July 29-August 1,2023 was the General Assembly for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Louisville, Kentucky. During the business sessions sixteen business items were brought to the Assembly for a vote. Several are as simple as approving the location and date for the next General Assembly, some are more involved and there are four that I thought might be of interest.
GA-2339 COMPELLED TO WITNESS: ANSWERING THE CRY OF OUR PALESTINIAN SIBLINGS
Highlights of this business item included the understanding that all those in Israel and Palestine are created in the image of God and deserve equal dignity, proclaiming the value of justice, rights, accountability, and a call for peace.
GA-2341 CALLING THE CHURCH TO OPPOSE CHRISTIAN NATIONALISM
This business item was a call for the denouncing of Christian Nationalism, a challenge toward further education and understanding of Christian Nationalism, and to speak against Christian Nationalism. Ultimately, this item opposed the distortion of the Christian faith for political agendas.
GA-2343 AMENDMENTS TO THE DESIGN OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH (DISCIPLES OF CHRIST)
There are three significant changes for the future in this area. First, General Assemblies will shift to being held every three years. This change will take effect following the 2025 General Assembly. Second, the term of office for the current General Minister and President will now be eight years instead of six, concluding in 2031. Also, now each church will have the option of three voting representatives instead of the number of church representatives being based on church size.
GA-2352 INVITATION TO OPPOSE ANTI-TRANS LEGISLATION AND AFFIRM THE DIGNITY OF TRANSGENDER AND GENDER-DIVERSE PEOPLE
As controversial as the heading may appear, the item was adopted by the assembly without any noted votes of opposition. The business item brought to the assembly highlighted affirmation of the sacred call to ministry that transgender and gender-diverse members of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada hold as part of the priesthood of all believers, affirmation to recognize and affirm the sacred dignity of all peoples as all are made in the sacred image of God and deserving of respect and honor, to stand against acts of harm of transgender and gender-diverse people, for our churches to be encouraged to offer a place of safe space to transgender and gender-diverse people.
*Churches in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) are autonomous, and therefore none of these items are binding for local churches but rather a voice representing the “sense of the assembly.”