Standing Committee recommendation on ‘Query: Same Sex Weddings’ fails to gain two-thirds majority




A view of the Conference business session
Photo by Regina Holmes

A view of the Conference business session

After a morning of spirited discussion among delegates, “Query: Same Sex Weddings” continues to be on the business floor of Annual Conference. A Standing Committee recommendation on the query failed to gain a two-thirds majority vote. A motion to return the query was made immediately before the end of the morning business session.

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Deliberations will continue on Saturday morning. This afternoon, business is suspended for a “Jubilee Afternoon” of activities for all Conference-goers.

This morning, a Standing Committee recommendation on the query was voted on and failed (the recommendation and a report from yesterday’s deliberations are at www.brethren.org/news/2016/delegates-open-business-floor-to-query.html ) . Before the vote on the recommendation, many thoughtful speeches were given at the microphones expressing a wide variety of points of view on the Standing Committee response and its implications for the church.

When a vote on the recommendation was finally taken, by paper ballot, 55.1 percent voted for it and 44.9 percent voted against it. In order to pass, the recommendation needed more than two-thirds of the votes or 66.67 percent.

In other business

The morning business session also included the Church of the Brethren report to the delegates, at the end of which general secretary-elect David Steele was introduced to the delegate body and gave some remarks. The whole Conference was invited to a “meet and greet” for Steele followed the business session.

Also present at the Conference this morning was Church World Service (CWS) president and CEO John McCullough. With two Church of the Brethren members who are active with the church-based relief and development organization--Dennis Metzger and Jordan Bles--McCullough presented an award to the Church of the Brethren. The “Founder’s Award for 70 Years of Help and Hope” is given to the denomination in recognition of the Brethren history of helping to found CWS some 70 years ago, and having given significant leadership and support to the organization in the years since. Moderator Andy Murray responded, “We will accept this with gratitude for the work that you do and the work that we helped start.”

The morning closed with an unexpected treat: a performance by Annual Conference moderator Andy Murray of his popular song about Dan West, Heifer founder, called “Cowboy Dan.” The song celebrated the presence of a heifer in the building as a way for Brethren Press to promote the children’s book “Seagoing Cowboy.”


The 2016 Annual Conference News Team includes: writers Frank Ramirez, Frances Townsend, Karen Garrett, Tyler Roebuck, Monica McFadden; photographers Glenn Riegel, Regina Holmes, Keith Hollenberg, Donna Parcell, Laura Brown; Conference Journal editor Eddie Edmonds; web manager Jan Fischer Bachman; web staff Russ Otto; editor Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford.

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