Australia National Conference
2 June 2012
Australia National Conference Recommends Policy Change
First Presidency and Council of Twelve Will Have to Approve before Implementation
The Australia National Conference was held June 2. After years of study, dialogue, and prayer, church members gathered at the Drummoyne Congregation in Sydney to address one topic: whether ordination should be open to people who are in long-term, committed, same-sex relationships.
After hearing multiple perspectives, including views from international representatives, the Australia National Conference, by more than the required two-thirds majority, made the following recommendation to the First Presidency and the Council of Twelve Apostles:
We support the ordination of individuals who are called by God through the processes established by Community of Christ, who are in long-term, committed, homosexual relationships, i.e. de facto relationships (this is a legally recognized relationship status in Australia for same-sex and opposite-sex couples), and recommend that the First Presidency and the Council of Twelve Apostles proceed to prepare and implement policy allowing these calls to be considered, and, if approved, for ordinations to proceed within the Australia Mission Centre.
The First Presidency and the Council of Twelve will need to approve the policy revision recommended by the Australia National Conference. To develop, approve, and implement interim policies can take up to one year. Any policy change will pertain only to the Australia Mission Centre. Other nations will continue to abide by existing church policies.
The movement of the Holy Spirit affirmed that this recommendation is appropriate for church members in Australia at this time. As a worldwide church, our members strive for unity and understanding in the midst of diverse opinions and feelings as we pursue our mission to proclaim Jesus Christ and promote communities of joy, hope, love, and peace.
Community of Christ is an international church with nearly a quarter million members in about 50 nations of the world. There are about 2,900 members in Australia. While we are united around the world in Christ’s mission, because of our broad expanse of cultures some issues must be addressed in national conferences. (See Doctrine and Covenants 164:7.)
Our Enduring Principles guide national conference interactions. These gatherings offer opportunities to experience the Blessings of Community as we explore how to uphold the Worth of All Persons, respond to the understanding that All Are Called, and celebrate Unity in Diversity.