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Report on World Conference Actions

RLDS World Conference 2000

    2000 World Conference Actions

    Conference delegates have taken the following actions, which will be printed in

    Rules and Resolutions as indicated:


    World Church Financial Policy

    Adopted April 5, 2000

    (Rescinds WCRs 948, 1023, 1062, 1071, 1096, 1133, 1146, 1181, and 1225)

    1264. Whereas, The wise and prudent management of the financial resources of the church is essential to the on-going mission of the church; and

    Whereas, The World Conference of 1994 authorized the Presiding bishopric to create a Stewardship Foundation to simplify the management and effectively direct resources of the foundation for missional and developmental purposes and such foundation was established in January 1998; and

    Whereas, The World Conference of 1998 created a World Church Finance Board to assist church leaders in budget development and approval; and

    Whereas, These two bodies as well as church leaders would benefit from the establishment of a clearly articulated statement of philosophy and principles concerning the church's finances; and

    Whereas, The implementation of new methods of budgeting and asset management calls for increasing flexibility which is mitigated by some existing World Conference resolutions relating to church finances and stewardship practices, many of which are no longer applicable today; and

    Whereas, The World Church Finance Board took action to support and approve the World Church Financial Policy included in this resolution at its meeting on September 18, 1999; therefore, be it

    Resolved, That WCR 948, 1023, 1062, 1071, 1096, 1133, 1146, 1181, and 1225 be rescinded; and be it further

    Resolved , That the following World Church Financial Policy be adopted:

    World Church Financial Policy

    World Church Financial Philosophy

    The church, as a prophetic witness, called to be a worldwide church dedicated to the pursuit of peace, reconciliation, and healing of the spirit, will align its financial resources to fulfill its mission to proclaim Jesus Christ and promote communities of joy, hope, love, and peace.

    World Church Financial Principles

    Implementation of the World Church Financial Policy will

    a. reflect the basic understanding of the disciple as steward accountable to God in the context of community and creation;

    b. celebrate all gifts given in response to the ministry of Jesus Christ;

    c. recognize that disciples' offerings are the foundational source of funding for church mission ;

    d. combine visionary leadership with the participation and common consent of a prophetic people;

    e. respond to the scriptural witness of God's generosity by utilizing church assets flexibly, efficiently, and in a manner that maximizes impact on mission;

    f. provide a strong financial foundation on which future generations of the church can build;

    g. operate in a manner consistent with applicable laws and policies of both church and government; and

    h . require wisdom, planning, and prudence.

    World Church Financial Practices

    World Church Finance Board. The World Conference elects a World Church Finance Board and delegates to the board responsibility for the creation and approval of World Conference budgets and the establishment of the fiscal year.

    Budget. Financial resources are allocated for the mission of the church primarily through budgetary processes at each jurisdictional level.

    Contributions. Contributions are received, spent, and accounted for according to generally accepted accounting principles. Circumstances and priorities may require categories for contributions to vary from time to time. When these changes occur they will be clearly communicated to the church .

    Operating Reserve. The Operating Reserve's Basic Reserve will be used only in times of economic stress after appropriate steps have been taken to effect necessary economies in the church operation. These will include such adjustments and reductions in the budget that will enable the church to proceed with reasonable effectiveness without impairing its onward progress. The goal is to maintain three months of annual budgeted expenses as the Basic Reserve.

    Indebtedness. Indebtedness will be assumed only when deemed prudent, reasonable, and in accordance with the policies of the World Church Finance Board.

    Investments. Funds that are being held for future expenditure or that are permanently or temporarily restricted will be invested to support the mission of the church. These funds will be invested to preserve principal and provide income in accordance with World Conference resolutions and the investment policy of the Presiding Bishopric.

    Endowments. Endowments shall be maintained to provide perpetual resources for the mission of the church. The spending rate shall be set with the goal to maintain the corpus and the purchasing power of endowments.

    Stewardship Foundation. The purpose of the Stewardship Foundation and its board shall be to increase financial support and effectively direct the resources assigned to it for the mission of the church.

    Reporting. Financial records are audited annually. Regular reporting will take place to the World Conference and through the Saints Herald as well as other means using acceptable accounting standards.

