Gender Discriminations in Appointments
Whereas, we believe that all of humanity is created in God’s image and likeness. “So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27 NRSV); and, Whereas, we believe that God calls women into leadership like Deborah and Esther (Judges 4 and 5; Esther). We acknowledge that women were part of Christ’s ministry including Mary, Joanna, and Susanna (Luke 8:2-3). We affirm the many female leaders in the early church including Phoebe, a deacon of the church at Cenchreae (Romans 16:1-2); and, Whereas, we know that God calls women to ordained ministry; and, Whereas, ¶ 162F of the Social Principles of The United Methodist Church states: “We affirm women and men to be equal in every aspect of their common life. [...And we] affirm the right of women to equal treatment in employment, responsibility, promotion, and compensation.” (The 2016 Book of Discipline); and, Whereas, The Book of Discipline ¶ 425.1 states that “Open itinerancy means appointments are made without regard to race, ethnic origin, gender, color, disability, marital status, or age, except for the provisions of mandatory retirement.” and, Whereas, there are still local churches and Staff Parish Relations Committees that refuse to consider female clergy for appointments; and, Whereas, we know that gender discrimination thrives in our silence; therefore, be it Resolved, that the Western North Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church recommends our bishop and Cabinet to: 1. respond to requests concerning the non-consideration of female clergy by affirming our position of open itinerancy. 2. educate Staff Parish Relations Committees on why discrimination is harmful to the mission of the church. 3. communicate our position of non-discrimination with Staff Parish Relations Committees through the consultation process.