Memorandum Number 642


October 24, 1990

Petition Regarding Apparent Conflict in General Conference Actions Affecting Language in the Book of Worship.


The Judicial Council cannot determine the intent of the General Conference when it adopted Petition No. 2492, then a day later adopted Petitions No. 1746 and 818 which are in apparent conflict with No. 2492.

Bishop Susan Morrison of the Committee on the Book of Worship appeared at an open hearing on October 24, 1990 to answer questions of the Council.

The Council specifically and deliberately expresses no opinion with regard to this matter. The General Conference is the only body which has final authority to decide the language of the Book of Worship.

Concurring Opinion

While we fully concur with our colleagues that there is an apparent conflict between Petition No. 2492, adopted a day earlier than Petitions No. 1746 and No. 818 which do not conflict with each other, the General Conference also expressed its judgment in this matter by adopting Petition No. 2502 with regard to the ritual for Baptism and Petition No. 75 which deals with ordination. In both these rituals, the General Conference affirmed the traditional Trinitarian language. We are confident that the Committee on the Book of Worship will consider these actions as well in the preparation of their book to be approved by the General Conference.

Gene E. Sease

Tom Matheny

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