    The First Presidency

    Change in Herald House


    Adopted April 5, 2000

    1265. Whereas, The incorporation of the church in the State of Illinois in 1872 provided that the Presiding Bishopric would nominate for the approval of the church conference a Committee of Publication to manage the publication business of the church (Article 3 of Articles of Incorporation of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints [1872], see Rules and Resolutions, 1990 Edition, Appendix A, pp. 98-99); and

    Whereas, The Illinois corporation continues to be maintained for various legal purposes; and

    Whereas, The recent integration of Herald House with World Church headquarters has now placed the governance of Herald House with a Corporate Body consisting of the First Presidency, Presiding Bishopric, and president of the Council of Twelve; therefore, be it

    Resolved, That the Articles of Incorporation of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (1872) be footnoted to show this change in the governance of Herald House.

    Jubilee 2000

    Approved April 5, 2000

    1266. Whereas, The theme of the 2000 World Conference is "Jubilee!"; and

    Whereas, Every seventh year Israel, a freed slave people, was commanded to forgive debts and set slaves free (Deuteronomy 15:1-2, 12-13); and

    Whereas, At the end of every seven times seven years a Jubilee was celebrated with the proclamation of liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants and the return of family lands to the landless (Leviticus 25:8-10); and

    Whereas, Jesus of Nazareth announced a Jubilee at the beginning of his public ministry by announcing good news to the poor, proclaiming liberty to the captives, and declaring the year of the Lord's favor (Luke 4:18-19); and

    Whereas, Instruction which has been given in former years is applicable in principle to the needs of today (Doctrine and Covenants 147:7); and

    Whereas, The world's poorest nations in Africa, Asia, and Latin America continue to struggle under a crushing burden of debt repayments, a significant portion of which is owed to multilateral development agencies and to governments of wealthy nations like Canada, France, Germany, italy, Japan, the UK, and the USA1; and

    Whereas, Much of this results from borrowing that has benefited primarily the rich while the burden of repaying the debt falls heavily on the poor people, and cannot be paid without causing environmental harm and great social suffering to the most impoverished members of society, weakening civil society and inducing a downward spiral of economic, social, political, and environmental decline2 ; and

    Whereas, Past World Conferences have clearly expressed their concern for the well-being of all persons and especially the poor globally (WCR 1148, WCR 1161, WCR 1151, and WCR 1184); therefore, be it

    Resolved, That this 2000 World Conference challenge all of the members, friends, and congregations of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to join with others of goodwill in the worldwide Jubilee 2000 Campaign, and invite them to take the following specific actions:

    1. Study quality resources as individuals, groups, and congregations on the issues related to local, national, and international poverty, including the indebtedness of poor nations, in the context of the imperatives of the gospel of Jesus; and

    2. Campaign and write to government representatives and leaders, particularly in wealthy nations, urging the release of these impoverished nations from their indebtedness by the end of the year 2000, with clear conditions that ensure that the economic and social conditions of the poor of these lands be improved; and

    3. Make a concerted effort to work for the cause of the oppressed throughout the world by improving corporate and individual commitment to organizations such as Outreach International, RLDS Medical and Dental Association, the Children's Peace Pavilion, World Hunger Fund, GALA, Ethnic Ministries, Urban Ministries, WoRLDService Corps, and other organizations deemed worthy by members that further the cause of peace and justice for the poor and oppressed.


      Based on figures taken from World Bank World Development Indicators (1999), Washington, D.C.' World Bank Global Development Finance (1999), Washington, D.D.; 1999 World Bank Data Base On-line, <>; cited in The Jubilee 2000/USA World Debt Chart (June 15, 1999), Washington, D.C.

      New Internationalist magazine (May 1999), summary pages 18-19, using World Bank sources.

