Updated 01-26-2020

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The Very Latest

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Wil a Liberal LGBTQ Path Cause UMC Decline?” by Chris Bolinger via CrossWalk. Examples from other denominations showing a lower percentage of young people in the progressive side of a split. (Added 1-26-2020)

Trailblazing the Liberation Methodist Church: The Lenten Gathering” via UM Forward. Registration for a March 6-8 Gathering in Dallas to trailblaze The Liberation Methodist Church. (Added 1-25-2020)

Nashville Diary Day #3” by Cynthia Astle via UM Insight. A final report from the Nashville Pre-GC2020 Briefing. (Added 1-25-2020)

Bring Your Government ID to GC2020 or You Won’t Get In” by Cynthia Astle via UM Insight. Report on Secretary Gary Graves’ instructions about GC2020 access. (Added 1-25-2020)

Heading into 2020: A Conversation with Bishop Trimble” via Indiana Conference. An 8-minute video released by the Indiana Conference. (Added 1-25-2020)

Episode 245: Will Willimon – Separation Sadness” via Crackers and Grape Juice. Podcast interview with Bishop Will Willimon on the Separation Protocol. (Added 1-25-2020)

Interview with Dr. Chris Ritter” by Dr. Paul Lawler via NewMethodistMovement.org. An interview with Chris Ritter on the Protocol and the Next Methodism. (Added 1-25-2020)

Pre-Conference Briefing Day One: Fave Random Thoughts” by Frank Holbrook. Insights from the Pre-GC2020 event in Nashville by a Memphis Lay Delegate. (Added 1-25-2020)


Reflections of the Proposed Protocol for Separation (Part III)” by Timothy Tennent. The President of Asbury offers a third in a series of posts on the Feinberg Separation Protocol. (Added 1-24-2020)

Leaning Forward: Why I Support the Separation Protocol” by Joe DiPaolo via WCA. One who formerly “leaned in” to the UMC is now leaning out. (Added 1-23-2020)

Nashville Diary Day 2” by Cynthia Astle via UM Insight. Notes from Day 2 of the Pre-GC2020 Briefing in Nashville, including reports on plans for separation. (Added 1-23-2020)

GC2020: Planning for Possible Scenarios” by Wespath Benefits. Wespath shares its work preparing for a denominational separation. (Added 1-23-2020)

A System for Preserving the UMC Connection in Germany” by Klaus David Ruof and David Scott via UM & Global. Translation of a German article describing a proposal for the UMC in Germany: a local option with a life raft for traditionalists. (Added 1-23-2020)

Man the Lifeboats!” by Art Collins. A retired Indiana clergy offers a sober analysis of the road ahead for traditionalists who take any path offered by the Separation Protocol. (Added 1-23-2020)

Nashville Diary” by Cynthia Astle via UM Insight. Reporting from the pre-General Conference Briefing this week in Nashville. (Added 1-23-2020)

Reflections on the Proposed Protocol for Separation (Part II)” by Timothy Tennent. The President of Asbury continues his analysis on the Separation Protocol. (Added 1-22-2020)

Helping Your Congregation Get Ready for General Conference” by Discipleship Ministries. The denomination starts resourcing congregations to stay in a post-separation UMC. (Added 1-22-2020)

Minority Funding Critical to Separation Deal” by Jim Patterson via UMNS. Why financial support for ethnic ministries is key to the Separation Protocol. (Added 1-22-2020)

General Conference 2020 Advance Daily Christian Advocate” via ResourceUMC. The long-awaited GC2020 legislation is now available. (Added 2-22-2020)

Divinity School Faculty Divided Over Proposed United Methodist Church Split over LGBTQ Rights” by Anna Zolotor via Duke Chronicle. Pespectives, including Bishop Wil Willimon’s views on the Protocol. (Added 1-22-2020)

A ‘No’ and a ‘Yes’ on Abeyance of LGBTQ+ Complaints” by Cynthia Astle via UM Insight. A news roundup, including Bishop Sharma Lewis’ letter stating that the BOD will be upheld in Virginia. (Added 1-22-2020)

