From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Administrative Committee discusses expanded health care, anti-racism

Date 02 Feb 2001 13:44:23for <,>; Fri, 2 Feb 2001 13:47:08 -0800 (PST)

Date: February 2, 2001
Disciples News Service
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Contact: Clifford L. Willis
on the Web:


	INDIANAPOLIS (DNS) -- A recommendation endorsing health insurance benefits
for same-gender domestic partners and an update on the anti-racism,
pro-reconciliation initiative highlighted a light agenda for the General
Board Administrative Committee of the Christian Church (Disciples of

	With few exceptions, committee members endorsed broadening the
availability of family health coverage. "We believe justice and fairness
would be served by offering health insurance to same-gender domestic
partners," said an Administrative Committee working section. "We encourage
the Pension Fund board to use its gifts and graces to discern with the Holy
Spirit's guidance, appropriate policies and procedures for doing the work
of the church." 

	The Pension Fund board has been studying and discussing the issue and had
asked for consideration of it in a representative church decision-making
body. The Administrative Committee, meeting here Jan. 20-23, was the first
such body to offer an opinion. It remains to be seen whether the Pension
Fund board will act on the committee's recommendation.

	Fifteen teams are currently engaged in the long-term anti-racism process,
according to a report from the Office of General Minister and President.
Those entities include nine regions and six general units. Once resources
can be secured to support additional training sessions, other interested
regions and fellowship groups will be added, according to Lois Artis

	Murray is associate general minister and president of the Church Finance
Council and leads the general staff team, which is preparing a proposal to
establish an Anti-Racism, Pro-Reconciliation Commission. The proposal is
slated for consideration by the General Board in April. 

	The Church Finance Council president also asked that a new board of
directors be established. A 1996 measure by the General Board dissolved the
previous board and placed CFC oversight with the Administrative Committee.
Murray envisions the reconstituted board assisting with visioning and
advocacy for CFC's mission, while serving as an advisory body. A final
proposal is scheduled for the April General Board meeting.  
	The 44-voting member body also heard progress reports on the discernment
process on the participation of gay and lesbians persons in the church, an
initial report from North American Pacific Asian Disciples, and a review of
a November summit on New Church Establishment.

	The discernment committee has convened four times and held listening
sessions with the National Hispanic and Bilingual Assembly and the
Disciples Heritage Fellowship (Disciples Renewal). Listening conferences
also are planned with other Disciples racial/ethnic groups as the committee
plans a presentation for the July 13-17 General Synod/Assembly in Kansas

	A task force has been exploring how the denomination can meet the ministry
needs of Pacific Asian Disciples in North America. That task force
suggested relocating the NAPAD executive staff person to the Office of
General Minister and President. The Executive Pastor for North American
Asian Ministries is currently a senior executive in Homeland Ministries.
The proposal will be further refined by the task group and the Standing
Committee on Renewal and Structural Reform. 

	More than 100 Disciples leaders took part in the NCE summit, according to
the Rev. James L. Powell, president of Board of Church Extension. Nine
strategy/action groups were established to carry forward the momentum. In
addition, the Rev. Rick Morse, Kirkland, Wash., was introduced as director
of New Church Establishment. BCE officials also announced availability of a
web-based demographic service for regions and congregations. 

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