar