Study Commission on Doctrine General Conference 2015

The Study Commission on Doctrine (SCOD) has been pleased to serve the General Conference and the Free Methodist Church – USA throughout the past four years. In the 2011 Book of Disciple (¶ 4080A), the SCOD is charged as follows: the “Study Commission on Doctrine shall serve the General Conference by studying theological and social issues facing the church, and make recommendations to the General Conference.”

During this quadrennium the SCOD has been comprised of the following members: Bishop David Kendall, Chair; Bishop David Roller; Bishop Matt Thomas; Dr. Linda Adams; Dr. David Bauer; Dr. Bruce Cromwell; Dr. Kristina LaCelle-Peterson; Dr. Paul Livermore; and Dr. Denny Wayman.

The SCOD holds face-to-face meetings once every year and met on the following dates: February 13- 14, 2012; February 11-12, 2013; and February 24-25, 2014. We did not meet in 2015 due to General Conference.

Over the past four years the SCOD had multiple papers and issues referred to it from the General Conference. In addition, several issues arose that were deemed important to consider and address. The SCOD attempts to anticipate the dynamics facing the Church today, giving guidance to both clergy and laity as they seek to follow the Lord with faithfulness and integrity, in great love.

The following list of theological and social issues considered by the SCOD is organized by the year in which they were discussed, with several of these issues demanding multiple years of prayer, thought, study, and reflection.

2012

Openness Theology

Human Slavery

Missional Community

Immigration

The Gospel to the Poor

Eschatology

Women in Ministry

Orientation to Culture

Interaction with the Muslim Community

2013

Missional Community

Ministry to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Community

Response to Islam

Holy Matrimony and Marriage

Immigration

Counsel on Tongues Speaking

The Gospel to the Poor

Women in Ministry

2014

Eschatology

Missional Community

Immigration

Counsel on Tongues Speaking

Women in Ministry

Ministry to the LGBT Community

Several papers on many of these topics can be accessed through the SCOD web page, at www.fmcusa.org/scod, including:

God’s Love Expressed and Experienced” by Dr. Denny Wayman

Homosexuality and the Church Historic” by Dr. Bruce N. G. Cromwell

The Free Methodist Church’s Response to Sexuality and Sexual Orientation” by Bishop Matthew Thomas

Framing a Missional Response to 21st Century Issues: Same-sex Relationships” by Bishop David Kendall

Homosexuality According to the Bible” by Dr. David R. Bauer

The Free Methodist Position on Immigration” by Bishop David Roller and Dr. Bruce N. G. Cromwell

The Church and Mission” by Dr. David R. Bauer and Dr. Denny Wayman

Modern-Day Slavery” “God is Responsive” by Dr. David R. Bauer

Pastoral Responses to Marital Failure” by Bishop David Kendall

Sexual Issues: A Pastoral Resource” by Dr. Denny Wayman

Free Methodism’s Living Witness: Sesquicentennial Reflections” by Dr. Howard A. Snyder

Islam and Christians: A Guide for Free Methodists” by Dr. A. H. Mathias Zahniser

Respectfully submitted,

Rev. Bruce N. G. Cromwell, Ph.D. SCOD Secretary