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.
A New Denomination Is Announced - The Global Methodist Church
The Transitional Leadership Council, a 17-member team of theologically conservative Methodists, has released information on the Global Methodist Church. The council said the new church will officially come into existence when a United Methodist General Conference adopts the implementing legislation for the Protocol for Reconciliation and Grace through Separation. Alternatively, if it becomes apparent that the leading bishops, centrists, and progressives who covenanted to support the Protocol no longer do so, then the council will consider bringing the new church into existence without delay. Local United Methodist churches, annual conferences, and central conferences will then be able to join the new denomination.
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)
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.”
African Bishops Not United on Church Future
While many in the U.S. consider Africa a solid political bloc within The United Methodist Church, African bishops currently are not of one mind about the denomination's future or their place in it.
Three African bishops have lately said they and their conferences will leave The United Methodist Church and organize with other traditionalists if the denomination splits over whether to remove bans on same-sex marriage and ordination of "self-avowed practicing" gay clergy.
Other African episcopal leaders, such as Zimbabwe Area Bishop Eben K. Nhiwatiwa, have not joined in such statements and appear open to exploring options for staying in the denomination. At present, the denomination has 12 African bishops.
Experience vs. Scripture
Many who affirm the practice of homosexuality in contrast to the teachings of Scripture base their affirmation on human experience. As they would describe it, they see God at work in the transformation of a human life, and it causes them to reinterpret Scripture in the light of this experience. Dr. Luke Timothy Johnson, emeritus professor of New Testament and Christian Origins at Candler School of Theology, Emory University,... explicitly rejects the authority of scriptural commands, which he deems fallible - that is, liable to be erroneous or mistaken. Instead, he relies on the mind of Christ being reproduced in the readers of the Bible, revealing God's truth through our human stories and experiences and enabling us to reinterpret the written Scriptures in light of that experiential revelation... The traditional Christian understanding is that we interpret our experience in light of Scripture, not the other way around. Our experiences can help us understand Scripture in new ways, but such understandings need to be consistent with Scripture itself, not contradict or overturn it.
Primary Reasons for Separation - Rev. Tom Lambrecht
"The fact remains that there is a certain inertia about staying in a church that has been one's environment for years, and for many, a lifetime. There is the cry of the conflict avoider, "Can't we all just get along?" Can we not just simply overlook our differences and keep doing what we have been doing? The differences between "sides" in this intra-church conflict are so deep and so entrenched that staying together has become unthinkable for many. The increasing trickle of departing congregations and individual members testifies to the growing sense that we are a church that is coming apart, but why?"
FAQ about the Transitional Leadership Council
"While the WCA has been out front in planning for a new church, other traditionalists have been formulating ideas as well. In March of this year, Bishop Scott Jones of the Texas annual Conference, Ms. Pat Miller, Executive Director of The Confessing Movement, and the Rev. Keith Boyette, President of the WCA, invited other traditionalist leaders to join them in Atlanta, Georgia, to see if they could reach consensus regarding the general tenets and structure of a new global Methodist church.
Thanks to the creation of a Transitional Leadership Council local churches, annual conferences, and even central conferences will have the opportunity to join a new global Methodist church shortly following the adjournment of the UM Church's General Conference. Of course this answer justifiably raises a host of questions about the Transitional Leadership Council, the WCA is happy to provide the following FAQ. Over the next several months, it will continue to share more information about the council.
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.
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 Discipline. So, 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
“Was there ever a United Methodist Church? The opening of the Protocol states that the UMC "and its members have fundamental differences regarding their understanding and interpretation of Scripture, theology and practice." But this line could have been written in 1968. Methodist theologian Albert Outler basically said as much at the time. These differences drove the 1972 decision to ground the way forward in theological pluralism. The basis of the UMC became organizational unity (connectionalism) with a commitment to theological diversity, but Connectionalism lacks the depth needed to sustain any form of Methodism.
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.
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.”