April 19-21, 2013
21 April 2013
USA National Conference Recommends Policy Changes (PDF)
First Presidency and Council of Twelve Will Have to Approve before Implementation
The Community of Christ USA National Conference was held April 19–21. After a three-year consent-building process of study, dialogue, and prayer, members from across the nation gathered at Community of Christ Auditorium in Independence, Missouri, to address two issues: same-sex/gender marriage where legal, and covenant commitment services where marriage is not legal; and ordination of people regardless of sexual orientation.
After hearing multiple perspectives, the USA National Conference, by more than the required 67-percent majority, made the following recommendations to the Community of Christ First Presidency and Council of Twelve Apostles:
- The 2013 USA National Conference recommends the sacrament of marriage be extended, where legal in the USA, to persons of the same sex/gender. Thus the 2013 USA National Conference recommends a change to the current policy for the USA on the sacrament of marriage; and
- The 2013 USA National Conference recommends that a church-recognized way for two persons of the same sex/gender to publicly express their covenant to each other be made available in places in the USA where marriage is not legal. Thus, the 2013 USA National Conference recommends a change to the current policy for the USA regarding same-sex/gender covenant commitment services where marriage is not legal; and
- The 2013 USA National Conference recommends allowing a priesthood call to be processed according to established procedures regardless of sexual orientation, including a person in a monogamous, committed, same-sex/gender relationship (e.g., legal marriage, civil partnership, covenant relationship) in the USA. Thus, the 2013 USA National Conference recommends a change to the current policy on ordination for the USA.
The First Presidency and the Council of Twelve will need to approve policy revisions recommended by the USA National Conference. To develop, approve, and implement interim policies can take up to one year. Any policy changes will pertain only to the United States of America. Other nations will continue to abide by existing church policies.
Community of Christ is an international church with nearly a quarter million members in about 50 nations. There are hundreds of Community of Christ congregations spread throughout the USA. While we are united around the world in Christ’s mission, because of our broad expanse of cultures there are some issues we address in national conferences.
Our Enduring Principles guide our 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.
USA National Conference videos
The following video presentation, "A Journey of Faith" is an updated version which includes the Conference outcomes.