The Book of Discipline
THE EPISCOPAL FOREWORD
To All Ministers, Constituents, and Friends of African Union Methodist Protestantism:
Let grace and peace from God, our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, abide with each of you always.
The Book of Discipline is the book of law of The African Union Methodist Protestant Church and Connection. It is the product of several special General Conferences of this historical Church, based upon the doctrines of the "book of all books", The Holy Bible.
The Discipline as the guiding instrument for structuring the laws, plan, polity and process by which African Union Methodist Protestants govern themselves remains constant. The book of law is not infallible and is appropriate to our heritage. Additionally, the Discipline succinctly reveals that The African Union Methodist Protestant Church is an inclusive religious society without any discrimination in admissions, access, treatment or employment in its services, programs and activities on the basis of race, color, sex, age, national origin or handicapping conditions.
This present Discipline, more complex and bulky than many would desire, attempts to assist the African Union Methodist Protestant Church communities in serving the Lord in these changing times, as did its forerunners. Its substance reveals to our nature as a "connectional church," each local church organically related to the whole, the whole dependent upon each branch.
We produce this Book of Discipline in the fervent hope that even as the bonds of marriage unite, so also they free us to the vast enterprise of exploring the meaning and reality of a life dedicated to the ministry of Jesus Christ.
The Discipline strives to maintain and reaffirm our abiding faith in the fundamental doctrine and polity of our Methodist tradition and heritage since its original inception in 1805 and its incorporation in September 1813. At the same time it establishes the latest laws and structural changes as enacted by the recent Special and General Conferences keeping faith and belief with both our yesterday and today as we attempt to explore and implement the mission of the Master Originator, Jesus Christ. To subscribe to that end means that we take a hard look and examination of the social, political, economical and educational systems which affect the lives of our people and communities.
In keeping with "let all things be done decently and in order" (I Corinthians 14:40), I strongly urge loyalty, devotion, obedience and compliance on the part of ministers and lay persons alike in our outreach for full service in Christian development, growth and maturity, both in the collective life of the church and the deeper personal inner experiences of every member of our African Union Methodist Protestantism.
The Most Reverend Doctor Delbert L. Jackson
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