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Young People's petitions headed for General Conference

Young People's petitions headed for General Conference

Editor's note: To read about Florida Conference delegates to the Global Young People's Convocation, click here.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Despite enduring a devastating typhoon, United Methodist young people and adult leaders from 34 countries successfully completed their convocation and legislative assembly in the Philippines and adopted petitions for presentation to the next General Conference.

The legislative assembly discussed legislation submitted by young people for consideration and adopted five petitions that will be sent to the church’s General Conference in 2016.

Global Young People's Convocation attendees gather in shelter from typhoon
Global Young People's Convcation attendees continue with worship and discernment after a typhoon forces them to find new shelter. UMNS photo by Jen Tyler.

“This is an opportunity for young people to share their concerns for the church and the world and have those concerns be considered by General Conference without going through the filters of other groups or organizations,” said Michael Ratliff, associate general secretary of the General Board of Discipleship and head of Young People's Ministries.

The adopted petitions are listed below:

• "Leave Room for Young People" asks that annual conferences ensure representation across all age groups by, whenever possible, electing one of every three lay delegates as a youth or a young adult.

• "Consideration of the Schedules of Young People Petition" asks annual conferences to consider the schedules of young people when setting meeting times for boards and committees.

• "Aligning Investments with Social Principles"  is a petition for The Book of Resolutions that would support the divestment of The United Methodist Church from Caterpillar, HP and Motorola because of contracts with Israel that go toward supporting efforts in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

• "Beyond Resolutions to Environmental Action" asks all levels of the church to conduct an environmental study.

 "Specific Mention to Prohibit the Exclusion of Membership Based on Sexual Orientation" seeks to change the list for inclusiveness of the church in Article 4 of The Book of Discipline by adding the words "gender or sexual orientation."

In the final assembly session, GYPCLA delegates overwhelmingly approved a “Statement of Unity” that says no one controversy, like homosexuality, should divide the church.

“We urge everyone to seek solutions that promote our global unity as The United Methodist Church of Jesus Christ, rather than focus only on the issues that divide us, so that we may faithfully live out our mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world,” the statement says.

Click here to read the full news report from GBOD.