During the 2022 Annual Conference session, three of seven resolutions presented to the Conference Committee on Resolutions for consideration and vote by the 2022 South Georgia Annual Conference were approved.
In the Monday morning, June 6 business session, the conference approved Resolution 1, “Say ‘No’ to Single-Use Plastic” and Resolution 2, “Resolution on Wage Equality.” Later that afternoon, Resolution 6, “Resolution to Amend the Disaffiliation Policy of the South Georgia Conference,” was approved with the addition of an amendment.
The first resolution, “Say ‘No’ to Single-Use Plastic,” calls on those responsible for planning Conference, district, and local church events to adopt Creation Care practices that focus on waste prevention and waste reduction with the goal of moving toward eliminating the use of all single-use plastics.
The second resolution, “Resolution on Wage Equality,” denounces “any policies that prohibit, condone, or reinforce the inopportunity for women to be paid less wages than men doing the same job.” It also asks that women be treated fairly in their jobs by getting the same pay as their male counterparts and that other minorities be treated fairly in jobs with pay. In addition, the resolution asks that the church and all of its members denounce policies that do not grant equal employment opportunities and Title IX in education and support and adopt those policies which will help women enter higher paying jobs in fields and occupations that are still off limits to women.
“Our main purpose of both of these (resolutions) is to be not just our brothers’ keeper, but our sisters’, and keepers of this beautiful earth God entrusted to us,” said Denise Rooks, chair of the Advocacy Committee and a member of Harper’s Chapel United Methodist Church in Baxley. “These are the legacies we want our children to inherit.”
The sixth resolution, “Resolution to Amend the Disaffiliation Policy of the South Georgia Conference,” was approved with the addition of an amendment. This resolution adjusts the timeline for churches to petition for disaffiliation at called sessions of the Annual Conference.
For example, for the Aug. 20, 2022, called Special Session, the deadline for informing the District Superintendent that a church wishes to have a called Church Conference to discuss disaffiliation shall be July 8, 2022, and the Church Conference must be held no later than August 5, 2022.
The addition states: “If a church or charge votes to disaffiliate from the United Methodist Church at a time other than at the June session of the South Georgia Annual Conference and the pastor appointed to serve that church or charge does not desire to leave the United Methodist Church and an appointment is not available, the disaffiliating church will pay the salary, housing and benefits of the pastor (all appointed clergy regardless of status - to include local pastors, provisional and full deacons appointed to the local church, and provisional and full elders) for the remainder of the Conference year to the Annual Conference along with the other funds required by the Discipline in paragraph 2553 and the Annual Conference disaffiliation policy.”
A rule of law was asked in regards to Resolution 4, “A Resolution for a Called Session of the Annual Conference in Response to a Meeting of the General Conference.”
According to Conference Chancellor Cater Thompson, under paragraph 2609.6 of The Book of Discipline, the bishop shall rule on questions of law within 30 days after the close of the Annual Conference session at which it was submitted. The Judicial Council shall pass upon all decisions of law made by bishops in the regular course of a business session of Annual Conference, and each bishop shall report all decisions of law to Judicial Council. No decision by a bishop is authoritative until it has been ruled on by Judicial Council.
Resolutions 3, “Resolution of the delegation of the South Georgia Annual Conference,” Resolution 5, “A resolution for a called session of the Annual Conference in response to a decision of the judicial council,” and Resolution 7, “South Georgia resolution in response to the Judicial Council declaratory decision stating an AC may withdraw from the UMC,” were all withdrawn by the makers of the motions.
During the report of the Resolutions Committee, Rev. Doreen Smalls, chair, expressed her appreciation for the work of the committee.
For full Annual Conference coverage, visit www.sgaumc.org/annualconference.