Appeal for a Judicial Council Ruling

The proposed Clergy Covenant: An Invitation, passed the 2012 Clergy Session and was funded ($5,000) by the Annual Conference. Immediately after these events an appeal was made for the Judicial Council to rule whether the Invitation was constitutional and disciplinary. Here is the Question of Law that was raised. Bishop Linda Lee will rule on this Question and send her ruling on the Judicial Council for their Fall 2012 or Spring 2013 session. In the meantime, the Invitation is proceeding.


In light of the action taken by the clergy session on May 31, 2012, to adopt the "Action Item: An Invitation" presented in response to the trial and sentencing of Rev. Amy DeLong:

1.       Does the requirement that a "Clergy Covenant" be developed based on the principle of "ending participation in discrimination (specifically against GLBTQI people)" constitute a violation of provisions of the Book of Discipline which prohibit the candidacy, ordination, or appointment of self-avowed practicing homosexuals (¶304.3, 311.2d) and the performing of same-gender unions (¶341.6, 2702.1b), and does it constitute a violation of ¶16 of the Constitution, which reserves to the General Conference "full legislative power over all matters distinctively connectional," including "to define and fix the powers and duties of elders, deacons, supply preachers, local preachers," and "to define and fix the powers and duties of annual conferences," and does it constitute a violation of Judicial Council decision 1111 and others, which state, "An annual conference may not negate, ignore, or violate provisions of the Discipline with which they disagree, even when the disagreements are based on conscientious objections to the provisions?"

2.       Does the request for an appropriation of $5,000 from the annual conference budget for the work of the "Conference Clergy Covenant Team" constitute a violation of ¶613.20, which states that "no annual conference board, agency, committee, commission or council shall … otherwise use [United Methodist] funds … to promote the acceptance of homosexuality?"

Rev. Tom Lambrecht
Vice-President & General Manager
Good News
PO Box 132076
The Woodlands, TX  77393-2076