A Message from the Executive Committee of the Board of Ordained Ministry of the Iowa Annual Conference:
In response to the Judicial Council rulings of April 28th, 2017 (Decision nos. 1343 and 1344), the Executive Committee of the Board of Ordained Ministry brings to the clergy session of the Iowa Annual Conference a statement reminding all present that according to the Book of Discipline, the primary purpose of the Board of Ordained Ministry is “to examine applicants and assess their fitness to ministry.”
Guided by the Holy Spirit, we discern the call to ministry of all candidates without regard to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, or age and would not consider sexual orientation or gender identity to be sufficient reasons, on their own, to deny any candidate’s ability to live up to our United Methodist standards for fitness, readiness, and effectiveness in ministry.
We recognize that the members of the Iowa Annual Conference are not of one mind when it comes to credentialing LGBTQ persons, and we recognize the ongoing work of the Commission on a Way Forward. Our Board will continue to be in prayerful discernment, conversation, and action about these rulings and how they may affect our examination process moving forward. One of the resources that will guide us in this work is the recent book created by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, “Unity of the Church and Human Sexuality: Toward a Faithful United Methodist Witness”.
As an executive committee of the Iowa Board of Ordained Ministry, we trust in our process for full examination and as always, we affirm the candidates before us today.*1
Approved unanimously by the following Executive Committee members present on June 8th, 2017:
Scott Keele Kober
1 “The United Methodist Church has moved away from prohibitions of specific acts, for such prohibitions can be endless. We affirm our trust in the covenant community and the process by which we ordain ministers. In our covenant we are called to trust one another as we recommend, examine, and elect candidates for the ordained ministry and conference membership.“ (Footnote to ¶ 310, p 234 Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church, 2016)