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Clarification or Change a CM Text

This page is intented to help any member who wants to follow the process to change the church manual by changing existing word or words or adding new wording.
Church Manual, page xxi    ( 17 th edition )
·         "Changes in or revisions of the Church Manual, the Notes excepted (see below), can be made only by action of a General Conference session in which delegates of the world body of believers are assembled and have a voice in making revisions. If revisions in the Church Manual are considered necessary by any of the constituent levels (see page 26), such revisions should be submitted to the next constituent level for wider counsel and study.  If approved, the suggested revisions are then submitted to the next constituent level for further evaluation. Any proposed revisions shall then be sent to the General Conference Church Manual Committee."
If you are a member of the SDA church you have two paths to promote your change. The first path is to present your proposal to change any text of the church manual to a local church, the church board will consider it and recommend the change to the local conference, who will consider it and recommend the change to the Union Conference, who will consider the change and recommend it to the Church Manual committee at the General Conference.The second path is to convince a church leader in the Administration level of a Local Conference, Union Conference or division level to take up your cause and introduce the proposal at their level.  If you are the President of a local conference - you are able to bypass the local church part of this procedure.

It is the hope of diggingForTruth.org that these pages can help you to refine your proposal and to gain support of church leaders and delegates of the next General Conference session.

You need to consider the timing of when you are introducing your proposal. The next GC Session is in the Summer of 2015 in the Alamo Dome at San Antonio, Texas. But the proposals that are considered by that session will need the approval of the Annual Council which meets in the Fall of 2014. If you start now you have four plus years to navigate the process.

This is not a project to be taken lightly and you should also understand that . . .
Testimonies, Volume 9, page 261

". . . God has ordained that the representatives of His church from all parts of the earth, when assembled in a General Conference, shall have authority. . ."
Therefore, you need to be sure that it is the Lord himself that is giving you the experience and the burden to propose this change and that you are His instrument for this change.  If this is true than the Holy Spirit will give you the knowledge and wisdom you need, and the determination to accomplish this - but it will be by His power that it is accomplished.

If you are introducing something new you should be very careful that you are not influenced by another spirit who is working against God's plan and fooling you that you are doing the Lord's work. It is safer is your proposal is a change the clarifies a text in the church manual and that the original intention and purpose remains, your proposal is only because things get more complicated and clarification is sometimes needed.

Here is the big question you should consider . . . will clarification of the text by the Union be sufficient. The church manual makes provision for clarification on page xxii
Church Manual, page xxii
·         "Churches should look to the local conference for advice pertaining to the operating of the church or on questions arising from the Church Manual.  If mutual understanding or agreement is not reached, the matter should be referred to the union for clarification."
If the reason you want to change the church manual is because you did not reach a mutual understanding or agreement with your local conference then consider the option of asking the Union Conference for clarifcation of a working policy (operation of the church) or the church manual.

If the reason you want to change the church manual is because you have been grieved by someone in the church who is not following the church manual, or grieved by someone who is acting in a "grey area" not clearly defined by the manual, then there are other options which will be discussed on another page.

In many cases clarification by the Union Conference may remedy the situation and relieve your burden - - we have a special page where we are building a list of clarifications already made by other Union Conferences.

Finally, it is possible that your proposal is frowned on my your local conference, and you are sure they will reject or ignore your proposal when it comes to them.  This website can help you to start your proposal in another territory where a conference is not biased against your proposal.  We invite you to read these pages carefully and prayerfully and to feel free to contact us.

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