Memorandum Number 546


October 25, 1984

Meaning of General Conference Action on Recommendations Concerning Inclusive Language.


The question raised is one of parliamentary interpretation. Following a careful review of the General Conference discussions on this subject, a brief submitted by the General Council on Ministries, and an oral hearing at which Dr. John Walker of the Little Rock Conference appeared, it is our judgment that Report No. 9, Calendar Item 232, consists of two different categories: (1)Recommendations and (2) Study material. Concurrence was voted with the Committee's six recommendations. The study, "Words that Hurt and Words that Heal," was received for further study. That document was not adopted as the official position and stand of the Church. It was received for study and the directions given for implementation of that study. Whether or not it ever becomes the official position of the Church will depend on the actions of future General Conferences. For the present, it is a matter for study and consideration by the Church at large. There is no General Conference mandate that the "Words that Hurt and Words that Heal" report be used as guidelines.

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