Updated 02-22-2020

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The Very Latest

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Methodist Church of Africa Joins Rest of Africa in One Voice Against Homosexuality Ahead of Worldwide Convention” by Franklin DoloQuee via Front Page Africa. Outside coverage from the continent of Africa on the Liberia Annual Conference’s February statements. Strong quotes from Bishop Quire. (Added 2-22-2020)

NIMBY and the Separation Protocol” by Chris Ritter via PeopleNeedJesus.net. “Not In My Back Yard” attitude is evident with the Separation Protocol. (Added 2-22-2020)

Be Encouraged: A Pastoral Message from Bishop Julius Trimble” via Indiana Conference. Video. The bishop will not support separation. (Added 2-22-2020)

What Separation Means for Clergy “ by Tom Lambrecht via Good News. A continuing series on the implications of the Protocol. (Added 2-22-2020)

“GC2020: Is the Protocol Legislation Take It or Leave It? A Proposed Change to Section Two, Par. 2556” by Frank Holbrook via Plane Grace. “The proposed legislation represents additional compromises arrived at in the second round of negotiations by the persons acting on behalf of the Group of 16.” (Added 2-22-2020)

Cabinet Members Filed Papers for New Church Group” by Sam Hodges via UMNS. (Added 2-21-2020)

Trust God No Matter What” by Kent Millard. The President of United Theological Seminary offers a pastoral word in the time of the division of the UMC. (Added 2-21-2020)

A Response to Steve West’s Article: ‘Why I’m Not Leaving the United Methodist Church” by Paul Lawler. (Added 2-21-2020)

“Florida Man Leaves Cabinet After Starting New Methodist Denomination” by Jeremy Smith. (Added 2-21-2020)

The Glue of United Methodism” by Tim McClendon. (2-21-2020)

Episcopal Integrity and a Clarion Call for Unity” by Stan Copeland. The pastor of Lovers Lane UMC takes issue with recent actions by bishops and cabinets… doesn’t like plans for special AC sessions to vote direction in keeping with Protocol. Criticizes Mueller for a new unity plan. (Added 2-21-2020)

A Wide Embrace” by Paul Chilcote via Uniting Methodists. The Protocol as a reflection of holiness. (Added 2-20-2020)

The North Declaration” by Darren Cushman Wood. North UMC in Indianapolis produced a declaration of principles. (Added 2-20-2020)

Letter to Florida Conference Clergy and Laity” by Ken Carter. Three cabinet members were listed on paperwork filed with the state to form a new Methodist denomination. See also. (Added 2-20-2020)

The Need for Space and a New Form of Unity” by Bishop Gary Mueller. Bishop Mueller proposes two theological regions in each of four new geographic regions of the UMC: 2 X 4. (Added 2-20-2020)

Think Tank to Look at GC2020 Possibilities” by Heather Hahn via UMNS. “This is not business as usual.” A group brainstorms ways to handle GC2020 legislation. (Added 2-20-2020)

Liberians Want Changes in Separation Plan” by Julu Swen and Sam Hodges via UMNS. UMNS covers the recent resolutions adopted by the Liberian AC on the Protocol. (Added 2-20-2020)

Philip Wingeier-Rayo: Obituary of The United Methodist Church” via UM & Global. The Dean of Wesley Theological Seminary drafts an obituary for the UMC. (Added 2-19-2020)

Like It or Not, We’re In This Together” by David Livingston. A claim that support for the Protocol requires voting for regionalization and removal of Traditional Plan language. (Added 2-18-2020)

Commentary: Seeking Future Liberation from Past Oppression” by Jay Williams via UMNS. “There always has been an oppressing spirit in our Methodist DNA.” (Added 2-18-2020)

Five Reasons Why You Ought to Join the WCA Now” by Carolyn Moore via Art of Holiness. Joining WCA is a positive, proactive step that will prepare your congregations to better navigate the uncertainties ahead. (Added 2-18-2020)

An Open Letter to United Methodists” by Christian McShaffrey via Christian Post. Presybterian Pastor: “Be thankful for a peaceful path out of your compromised denomination… you will soon be free to celebrate Wesley’s cherished doctrines of Justification and Sanctification once again.” (Added 2-18-2020)

Igmedio Domingo: Philippine Central Conference Perspective on the Future of The United Methodist Church” via UM & Global. “The Philippines Central Conference will seek to sustain ourselves and be part of The United Methodist Church.” (Added 2-18-2020)

Something Wicked This Way Comes: Wicked Problem Cautions for GC2020” by Bob Phillips via PeopleNeedJesus.net. “The theology of prayer was the first casualty of St. Louis, followed by more rejection of authority.” (Added 2-18-2020)