The Protocol is Only the First Step” by Mark Holland via Mainstream UMC. Holland begins framing the future as diversity vs. fear of diversity and local church voting vs. no local church voting. Note the new extended timeline created by the collapse of Articles V & VI. (Added 1-22-2020)

Opposing Methodist Schism” by Mark Tooley via Juicy Ecumenism. William Lawrence “wants all the fuss to go away and to pretend as though it’s still 1985 when confident liberal institutionalists still smoothly steered a slowly sinking tanker, bringing us to the present moment of schism.” (Added 1-21-2020)

An Invitation to Stop Fighting and Heal our Souls” by Jeff Greenway. The chair of the WCA Council writes in support of the Separation Protocol. (Added 1-21-2020)

A Primer on UMC Assets: Trust vs. Ownership” by David Scott via UM & Global. Another installment in a series on assets in the UMC. The denomination is generally the beneficiary and not the owner. (Added 1-20-2020)

Meeli Tankler on ‘Sent in Love’” via UM Insight. A European voice reflects on the essleciology document coming to GC2020 amidst a plan of division. (Added 1-20-2020)

Connection 2020 Event” by Reconciling Ministries. A February Strategy session in February to prepare for GC2020. (Added 1-20-2020)

For UM Readers” by Warren Lathem via East Ohio WCA. Fifteen reasons why traditionalists should support the Separation Protocol. (Added 1-18-2020)

GC2020: One Person’s Answer to the Question: ‘We Won, Why Should We Leave?’” by Frank Holbrook. A GC2020 delegate writes why a Traditionalist exit makes the most sense. (Added 1-18-2020)

Know What You’re Going to Do (2020 Edition) #UMCCrapstorm” by Shane Bishop. Updated in light of the Separation Protocol: UMC Leaders should decide now what they are going to do. (Added 1-18-2020)

The Separation Protocol Essentials

Protocol of Reconciliation and Grace through Separation” via Council of Bishops. Plan for the separation of the UMC. See also the important FAQ Document. (Added 1-3-2020)

Livestream Event via UMNS, Youtube. All Protocol Negotiators as well as Kenneth Feinberg sit for a one-hour+ video forum on the Separation Protocol. Recorded. (Added January 13, 2020)

Separation Protocol: United Methodist Reporting

Separation Protocol: United Methodist Analysis

Separation Protocol: Pastors Inform their Congregations

  • The State of the UMC” by Jeff Greenway via Reynoldsburg UMC. Audio. The Chair of the WCA Council updates his congregation on the Separation Protocol. (Added 1-14-2020)
  • A Word from Pastor Paul on the Methodist Protocol” by Paul Lawler. The pastor of Christ UMC in Birmingham offers DETAILED thoughts on what the Separation Protocol might mean for the church. (Added 1-13-2020)
  • Denomination Update” by Adam Hamilton. Letter to COR members: Predicts 10-25% of United Methodist Church will join new traditional denomination. (Added 1-8-2020)
  • Chapelwood and Future of The United Methodist Church” by John Stevens via Embody Grace. Texas pastor begins making an argument for staying in the Post-Separation UMC. (Added 1-8-2020)
  • Soldiering Through” by Carolyn Moore via The Art of Holiness. The VP of the WCA Global Council and Pastor of Mosaic UMC in Georgia writes to her congregation about the Separation Protocol. (Added 1-8-2020)
  • The Separation Protocol: What I Told the Church I Serve” by Chris Ritter via PeopleNeedJesus.net. A letter to Geneseo First United Methodist Church written last Friday night. (Added 1-5-2020)

Separation Protocol: Local Reaction

Separation Protocol: Statements from Bishops:

