UMC Updates

Thank you for coming to look at updates concerning the United Methodist Church. We have provided some helpful resources for you as we prepare for the possible separation of the UMC. Please join us in prayer for wisdom and clarification.


The January 3rd Press Release from the Council Bishops 


The Protocol of Reconciliation & Grace Through Separation


Protocol Frequently Asked Questions

Note: This webpage will be updated from time-to-time with new questions and answers)


The Protocol Legislation (the actual langauge GC2020 will be voting on)


Legistlation Frequently Asked Questions



Press Release: Reimagining the Passion of a Global Wesleyan Movement 

“We will be a church that is truly global in nature, fully welcomes people of various ethnicities and women into every level of ordination and leadership, and is characterized by joy. We will be committed to the Christian faith as expressed for 2,000 years, the four-fold movement of grace, compassion, and a passionate desire for people to experience a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. We will inspire growth in discipleship, holiness, and a commitment to service, mercy, and seeking God’s justice.”


Press Release: UMC Africa Initiative Consultative Meeting on the Future of the Global UMC

“After vigorous discussion and critique, the leaders of the UMC Africa Initiative have decided to support the passage of the implementing legislation of the Protocol for Reconciliation and Grace through Separation. … Following a critical evaluation of the proposed Protocol and its implications for the UM Church in Africa, we felt deeply disappointed that Africa was not adequately represented at the negotiating table to present the concerns of the African church. We also felt that the Protocol, in its current form, is unfair to United Methodists in Africa due to its alignment of us with the post-separation UM Church by default, its attempt to deprive the traditionalist church in Africa from maintaining the “United Methodist” name and the cross and flame, and its allocation of resources.

Despite these concerns, in the common interest of the global church and the church’s need for an amicable separation, we decided to support the passage of the implementing legislation of the Protocol at the forthcoming 2020 General Conference.”  


UMC Separation Primer: It's Not About Cats or Sex

"“Many United Methodists have been contending for the faith for fifty years. We have tried reform. We have tried to work through persuasion, through appeals to our missional agencies, through General Conference, and through revisions to our Discipline, but the governance of the UMC has collapsed. United Methodists are no longer able to establish qualifications for clergy, standards for membership, or to direct the actions of our agencies. To say that only General Conference can speak for the whole church only means that General Conference is solely authorized to put words in a book. No one need abide by those words. No one need teach those doctrines. No one need pursue those missions. In fact, everyone is free to act in direct contradiction of them.”  


I Have a Diagnosis 

"I am a United Methodist pastor serving as a hospital chaplain. In my ministry, I sit with a lot of families as they prepare for the death of a loved one. ... Often, the families begin to experience grief before death occurs. All the emotions and experience associated with grief manifest themselves. Anger, denial, blaming, barganing, sorrow, and even depression. ... Even though the loss hasn't happened yet, we all know it is coming. Clinically, we call this pre-grieving ANTICIPATORY GRIEF. It's real, it's normal, and it's powerful. Recently, it struck me that anticipatory grief is exactly what the majority of the United Methodist Church is experiencing. ... Virtually everyone foresees some form of denominational split after General Confrence in May, even if it takes time for the actual split to go into effect. While the name may live on in some way, The United Methodist Church we have known and loved will cease to exist. 


Why I Support the Separation Proposal - Rev. Rob Renfroe 

“Looking at who was elected as jurisdictional delegates, it is unlikely that we will elect a single bishop who would be committed to the full enforcement of the Discipline. And our church structure and constitution have made it nearly impossible to remove a bishop who refuses to enforce the DisciplineSo, the question is: After 47 years, how much longer do we continue to fight the same battle with the same results — good legislation that doesn’t change the reality of the church? How many more years should we spend precious financial, emotional, and spiritual resources on this same issue?”


A Failed Experiment in Methodist Unity - Professor Dale Coulter

“Looking at who was elected as jurisdictional delegates, it is unlikely that we will elect a single bishop who would be committed to the full enforcement of the Discipline. And our church structure and constitution have made it nearly impossible to remove a bishop who refuses to enforce the DisciplineSo, the question is: After 47 years, how much longer do we continue to fight the same battle with the same results — good legislation that doesn’t change the reality of the church? How many more years should we spend precious financial, emotional, and spiritual resources on this same issue?”


A Strange Split in the UMC - Professor Carl Trueman

“Looking at who was elected as jurisdictional delegates, it is unlikely that we will elect a single bishop who would be committed to the full enforcement of the Discipline. And our church structure and constitution have made it nearly impossible to remove a bishop who refuses to enforce the DisciplineSo, the question is: After 47 years, how much longer do we continue to fight the same battle with the same results — good legislation that doesn’t change the reality of the church? How many more years should we spend precious financial, emotional, and spiritual resources on this same issue?”


Why a Mediated Negotation - Rev. Keith Boyette

“Looking at who was elected as jurisdictional delegates, it is unlikely that we will elect a single bishop who would be committed to the full enforcement of the Discipline. And our church structure and constitution have made it nearly impossible to remove a bishop who refuses to enforce the DisciplineSo, the question is: After 47 years, how much longer do we continue to fight the same battle with the same results — good legislation that doesn’t change the reality of the church? How many more years should we spend precious financial, emotional, and spiritual resources on this same issue?”


