2017 Reconciliation and Adherence in Church Governance

Do you watch Star Wars starting at episode IV or episode I?
Before the famous/infamous “Compliance Document” of 2018 (think “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”), there was 2017’s “Phase II” Adherence Document (think “The Magician’s Nephew,” i.e. the prequel). This 14-page document was brought to vote during Annual Council on October 9, 2017 rejected, and sent back to the Unity Oversight Committee for further revision.

Put yer John Hancock on it
In the lengthy document, the case was made for the importance of church structure, laying the foundation for why such a structure must then be respected and complied with. It required GC Executive Committee members’ signatures, pledging their loyalty to GC policy. By signing, they agreed to report any non-compliant behavior and do everything they could to prevent or reverse any such behavior.

When a Unity Oversight Committee gives you Lemons…
As every episode in the saga of The Hunt for Red Compliance has been contentious and fraught, so was the discussion over the 2017 adherence document. Unity Oversight Committee Chair Thomas Lemon gave a report on the observed attitudes of attending committee members. In his report, Lemon’s statements included cautions against compliance including, “The ordination discussion at top leadership levels seems to be facilitating a dangerous drift toward centralization of authority, which inexorably leads quickly to authoritarianism.” Shortly after his report, Lemon was removed from his position as Chair. Despite the fact that both Lemon and GC President Ted Wilson stated it was a mutually agreed transition of leadership, some still had doubts due to Lemon’s quick removal on the heels of his controversial report. This document wouldn’t really be brought up again, but in 2018 it would be transformed into something else: what is now known as “The Compliance Document.”

2016 Unity in Mission Document

2017 Unity Oversight Committee