  • Bishop Sharma Lewis. Virginia Conference. “If clergy preside over same-sex weddings and a complaint is filed about such conduct, I will process the complaint by… the legislation that was passed at the 2019 Special Session.” (Added 1-17-2020) 
  • Bishop Patrick Streiff, Central and Southern Europe Episcopal Area. “The Eurasian area is the only one in Europe where there is no such diversity (of opinion) within the same episcopal area.” (Added 1-15-2020)
  • Bishop William Boyd Grove Retired. Predicts few will leave through the Separation Protocol. (Added 1-13-2020)
  • Bishop Mande Muyombo, North Katanga Conference, “I think the protocol we have signed is a protocol of forgiveness and reconciliation.” (Added 1-10-2020)
  • Bishop Harald Ruckert, Germany Episcopal Area, feels “a lot of pain because it is about the separation of our church, but it is probably the inevitable reality.” (Added 1-9-2020)
  • Bishop Peggy Johnson, Peninsula-Delaware Conference, “This is a work in progress but I believe there may be a way forward at last.” (Added 1-8-2020)
  • Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi, Western Pennsylvania. “A real hope that we can, through mutual respect for our diversity, find a way toward reconciliation so that we can move forward. (Added 1-8-2020)
  • Bishop Mark Webb, Upper New York Conference. “I have attempted to be consistent in stating that I believe deeper conversations are necessary regarding the future of The United Methodist Church.” (Added 1-8-2020)
  • Bishop Jeremiah Park, Harrisburg Area. “It will allow each part of the church to remain true to its theological understanding, while recognizing the dignity, equality, integrity and respect of every person.” (Added 1-8-2020)
  • Bishop Karen Oliveto, Mountain Sky Conference, “I confess that while I do believe this is a very grace-filled way to move into the future, grief and hope mingle together in my heart.” (Added 1-8-2020)
  • Bishop Bruce Ough, Minnesota/Dakotas Conferences, “The council understands that this protocol does not belong to the council. ” (1-8-2020)
  • Bishop David Graves, Alabama-West Florida Conference. “In my 41 years of ministry, this is one of the most uncertain times I’ve witnessed. The next few months will be emotional, challenging and exhausting.” (Added 1-8-2020)
  • Bishop Cynthia Harvey, Louisiana Conference. “Is the United Methodist Church Splitting?” Ten-minute video message via YouTube. (Added 1-8-2020)
  • Bishop Leonard Fairley, Kentucky Conference: “I have been an emotional wreck.” (Added 1-7-2020)
  • Bishop Bill McAlilly, Nashville Area, “Change, and especially talk of separation, is daunting:  yet is heartening that persons of very diverse views have come together to do this serious work, and have listened to, and heard, each other.” (Added 1-6-2019)
  • Bishop Sue Haupert Johnson, (25 min. podcast taking seriously a theology of separation) North Georgia (Added 1-6-2020)
  • Bishop Mike McKee, “To be clear, nothing will happen immediately, and much work remains as legislation currently is being developed for delegates to potentially act on in Minneapolis.” North Texas Conference (Added 1-6-2020)
  • Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball, West Virginia. “It grieves my heart to think that we would give up on finding a way to move together – and yet I realize that we have forgotten or maybe never learned how to speak and work with one another in the midst of disagreement without attacking or putting down the neighbor who is different from ourselves – and that has resulted in great harm and damage to many of God’s children.” (Added 1-5-2020)
  • Bishop Minerva Cancano, California-Nevada Conference “Approval of the Protocol would also initiate the process of organizing the US jurisdictions into a region alongside regional bodies in Africa, Europe, Eurasia, and the Philippines with flexibility to adapt the Book of Discipline to enable each region to better serve in their social contexts.” (Added 1-5-2020)
  • Bishop James Nunn, Oklahoma Conference. “The local church does not need to worry about division just yet.” (Added 1-5-2020)
  • Bishop James Swanson, Mississippi Conference. “I want you to know that the Council of Bishops did not vote nor endorse the proposal from the negotiation team.” (Added 1-5-2020)
  • Bishop Hee-Soo Jung, Wisconsin Conference. (extended reflection) “We have failed to maintain a unity and an integrity.” (Added 1-5-2020)
  • Bishop Tracy S. Malone, East Ohio Conference. “Bishops preside over the sessions of General Conference but do not vote.” (Added 1-5-2020)
  • Bishop Laurie Haller, Iowa Conference. “It is particularly important to note that great attention has been given to bringing all parties to the table.” (Added 1-5-2020)
  • Bishop Gregory Palmer, West Ohio Conference. “The hope is to offer something to the delegates that will assist in managing well the change that is already afoot.” (Added 1-5-2020)
  • Bishop Jonathan Holston, South Carolina Conference. “At this point, no decisions have been made and none will be made until the General Conference meets May 5-15 in Minneapolis.” (Added 1-5-2020)
  • Bishop Bob Farr, Missouri Annual Conference. “This is the first true agreement I’ve seen across multiple plan leaders and special interest groups. For that reason alone, I’m taking it seriously.” (Added 1-5-2020)
  • Bishop Julius Tremble, Indiana Conference. “Over the centuries, the Church has continued to evolve, splinter, experience decline and growth.” (Added 1-5-2020)
  • Bishop Sally Dyck, Northern Illinois Conference. “Those who cannot live in a church that welcomes all are free to pursue another route.” (Added 1-5-2020)
  • Bishop Scott Jones, Texas Conference. “Significant questions remain to be answered about the Protocol’s implementation.” (Added 1-5-2020)
  • Bishop Paul Leeland, Western North Carolina Conference. “It is always hurtful to me to separate in order to be The United Methodist Church.” (Added 1-4-2020)
  • Bishop John Schol, Greater New Jersey Conference. “GNJ leadership has been preparing for this day and has a plan to continue the mission and ministry of all our congregations and clergy appointments within GNJ.” (Added 1-3-2020)
  • Bishop David Bard, Michigan Conference. “I have long argued the need for the creation of new space within The United Methodist Church, different space, and this protocol agreement offers this.”(Added 1-3-2020)
  • Bishop Frank Beard, Illinois Great Rivers Conference. ‘The Protocol does NOT replace our current Book of Discipline. It is a suggested pathway that has NOT been approved or voted upon by the Council of Bishops. The IGRC will continue to abide by the Book of Discipline and we will seek to offer grace and space as we operate under the current Book of Discipline.” (Added 1-3-2020)
  • Bishop Gary Mueller, Arkansas Conference. “This is not a time to make a quick judgement about the document.” (Added 1-3-2020)