The Separation Protocol & Traditionalist Angst - Rev. Chris Ritter

“Looking at who was elected as jurisdictional delegates, it is unlikely that we will elect a single bishop who would be committed to the full enforcement of the Discipline. And our church structure and constitution have made it nearly impossible to remove a bishop who refuses to enforce the DisciplineSo, the question is: After 47 years, how much longer do we continue to fight the same battle with the same results — good legislation that doesn’t change the reality of the church? How many more years should we spend precious financial, emotional, and spiritual resources on this same issue?”


It's Still About Your Church - Arkansas Bishop Gary Mueller 

“I love the United Methodist Church and the way of being Christian it shares. But ultimately, local congregations matter more than denominations – even our beloved United Methodist denomination. People need your local church, not a denomination. Your community needs your local church, not a denomination. And most importantly, Jesus needs your local church, not a denomination.

The future of your church is not dependent upon what happens in the United Methodist Church. Don’t let the uncertainty, or brokenness, paralyze you. Move ahead boldly and confidently. Your church will still be part of the Body of Christ. Your church will still make disciples of Jesus.” Christ. Your church will still form deeper disciples. And your church will still equip and send disciples to transform lives, communities and the world.


Bishop Fairley Responds to the Protocol - Kentucky Bishop Leonard Fairley

“I ask that you join me in prayer, asking God to help us see the possibility of renewed hope and reconciliation, even in the midst of possible separation. Help us, God, to continue the daily works of piety and social holiness that will lead us to the sharing of the gospel with all your people. Help us, Lord, never to lose sight of the grace you promised would be sufficient for us; may that be true, especially in the days ahead, as we prepare for General Conference.”


My Hopes for a New Church - Rev. Chris Ritter

“For a host of reasons, the UM Separation Protocol will be approved early at GC2020 and today’s UMC will give way to two separate churches, each different from anything we have previously known. While it is possible additional options may surface, I believe most congregations and conferences will choose between one of two oxymorons: A New Traditional Methodist Church and a Post-Separation United Methodist Church. We will all take part in fleshing out what these curious descriptions will ultimately mean.

I hope the new church is all about Jesus: His Lordship, his Gospel, his message, his Cross, his Resurrection, his transforming power, and his Coming Kingdom. I hope it is never about anything else.”


Are Traditionalists "Leaving" The United Methodist Church? - Rev. Tom Lambrecht

“The most common criticism I have heard of the agreement is that traditionalists are leaving The United Methodist Church, rather than it being an equal separation. The follow-up comment is that since traditionalists “won” the vote in the St. Louis special General Conference in 2019, it should be those who want to change the church who have to leave, not those who want to maintain the current doctrine and discipline of the church.

This is a perfectly valid point. In a perfect and just world, those who want to change the church’s understanding of marriage and ordination would leave and those who want to keep the church’s long-standing teachings could remain. We do not live in a perfect or just world, however.”


No One is Leaving the United Methodist Church - Rev. Teddy Ray 

“Since the UMC’s inception, we’ve been united by organizational structures, not theology. Dale Coulter’s excellent article on the Methodist experiment’s failure details the problems with this. A church united by structures and not by theological and moral substance is doomed to failure. Our beliefs and practices regarding same-sex marriage finally revealed this. It turns out that theology and morals do matter to virtually everyone in the UMC. And we hold theological and moral stances that are not merely at odds, but mutually exclusive. We have reached a breaking point. While many reports say traditionalists are leaving the UMC, and some proposals even frame it this way, that doesn’t represent our reality.  Neither traditionalists nor progressives are “leaving.”  What we had together is going away.”


It's The End of the UMC as We Know It - Rev. Stephen Fife 

“Since the UMC’s inception, we’ve been united by organizational structures, not theology. Dale Coulter’s excellent article on the Methodist experiment’s failure details the problems with this. A church united by structures and not by theological and moral substance is doomed to failure. Our beliefs and practices regarding same-sex marriage finally revealed this. It turns out that theology and morals do matter to virtually everyone in the UMC. And we hold theological and moral stances that are not merely at odds, but mutually exclusive. We have reached a breaking point. While many reports say traditionalists are leaving the UMC, and some proposals even frame it this way, that doesn’t represent our reality.  Neither traditionalists nor progressives are “leaving.”  What we had together is going away.”


The Church as a Means of Grace - Dr. Tim Tennent 

"The radical call of the gospel shouls never be leveraged against the holiness which characterizes the church of Jesus Christ. It is a false narrative that if we speak of holiness we are denying the radical embracing love of Jesus Christ! Paul makes it very clear that those who live in darkness cannot inherit the kingdom of God (5:5). We are a transformed community. As we cross over and become full members of the baptized community of the people of God we are a peculiar people clothed in righteousness and holines. When we come to Christ we bring with us all the same muddled thinking and unholy lives which the world has, and Christ himself sets out to transform us by his very divine presence. He has chosen the church to be a key instrument, a means of grace, for that transforamtion. Transforamtion is not bad news, it is a part of the good news, because it is a call to human flourishing."