Judicial Decision 1383 found administrative process leading to involuntary leave of absence (¶ 354), involuntary retirement (¶ 357.3), administrative location (¶ 359), and discontinuance from provisional membership (¶ 327.6) violate the guarantees of a fair and unbiased process in ¶¶ 20 and 58 and are unconstitutional, null and void. Rev. Meg Lassiat of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry and Rev. Robert Zilhaver of the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference will explore the history leading up to Judicial Decision 1383 and its effect currently. They will also examine possible solutions to resolve the legal issues raised in Judicial Decision 1383 and restore the administrative processes for clergy and bishops in our church.
The deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery have brought into sharp focus racial injustice and the need for The United Methodist Church to respond. Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi, the newly elected president of the General Commission on Religion and Race, reflects on anti-racism efforts by The United Methodist Church and resources within the church to deal with racism and racial harassment. There will also be time to address how the church can use its processes to hold individuals and groups within the church accountable for racist behaviors.
We live in a world where sexual misconduct is a reality in The United Methodist Church, from the Boy Scout bankruptcy settlement to the United Methodist News Service coverage of a clergyman’s sexual misconduct against four women. Prominent in interfaith work, the United Methodist clergyman ultimately surrendered his credentials.