During the 2015 Annual Conference Session, members voted their approval on two motions brought to the floor of the Annual Conference.
The first motion, made by Rev. Allen Cason, pastor of Grace United Methodist Church in Vidalia, called for a change regarding the distribution of materials for the Annual Conference Session. In making the motion, he asked to amend Standing Rule 3.1.5. The motion reads:
All materials including the Book of Recommendation and Reports will be made available online on the conference website in an electronic format. If delegates wish to receive paper materials, they can opt in before the mailing deadline mentioned in paragraph 3.1.3. If delegates opt in to receive paper materials, only business related material will be placed in the Conference packets. Other materials may be distributed via a community table in the display area.
The motion passed on Saturday morning.
“I made this motion to try to reduce the time, money, and paper that is wasted at Annual Conference each year,” Rev. Cason said. “This motion hopefully increases the flexibility of our conference staff as they prepare for Conference as well as reduces their workload.”
The second motion brought to the floor of the Annual Conference was made by Dr. Derek McAleer, Conference Director of Administrative Services. It sought to emphasize fidelity in marriage and reads:
The churches of the South Georgia Conference emphasize faithfulness in marriage in 2017; that the Nurture Committee provide guidance and materials to assist pastors and church leaders in promoting marital fidelity in 2017; that District Laity Ministries provide leadership within the district and assist churches in promoting marital fidelity in 2017; and that groups holding conference-wide events be urged to add faithfulness in marriage to the topics they cover during 2017 and beyond.
This motion passed on Friday morning.
“Many in our annual conference are concerned about protecting traditional marriage, which I support,” Dr. McAleer said. “However, prohibiting the ordination of homosexuals will not strengthen traditional marriages. We must oppose the rampant adultery and promiscuity which seem to mark our culture, and lift up the blessings and joys of a faithful, monogamous marriage.”
Dr. McAleer’s motion emphasizes assisting local churches as they teach skills that enable couples to navigate the difficulties that come in most marriages and highlighting the vitality that is inherent in a committed marital relationship.
“I am hopeful that our churches and pastors will embrace this focus on strengthening marriages, and believe we will impact many lives for good,” he said.