Separation Protocol: Outside Reporting

Separation Protocol: Outside Analysis

Other Recent Additions

Nashville Diary Day 2” by Cynthia Astle via UM Insight. Notes from Day 2 of the Pre-GC2020 Briefing in Nashville, including reports on plans for separation. (Added 1-23-2020)

GC2020: Planning for Possible Scenarios” by Wespath Benefits. Wespath shares its work preparing for a denominational separation. (Added 1-23-2020)

Helping Your Congregation Get Ready for General Conference” by Discipleship Ministries. The denomination starts resourcing congregations to stay in a post-separation UMC. (Added 1-22-2020)

General Conference 2020 Advance Daily Christian Advocate” via ResourceUMC. The long-awaited GC2020 legislation is now available. (Added 2-22-2020)

A Primer on UMC Assets: Trust vs. Ownership” by David Scott via UM & Global. Another installment in a series on assets in the UMC. The denomination is generally the beneficiary and not the owner. (Added 1-20-2020)

Meeli Tankler on ‘Sent in Love’” via UM Insight. A European voice reflects on the essleciology document coming to GC2020 amidst a plan of division. (Added 1-20-2020)

Connection 2020 Event” by Reconciling Ministries. A February Strategy session in February to prepare for GC2020. (Added 1-20-2020)

The RCA Vision 2020 Team” via Reformed Church of America. Another denomination considers the options of staying together, reorganization, or grace-filled separation at their June Synod. (Added 1-17-2020)