    World Peace Committee

      Approved April 5, 2000

    1267. Whereas, The conclusion of the current RLDS vision statement says, "We will be an international community of prophetic vision, faithful to the risen Christ, empowered by hope, spending ourselves courageously in the pursuit of peace and justice"; and

    Whereas, The RLDS Church recognizes in its vision statement that it cannot pursue external peace without also pursuing justice; and

    Whereas, External peace without justice is a "counterfeit" peace that does not lead to reconciliation and healing of the spirit; therefore, be it

    Resolved, That the "Committee on World Peace" established by WCR 1177 and commonly referred to as either the "World Church Peace Committee" or the "World Peace Committee," be renamed the "World Church Peace and Justice Committee" and its focus broadened to include the pursuit of justice, as well as the pursuit of external peace in the world; and be it further

    Resolved, That this World Church Peace and Justice Committee continue its pursuit of external peace and justice, recognizing that external peace and justice are closely related and may be pursued throughout the world in a diversity of ways; and be it further

    Resolved, That the diverse ways recognized by the RLDS Church in which external peace and justice are pursued should include, but not be limited to, the personal and corporate means such as reconciliation, negotiation, mediation, and the use of justifiable force for peacekeeping, protection, and defense.

    Church Name

    Approved April 7, 2000

    (Rescinds WCR 1144)

    1268. Whereas, The name "Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints" has been problematic in registering the church in certain parts of the world necessitating the church to be identified by different names in several of the countries wherein the church is legally recognized; and

    Whereas, Over the years the World Conference has considered various ways of identifying the church by a name that is more consistent with its missional identity throughout the world; and

    Whereas, WCR 1144 recognizes the difficulties in applying a new name for the church based on a "single decision based on English and on the North American history of the church to other languages, nations, and culture," and further provides that "the church be identified locally by such terms as may be responsive to the time and place and circumstances"; and

    Whereas, The Joint Council of 1994 agreed on the name "Community of Christ" as being a name for the church that represented who and what we are and is "responsive to the time and place and circumstances" referred to in WCR 1144; and

    Whereas, The World Church Leadership Council of 2000 has similarly expressed its confirming testimony of the appropriateness and timeliness of this change in name; and

    Whereas, The name "Community of Christ" is currently registered as a Missouri Not-For-Profit Church Corporation by the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints; and

    Whereas, This name honors who we have been and offers a positive image of what the church is called to be as God's people in the future; and

    Whereas, Legal issues surrounding the use of a new church name will require careful planning in the process of implementing the use of such a new name; therefore, be it

    Resolved, That a new name for the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints be "Community of Christ," to be applied in states, provinces, countries, and jurisdictions where it can legally and appropriately be used in that country and culture; and be it further

    Resolved, That prior to the official use of the name "Community of Christ," the First Presidency develop guidelines and a communications plan to assist congregations and field jurisdictions in implementing the use of this new name for the church; and be it further

    Resolved, That in order to provide time for the development of the communications plan and guidelines, the process of implementing the name "Community of Christ" not begin until provided for by the First Presidency, and in no case before January 1, 2001; and be it further

    Resolved, That concurrent with these guidelines, the name "Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints" remain legally binding and be retained for legal purposes, and be it further

    Resolved, That World Conference Resolution 1144 be rescinded.

      Interfaith Relations

      Approved April 7, 2000

    1269. Whereas, It is believed by many persons involved in peace and justice issues that interfaith dialogue is of crucial; and

    Whereas, The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is a Christian denomination and since the time of Vatican Council II various other Christian denominations have taken differing positions in regard to the overall issue of interfaith religions; and

    Whereas, The Restoration movement has had an active interest in relations with other faiths; and

    Whereas, In the present context of diverse "Christian" reactions to these issues it would be helpful for members and church administrators to have a reference resource, including a policy statement from the church along with recommendations on how individual and congregational efforts may enhance mutual understanding; therefore, be it

    Resolved, That the First Presidency appoint a committee to study the issues of RLDS interfaith relations and make recommendations to the First Presidency and the next World Conference; and be it further,

    Resolved, That the committee report include:

    a survey of RLDS publications to determine how the church has fostered inter-religious dialogue;

    a historical account of the RLDS relationship to other faiths;

    recommendations to initiate a program of ongoing dialogue between the RLDS Church and world religions;

    a proposal for the church's relationship to world religions;

    recommendations for individual and congregational programs of mutual understanding;

    a bibliographic listing of educational resources dealing with scriptural texts which may have been inappropriately used to foster prejudice;

    a description of positions taken by other Christian denominations; and

    recommendations on how the RLDS Church may best extend relations with other faith traditions.

