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Saturday Afternoon Session

The Saturday afternoon session began with singing and the results of more voting which can be found on this site by clicking here.

A spontaneous collection was taken at conference that raised $9,397 for Chaplain Services thanks to the generosity of conference members.

The Rev. Cecil McFarland of the Chaplain Service Prison Ministry of Virginia, Inc., came to the stage to present his report. He showed a DVD that told about 32,000 men, women and juveniles incarcerated in Virginia. Eventually many of them will be returned to society and they need programs available to them to help them understand that there is more to life than what they have known. Chaplain Service helps change thousands of those lives with Bible study, counseling and prison ministry. One inmate shared that he had never had a positive role model in his life until he came into contact with Chaplain Service. The inmates learn how to give instead of take from society. Supporting Chaplain Service, an ecumenical ministry, means everyone will have better communities in which to live. The goal is to have full-time chaplains at all prisons, jails and detention centers. Chaplain Service needs prayers, volunteers, and donations to keep its ministry functioning.

Resolution 11 was taken into consideration again. The maker of the resolution has agreed to delete the corporations named in paragraph 3. A substitute motion was proposed by Charles Swadley which was approved.

Sarah Hundley speaks in favor of Resolution 17.

Resolution 17, Affirmation of the Statement of Counsel to the Church which urges a change in the Book of Discipline in regards to views on homosexuality and ordination of gays and lesbians. The Committee on Resolutions presented to the conference without recommendation. The resolution urges all local churches to use the document and the information provided by the General Board of Church and Society on "Human Sexuality" and "Combating Homophobia" to prayerfully study and reflect on the place of homophobia and heterosexism with the church and society. Jim Wishmyer offered a substitute motion. It called for all churches to study during the year with the Methodist Federation for Social Action and the Evangelical Fellowship of Virginia to work together to prepare a balanced bibliography of resources for local churches. The amendment was not approved.

Bruce Johnson of Manor Memorial Church spoke against the resolution. He said we can affirm the intent to be an inclusive church. The question is what vision on inclusivity will guide us. Sarah Hundley spoke in favor of the resolution. She urged members to open their hearts and minds.

"If we practice what we preach, open doors, open minds, open hearts, we will pass this resolution," Hundley said. "The God I know and love would not call gays, lesbians and transgenders if He did not love them. Their sexuality is not what defines them."

Larry Baker, Rapidan Charge, Charlottesville District, spoke against it. He said he has a gay son who has a partner. "We have not rejected our son, but we are praying for him that he will return to the Lord. I believe the statement and Resolution ignores Scripture. tradition, and reason."

Matt Knonenburg spoke in favor of the resolution. "I am a sinner, just as everyone here is a sinner. But does one sin stop the person from ministering?" When we deny ordination to anyone for their sin, than this is hypocracy. We must deal with each other with compassion and mercy."

The Rev. David Ford speaks against Resolution 17.

David Ford, pastor of New Town, Peninsula District, spoke against the resolution. He said we must correct the notion that the counter sexual revolution that began in the '60s and '70s began to cast away the stance of celibacy in singleness and sex between a man and a woman. Marriage cannot be redefined. After several more debates, there was a call for the question bringing debate to a conclusion. The resolution did not prevail.

A motion was put forward to limit debates on resolutions to three speeches for and against and be limited to three minutes each. The motion prevailed.

Resolution 9 came back to the conference for consideration. The amendment was reworded and was approved.

Resolution 13, Effective and Constuctive Peacemaking between Palestinians and Israelis. David Hindman offered an amendment. The amendment failed. Resolution 13 was approved.

Resolution 12, Annual Conference Support of '20/20: Visioning an AIDS-Free World.' Referred to the Board of Church and Society which recommended concurrence with the deletion of committing annual conference plenary time. Only the bishop can set the time. The maker of the resolution accepted the deletion. The resolution was approved.



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