September 2012

Original Restorative Ministries Resolution by John Scherer

Restorative Ministries

Whereas, Community of Christ has been called in Doctrine and Covenants 163 to “whole-life stewardship dedicated to expanding the churches restoring ministries, especially those devoted to asserting the worth of  persons, protecting the sacredness of creation, and relieving physical and spiritual suffering;” and

Whereas, The union of two individuals living in a  mutual long-term committed relationship (referred to by different terms in different nations) and recognized by the laws of the nation in which they reside giving rights and responsibilities attending to each party, is a primary foundation of community and family life; and

Whereas, The breakdown of these mutual commitments and the subsequent restructuring of living arrangements occurring in about half of these long-term relationships, involves delicate and often painful negotiations that can continue for years; and

Whereas, These negotiations can affect the legal, emotional and physical well-being of all members of the family involved during and after the separation process; and

Whereas, The substance of this process brings lasting changes to the mental, spiritual and physical condition of children, couples and others involved; and

Whereas, Premature intervention by Community of Christ administrative officers to impose suspension, ministerial silence or release from priesthood status during this restructuring period can have a very hurtful personal affect on members of the family as well as having an unintended effect upon legal and relational negotiations that may in process; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That it is the opinion of this World Conference that administrative officers charged with the implementation of church policies governing priesthood ministry during civil divorce and life restructuring periods should be given flexibility in imposing suspension, ministerial silence or release in order to take into account the unique circumstance found in each individual situation rather than being an automatic response to one universal church policy.

                                   John Scherer-Sept. 7/12