Making the Main Thing the Main Thing” by Riley Case via The Confessing Movement Facebook. Time for different groups to pursue their divergent understandings of the mission of the church. Methodists were raised up to proclaim the atonement of Jesus and holy living. (Added 1-17-2020)

Turning Point” by Billy Abraham via Good News. The Albert C. Outler Chair of Methodist Studies describes the broad way and the narrow way. (Added 1-14-2020)

My Hopes for a New Church” by Chris Ritter via PeopleNeedJesus.net. High hopes for what a “new traditional” Methodist Church might be. (Added 1-12-2020)

Changes Afoot for United Methodists Schools’ Group” by Sam Hodges via UMNS. The National Association of Schools and Colleges of the UMC changes its name to North American Association of Schools, Colleges, and Universities; supports the Regional Conference Plan. (Added 1-11-2020)

Comparison of Plans Headed to GC2020” by UMNS. This updated legislation comparison chart has been updated to include the Separation Protocol. (Added 1-9-2020)

A Primer on UMC Assets” by David Scott via UM & Global. What are UMC assets and who owns them? (Added 1-8-2020)

Resistance to Traditional Plan Accelerates” by Heather Hahn via UMNS. “Across the United States, some United Methodist churches kicked off the year with worship services and other events aimed at showing solidarity with LGBTQ Christians.” (Added 1-7-2020)

GC2020 Updated Plans Comparison” by Becca Girrell via New England Conference Open Spirit Taskforce. Helpful comparison of GC2020 solution plans, updated to include the Separation Protocol. (Added 1-7-2020)

Holy Spirited Podcast: The Indianapolis Plan” featuring Kent Millard. The President of United Theological Seminary is interviewed about the Indianapolis Plan. (Added 1-6-2020)

Two More Liberal Congregations Move Toward Leaving UMC” by John Lomperis via Juicy Ecumenism. The “interfaith” Church in Ocean Park (CA) and Mosaic Church in Oklahoma City move toward exit. (Added 1-5-2020)

Robert K. Greenleaf, Intersectionality, and the UMC” by David Scott via UM & Global. Competing moral claims and privilege in the UMC. (Added 1-4-2020)

United: The Black Church Agenda Within The United Methodist Church” via blackchurchumc.com. The United 2020 Conference is coming up March 25-28 in Atlanta. (Added 1-3-2020).

New Era Begins with Resistance, Warnings” by Cynthia Astle via UM Insight. Weekly news roundup, including Adam Hamilton’s endorsement of the #ResistHarm movement. (Added 1-3-2020)

First UMC in Dallas Blesses All Marriages in Covenant Service” by Cynthia Astle via UM Insight. Report of a service held at First UMC Dallas prior to new restrictions in the UMC. (Added 1-3-2020)

Clergyman Retires ‘Under Complaint’ of Abuse” by Heather Hahn via UMNS. Victims are frustrate Bud Heckman will retain his clergy credentials. (Added 1-02-2020)

The UMC in 2020: God Rules Over Our Rules” by Hannah Adair Bonner. John Wesley as a model for ecclesial disobedience. (Added 1-02-2020)

An Open Letter to the People Called Methodists in the United States” by Rev. Dr. J.C. Park. The President of the World Methodist Council exhorts the UMC to remain faithful to scripture and Christian unity, will be fasting and praying for us each Friday until GC2020. (Added 1-2-2020)

Some Methodist Churches Vow Solidarity with Gay Community” by Carla Hinton via The Oklahoman. (Added 1-2-2020)

#ResistHarm Message from Nuremburg, Germany” by J.J. Warren. Video message on the New Year as new restrictions go into effect, comparisons to Naziism and calls for moratorium on processing complaints. See also video with boyfriend Richard and the GC2019 moment that made J.J. so well-known in the UMC. (Added 1-2-2020)

Dueling Fundraising. Mainstream UMC uses a fundraising letter by the Institute on Religion & Democracy to raise their own funds, which prompted this response. (Added 1-1-2020)