The Study Commission on Doctrine (SCOD) has been pleased to serve the General Conference and the Free Methodist Church – USA throughout the past four years. In the 2011 Book of Disciple (¶ 4080A), the SCOD is charged as follows: the “Study Commission on Doctrine shall serve the General Conference by studying theological and social issues facing the church, and make recommendations to the General Conference.”
During this quadrennium the SCOD has been comprised of the following members: Bishop David Kendall, Chair; Bishop David Roller; Bishop Matt Thomas; Dr. Linda Adams; Dr. David Bauer; Dr. Bruce Cromwell; Dr. Kristina LaCelle-Peterson; Dr. Paul Livermore; and Dr. Denny Wayman.
The SCOD holds face-to-face meetings once every year and met on the following dates: February 13- 14, 2012; February 11-12, 2013; and February 24-25, 2014. We did not meet in 2015 due to General Conference.
Over the past four years the SCOD had multiple papers and issues referred to it from the General Conference. In addition, several issues arose that were deemed important to consider and address. The SCOD attempts to anticipate the dynamics facing the Church today, giving guidance to both clergy and laity as they seek to follow the Lord with faithfulness and integrity, in great love.
The following list of theological and social issues considered by the SCOD is organized by the year in which they were discussed, with several of these issues demanding multiple years of prayer, thought, study, and reflection.
Interaction with the Muslim Community
Ministry to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Community
Ministry to the LGBT Community
Several papers on many of these topics can be accessed through the SCOD web page, at www.scod.fmcusa.org, including:
“God’s Love Expressed and Experienced” by Dr. Denny Wayman
“Homosexuality and the Church Historic” by Dr. Bruce N. G. Cromwell
“The Free Methodist Church’s Response to Sexuality and Sexual Orientation” by Bishop Matthew Thomas
“Framing a Missional Response to 21st Century Issues: Same-sex Relationships” by Bishop David Kendall
“Homosexuality According to the Bible” by Dr. David R. Bauer
“The Free Methodist Position on Immigration” by Bishop David Roller and Dr. Bruce N. G. Cromwell
“The Church and Mission” by Dr. David R. Bauer and Dr. Denny Wayman
“Modern-Day Slavery” “God is Responsive” by Dr. David R. Bauer
“Pastoral Responses to Marital Failure” by Bishop David Kendall
“Sexual Issues: A Pastoral Resource” by Dr. Denny Wayman
“Free Methodism’s Living Witness: Sesquicentennial Reflections” by Dr. Howard A. Snyder
“Islam and Christians: A Guide for Free Methodists” by Dr. A. H. Mathias Zahniser
Rev. Bruce N. G. Cromwell, Ph.D. SCOD Secretary