Paragraph 4, Article IV: Getting Started
Regardless of which candidate you supported during this election cycle, almost everyone will agree it has been a tough year. The struggle continues as so many people question whether they are safe in our society. At times like these, the church can play a significant role in offering a safe place to those looking for reassurance. Keeping church membership open to all people regardless of their gender, marital status, age, or abilities is exactly what our newest amendment to The United Methodist Constitution provides.
Paragraph 4, Article IV prohibits discrimination against individuals seeking membership in our United Methodist churches based on gender, ability, age, or marital status. To be perfectly clear, this means that no person can be denied membership based on whether they are male or female, experience physical or mental limitations, are young or old, or are married or single. In contrast, a pastor can prohibit someone from membership if they are an atheist or profess a different religion.
During the next few months, all annual conference COSROWs should be working to educate their annual conferences on this important amendment. Under the “Paragraph 4, Article IV” tab on our website, you will find a complete strategy to help you decide what you should be doing now to promote this legislation. Some of the key steps include meeting with your Annual Conference COSROW and determining the strategy for your location. If it is difficult to meet in person, use platforms such as Google Hangout or Free Conference Call to gather committee members.
It is very important to set your strategy before January 1, so you can begin to contact all of the key players in your annual conference and help them to understand Paragraph 4, Article IV, before Annual Conference Sessions begin.
Never tweeted before? You’re not alone. Still, a lot of information is exchanged on Twitter! So, the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women has established a hashtag for keeping everyone up to date on Paragraph 4, Article IV progress. It is #forpara4. You can start using it now to share your AC COSROW strategy for passing the amendment to The United Methodist Constitution. We will be looking for your tweets!
If you aren’t on Twitter, it’s easy to sign up. Just search for “Twitter” on your browser. Then sign up. You will have to come up with your @username. Mine is @shalompaz. Tag me as often as you like!