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Actions Taken on Each Legislative Day of General Assembly 2017

Actions Taken on Each Legislative Day of General Assembly 2017

(Go to ga2017.com/resolutions to view the complete documents.)

June 27th

  • Key legislation regarding baptism was discussed, including a study group to study the relationship between infant baptism and believer's baptism. Clarifying language was approved for the Articles of Faith on baptism and the Lord's Supper.
  • Fifteen of the sixteen resolutions regarding the Articles of Faith passed.
  • Added three new paragraphs to the Manual pertaining to conflict resolution and reconciliation in the church. The paragraphs recognize that conflict is a part of life, including life in the church. It urges an informal process of resolving conflict before formal processes begin. (JUD-835)
  • Proposed legislation on Article 10, “Christian Holiness and Entire Sanctification,” which was referred to the Board of General Superintendents for further study. 
  • Overwhelmingly (97%) adopted a comprehensive statement on “Human Sexuality,” replacing a series of position statements with an extended and carefully crafted text grounded in theological ethics. The action taken also deleted Manual paragraphs 30-30.4. (CA-701)
  • Provided for church board meetings, including votes, to be conducted using digital technology. (LA-405)
  • Voted to retain Manual paragraph 903.2, “Discrimination.” The Manual’s statements on moral and social issues in the 903 section are automatically re-examined every 12 years. 

For a detailed account of June 27th, go to: http://www.nazarene.org/article/legislative-summary-27-june

June 28th

  • Rejected a proposal to hold General Assembly every fifth year. 
  • Referred CA-710 to the BGS for study over the next quadrennium. The resolution would have revised Manual paragraphs pertaining to alcohol consumption and the use of other intoxicants. In the same vote, JUD-833, which called for a task force to study alcohol consumption, was also referred. 
  • Referred to the BGS resolution CA-714, “Sanctity of Human Life,” which sought to delete Manual paragraphs 31-31.6, and place a new statement on the subject in the 903 section of the Manual, which contains statements on current moral and social issues. (CA-714)
  • Amended Manual para. 903.8, “Creation,” to include the statement that we “are open to scientific explanations on the nature of creation, while opposing any interpretations of the origin of the universe and of humankind that rejects God as the Creator.” (CA-719)
  • Amended Manual para. 28.1 to add that “we hold that the . . . teachings of Jesus Christ, demonstrated most fully and concisely in the Great Commandment and the Sermon on the Mount, constitute the basic Christian ethic.” (CA-718)
  • Added a new paragraph to the Manual regarding appointment of a recovery team to assist the family of a minister who has engaged in misconduct.  (MED-554,MED-555, and MED-566)
  • Amended Manual paragraph 123 to require that extending the current pastoral call will require a two-thirds vote by the church board and (if needed) a two-thirds vote by the congregation. This provision replaces a simple majority vote of the board in the recall process. (LA-400)

For a detailed account of June 28th, go to: http://www.nazarene.org/article/legislative-summary-28-june

June 29th

  • Adopted an “Affirmation and Declaration of Human Freedoms” that adds a new paragraph to Manual section 903, “Current Moral and Social Issues.” (CA-700)
  • Adopted new sentences to Manual para. 903.2 that “renounce any form of racial and ethnic indifference, exclusion, subjugation, or oppression as a grave sin against God and our fellow human beings.” (CA-704a)
  • Adopted a new paragraph on “The Use of Social Media,” which includes "Clergy and laity alike must be mindful of how their activities on social media affect the image of Christ and His church and impact its mission within their communities. Our activities should be life giving and affirming and should seek to uplift all persons." (CA-709)
  • Adopted JUD-821, which adds new paragraphs to the Manual pertaining to the “Ministry of Laypersons.” 
  • Added the mission statement, core values, and seven characteristics of the Church of the Nazarene to the Manual’s “Foreword.” (JUD-824)
  • Amended Manual para. 514.4 to state that a local licensed minister “shall not be eligible to administer the sacraments.” (MED-516)
  • Voted to refer to the BGS an amended version of MED-518 ("Only assigned ordained ministers and district licensed ministers are to be conferred with any rank or title that includes the word 'pastor.'") after extended and sometimes passionate discussion. 
  • Added a new Manual paragraph regarding the role of the district superintendent. (DA-205)
  • Retained the age restriction for election or re-election of a district superintendent, which is age 70. (DA-211)
  • Acted to make active lay missionaries and retired lay missionaries who were active at the time of their retirement members of the district assembly. (DA-206)
  • Provided that all district entities may meet by telephone conference or through other electronic media, and voting may be carried out electronically. (DA-214)
  • Adopted DA-217, “District Incorporation,” which adds a new paragraph to the Manual. The new paragraph includes the provision that when a District Advisory Board incorporates, it shall be governed by the provisions of the Manual. In the case of subsequent dissolution or attempt to leave the denomination, “the assets of the corporation will not be diverted from the Church of the Nazarene.” 
  • Adopted DA-221, which added the requirement that a person receiving a district license also “demonstrate appreciation, comprehension, and application of the Manual and the history of the Church of the Nazarene, and the doctrine of holiness, by successfully completing the related portions of a validated course of study.” 
  • Updates were made to most rituals in the 800 section of the Manual.

For a detailed account of June 29th, go to: http://www.nazarene.org/article/legislative-summary-29-june

Holiness Today, Sept/Oct 2017