    Personal Use of Firearms

    Adopted April 8, 2000

    1270. Whereas, Firearms cause much death and pain worldwide; and

    Whereas, We are called to be peacemakers; therefore, be it

    Resolved, That the church encourage in its members a thoughtful and reflective stewardship regarding the use of firearms for professional or for sports purposes; and be it further

    Resolved, That the church encourage its members to renounce the personal use of firearms for all other purposes as a response to the call to recognize the worth of all persons.

    Election of Stake Pastors

    Approved April 8, 2000

    1271. Whereas, The existing World Church Rules of Order, Article 35, developed in the 1950s, calls for the election of congregational pastors at yearly stake conferences, and was based upon the conception of a stake as a close jurisdictional structure in terms of organization, communication, and geographical distance; and

    Whereas, For many modern stakes there are significant commuting times from local congregations to the site of the stake conference, to the degree that it is extremely unlikely that the majority of a congregation would be at a stake conference for the election of pastors; and

    Whereas, The spirit of Transformation 2000 affirms the importance of congregations, with one of the most important decisions for congregations being the selection of their pastoral leadership teams; therefore, be it

    Resolved, That the First Presidency, Presiding Bishopric, and Council of Twelve as a part of their future field reorganization studies be requested to provide for the election of pastors in congregations regardless of the administrative form of their supervisory jurisdiction; and be it further

    Resolved, That until such time that a proposal for field reorganization, with associated recommendations for revision to the existing Rules of Order, is presented to the World Conference, stake presidents, after approval from their field apostle, shall be exempted from complying with the requirement of Article 35 of the Rules of Order to elect congregational pastors at a stake conference.

    Practical Peace and Justice for

    Youth and Young Adults

    Approved April 8, 2000

    1272. Whereas, The church has dedicated itself to peace, justice, and reconciliation; and

    Whereas, This is a practical as well as a spiritual exhortation and a call to involve ourselves in our local community; and

    Whereas, The Young Peacemakers Clubs have been a successful tool in reaching out to children in our communities; and

    Whereas, There is not, as yet, any such program for youth and young adults; therefore, be it

    Resolved, That a similar program be established for youth and young adults to supplement existing activity groups; and be it further

    Resolved, That these groups focus on furthering the cause of peace, justice, and reconciliation in their local communities through education, discussion, and practical projects.

    Healing Ministry and Capital Punishment

    Adopted April 8, 2000

    1273. Whereas, An increasing amount of research clearly documents the ineffectiveness of the use of the death penalty as a viable means to deter violent crime; and

    Whereas, Application of the death penalty often discriminates against the poor, minorities, uneducated, and the mentally impaired; and

    Whereas, In this century we have seen dramatic examples of the redemptive value of unconditional love, based on the teachings of Jesus (e.g., Gandhi, M.L. King); and

    Whereas, A growing number of nations and faith groups including Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, Jewish, and other traditions have either already rejected or urged extreme caution in using the death penalty as a means of punishment or as a deterrent for violent crime; and

    Whereas, As a faith movement we humbly affirm that "one being is as precious in God's sight as the other" (Jacob 2:27); and

    Whereas, The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints reaffirms that as disciples we seek to be faithful living expressions of the life and teachings of Jesus; therefore, be it

    Resolved, That we stand in opposition to the use of the death penalty; and be it further

    Resolved, That as a peace church we seek ways to achieve healing and restorative justice.

    Seminary Development

    Adopted April 8, 2000

    1274. Whereas, A Seminary Task Force appointed by the First Presidency has recommended that the church continue pursuing the establishment of a World Church seminary; and

    Whereas, There is a need for professional training and education for ministers, as well as indication of a viable market for this program of education; and

    Whereas, The World Church Finance Board is authorized by the World Conference to review budgetary priorities and decisions, upon recommendation by the First Presidency in consultation with the Presiding Bishopric; and

    Whereas, The development of a World Church seminary will require further study as to appropriate governance structure; therefore, be it

    Resolved, That the World Conference give its support to the concept of developing a church-sponsored seminary dedicated to ministerial training and preparation; and be it further

    Resolved, That the First Presidency be authorized to proceed with the necessary arrangements to put into place a World Church seminary, including the appointment of an interim board of trustees for the seminary; and be it further

    Resolved, That the First Presidency provide a full report on seminary development to the 2002 World Conference.

July 11, 2000


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