In actions taken on Tuesday, 27 June, the General Assembly:
(Go to ga2017.com/resolutions to view documents.)
- Voted to reconsider JUD-813, Article 10, “Christian Holiness and Entire Sanctification,” which failed to reach a two-thirds vote Monday. After further discussion, another vote was taken and JUD-813 was referred to the Board of General Superintendents for further study.
- Authorized a study group to study the Manual’s ritual on infant baptism. The resolution gives the BGS the flexibility to either raise a special committee or to assign it to the Theological Study Committee.
- Revised the ritual for the baptism of believers to include the statement that the sacrament signifies “participation by faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and incorporation into His Body, the Church. It is a means of grace proclaiming Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.” This harmonizes language in the ritual with changes ordered yesterday to the Article of Faith on baptism. (JUD-828)
- Deleted paragraph 800.4 from the Manual. The paragraph was a special ritual for the dedication of the infant of a single parent. It was believed that a separate ritual for this situation was not necessary.
- Approved changes to the ritual for receiving new members. The original resolution would have made baptism a condition of church membership but failed in committee before it came before the Assembly. (JUD-830)
- Revised the wording in the ritual for the Lord’s Supper to harmonize with changes made Monday to the corresponding article of faith. (JUD-831)
- Adopted changes to Manual paragraph 803, “Matrimony.” (JUD-832)
- Added three new paragraphs to the Manual pertaining to conflict resolution and reconciliation in the church. The paragraphs recognize that conflict is a part of life, including life in the church. It urges an informal process of resolving conflict before formal processes begin. (JUD-835)
- Adopted changes to Manual paragraph 305.2 that removes the language that allows the Assembly to elect as many general superintendents “as it deems necessary” to “six general superintendents.” (GA-317)
- Designated Sharpe Memorial Church of the Nazarene (“Old Stone Church”) in Manzini, Swaziland, as one the Church of the Nazarene’s historic landmarks. The church is named for Rev. George Sharpe, regional superintendent for Africa in the 1920s. (CP-101)
- Added a new paragraph to the Manual that is a mission statement for Nazarene Publishing House. The paragraph states that the church “entrusts Nazarene Publishing House” to “protect and manage the media assets utilized by the Church of the Nazarene and its affiliates.” (CP-102)
- Overwhelmingly (97%) adopted a comprehensive statement on “Human Sexuality,” replacing a series of position statements with an extended and carefully crafted text grounded in theological ethics. The action taken also deleted Manual paragraphs 30-30.4. (CA-701)
- Provided for church board meetings, including votes, to be conducted using digital technology. (LA-405)
- Considered LA-411, which sought to permit all church meetings via telephone conference or other electronic media, so long as all have the opportunity to communicate and participate, and referred it to the BGS for further study. (LA-411)
- Voted to retain Manual paragraph 903.2, “Discrimination.” The Manual’s statements on moral and social issues in the 903 section are automatically re-examined every 12 years.
- Referred MED-517 to the BGS for further consideration.