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What Happened at the 2023 Annual Conference

We Are Wrestling, Engaging, Rising
2023 UMC Annual Conference

What Happened at the 2023 Annual Conference

by Wendy Kreider

For the first time in many years, we had a youth contingent at our Annual Conference! We were given very boring white t-shirts which our youth volunteered to tie-dye! The logo was "Wrestling, Engaging, Rising", which totally fits St. Francis in the Foothills and the LGBTQ+ issue. We wrestled, we engaged, we rose.

This Annual Conference passed the following resolutions (just a synopsis):

1. A Call To Action As A Welcoming And Reconciling Conference

This Resolution asks that we reaffirm our commitment to full-inclusion of LGBTQIA+ persons in all aspects of church.

2. Resolution Concerning Christian Nationalism

Resolves that our Conference Board of Church and Society will create a document stating that the philosophy, goals, and values espoused by Christian nationalism are inconsistent with the United States Constitution, and with the history, teachings, and practice of the United 43 Methodist Church, and as such, the advocacy of Christian nationalism is unacceptable in the congregations of the Desert Southwest Conference.

3. Resolution on Death Penalty Commutation

Affirms the UMC stand in its opposition to the death penalty, urges the governors & executive branches in AZ, CA & NV to commute a death sentences & encourages our members to write our governors encouraging them to commute all death sentences

4. Net-Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Conference and Local Church Commitment

Asks that each church, which doesn't have one, to create a green team to research how their congregants and buildings can commit to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. It also asks that creation care and justice will be lifted up in all areas of ministry and mission, including preaching, liturgy, communications, education, outreach, and advocacy

5.Supporting Central Conference Leadership And The Christmas Covenant

This is a complicated resolution for most United Methodists who don't know that much about how the worldwide United Methodist church is organized. Basically, the goal of this resolution is to support the Christmas Covenant, which would assure the Central Conferences of our support and would create a U.S. Regional Conference (this means that the vote of the Central Conferences will affect only their conferences and the vote of our regional conference will only affect those of us in the United States.

Copies of this resolution will be sent to the General Conference.

Additional Resolutions to be taken to General Conference

Supporting the Removal of Discriminatory Policies

This resolution is to remove _all_ of the discriminatory policies, the best known of which is: , “The UMC does not condone the practice of homosexuality and considers this practice incompatible with Christian teaching.”. However, this resolution lists _every_ discriminatory policy in the Book of Discipline.

Encouraging Leadership With Integrity

Acknowledges churches which are stepping away from the U.M.C., calls every United Methodist to move forward in fairness and integrity, asks that those who intend to disaffiliate from the U.M.C. recuse themselves from leadership roles in all areas of the church, including the local church, district, conference, jurisdictional, and general church level committees, boards, agencies, delegations, and episcopal leaders.

Unlike previous conferences, I was the only 'member' of this church who was attending this Annual Conference. There will be no excuse for not attending the next one, however because . . .

Our next Annual Conference will be held June 13-16-2024 at the Convention Center in Tucson, Arizona!!!

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