Page 2 - Congregational Withdrawal
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throughout the denomination for each individual case. Rather, it is intended to outline
                   broad parameters in which it is hoped that congregations and districts can find
                   suggestions that will help us work towards reconciliation and satisfactory resolution
                   within our understanding of community. The goal of the following process is to find
                   God's truth together in a respectful Christian community. It is hoped that any
                   congregation that feels led to disagree with Annual Conference decisions should
                   assume a special responsibility to initiate extended dialog with others in the
                   denomination about its choice. In so doing, the congregation should not automatically
                   assume the role of prophet, but rather, try to model and encourage a spirit of finding the
                   mind of Christ amid diversity in discernment.

                   There is an expectation that within the context of ongoing district ministries and
                   congregational relationships, awareness of disagreement with a specific Annual
                   Conference action might emerge early on. District leadership should anticipate potential
                   congregational disagreement with any particular Annual Conference action before
                   receiving official notice in the form of a letter from the congregation, and review district
                   procedures for processing congregational disagreements.
                   Once official notice is received, the district is encouraged to review the matter and
                   determine a response as soon as possible. Response measures might be to:
                       ▪  send a letter of response from the district executive, the district board chair,
                          board commission chair, district Standing Committee member, or some other
                          appropriate individual;
                       ▪  schedule a visit to the congregation for respectful dialog, discussion, and
                       ▪  appoint a group or committee to meet with the congregation to discuss the
                       ▪  utilize the skills of the district Shalom Team and other reconciliation workers to
                          give guidance and facilitate dialog;
                       ▪  call for a day of prayer and fasting to seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit and for
                          appropriate spiritual conduct;
                       ▪  facilitate a forum at which the congregation in disagreement might present its
                          position or understanding;
                       ▪  consult with resource persons outside the district, including mediation leaders,
                          On Earth Peace staff members, Mission and Ministry Board members, Annual
                          Conference officers, Leadership Team, and others;
                       ▪  bring the matter to the district conference only if all attempts at reconciliation
                          have proven unsuccessful or unsatisfactory, and if the issue is such that it
                          represents a threat to the overall unity and effective ministry of the district.
                          Specific recommendations to the district conference might include
                          1.  a statement acknowledging that the congregation in question is “out of
                              harmony” with the denomination on the particular issue, but remains in
                              support and in fellowship with the district and Annual Conference;
                          2.  a call to prayer for all congregations within the district seeking the guidance of
                              the Holy Spirit regarding the issue, and seeking a spiritual anointing that

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