Reading the Wrinkles” by Chris Gadlage. Analysis of the Liberia Annual Conference’s Statement on the Separation Protocol. (Added 2-18-2020)

Pathways II Commission Report (February 2020)” via Missouri Conference. A study conducted by the Missouri Annual Conference reveals 200 clergy would want to serve in a fully traditional church. 158 would want to serve in a fully inclusive church. 158 would serve in either. (Added 2-18-2020)

Liberian United Methodists React to Separation Plan” by Mark Tooley via Juicy Ecumenism. “The unanimous vote in Liberia signals that Africa would be unwilling to remain with liberalized United Methodism and instead wants better terms for Africans joining a new traditionalist church.” (Added 2-18-2020)

The Method in Methodism” by Bob Kaylor via WCA. Accountable Discipleship is the Methodist Method, and a task force is planning to make this a centerpiece once again in a next Methodism. (Added 2-18-2020)

GC2020: The Protocol’s 100 Local Church Hurdle” by Frank Holbrook via Plane Grace. How can a denomination meet the 100-church threshold for forming if churches can’t join them until they are formed? Chicken and egg problem discussed. See also this Postscript. (Added 2-18-2020)

Will New Methodist Denominations Lead to Uniformity or Diversity?” by Jeremy Smith. Jeremy weighs in on arguments made by Bishop Willimon and Justus Hunter on diversity and uniformity fostered by denominational separation. (Added 2-17-2020)

Philippines Part Two: Protocol & Christmas Covenant Affirmed” by Mark Holland via Mainstream UMC. Mark Holland reports on Cavite’s annual conference support of Protocol and Regionalization. There is a new, more comprehensive regionalization plan endorsed by this conference that has yet to be released. (Added 2-17-2020)

WJ First Elected Delegates Agree to Legislative Goals for GC2020” via Press Release. The Western Jurisdiction delegates want to approve the Protocol, Regionalize the UMC, and roll back the Traditional Plan. (Added 2-17-2020)

Resolution of the Liberia Annual Conference – Protocol” via Press Release. The Liberia Annual Conference 2020 Session unanimously responds to the Protocol and suggests amendments to it. (Added 2-17-2020)

Embracing a New Beginning” by Keith Boyette via WCA. “If the 2020 General Conference adopts the protocol agreement’s implementing legislation, the WCA plans to immediately announce the formation of a new traditionalist Methodist church.” (Added 2-17-2020)

Another Reason Why I’m Staying” by Jack Harnish. The death of John Kurewa of Africa University occasions this post on the virtue of United Methodist general agencies. (Added 2-6-2020)

GC2020: The Council of Bishops’ Role Under the Protocol” by Frank Holbrook. The author of the Plain Grace Plan compares the role of the COB in his plan and the Protocol. (Added 2-16-2020)

Conference Acts on Protocol, Christmas Covenant” by Gladys Mangiduyos and Sam Hodges via UMNS. The Cavite Annual Conference in the Philippines forwards the Protocol legislation to GC2020, and endorses regionalization. (Added 2-16-2020)

“Why I’m not Leaving the UMC” by Steve West. Alabama pastor will leave his conference if it leaves the UMC. (Added 2-16-2020)

Link Corrected: “What Separation Means for Central Conferences” by Tom Lambrecht via Good News Magazine. Explanation of what the Feinberg Separation Protocol will mean for Central Conferences (jurisdictions outside the U.S.) (Added 2-16-2020)

Church Giving Overcomes Worst Fears” by Heath Hahn via UMNS.

The Protocol, Smart Regionalization, and a Better Deal for Africa” by Chris Ritter via PeopleNeedJesus.net. The leading regionalization option is inadequate. GC2020 should pass the Protocol and a new constitution creating The UM Communion. (Added 2-14-2020)

2019 Connectional Giving and Membership Stats Available” via GCFA. The official stats of 2019 giving and membership are now available. (Added 2-14-2020)

Should the United Methodist Church Split Over Same Sex Marriage?” by Andrea Turpin. A thoughtful summary article from an outside source. “At what cost division? At what cost unity?” (Added 2-14-2020)

United Methodist Financial Decline” by Mark Tooley via Juicy Ecumenism. Sharp drops in funding for the UMC can already be seen. Predicts at least 2 million will join a new traditional Methodist Church. (Added 2-13-2020)

UMC Separation Primer: It’s Not About Cats or Sex” by Keith Sweat. The issues are deeper than issues of human sexuality. (Added 2-13-2020)

Conference Acts on Protocol, Christmas Covenant” by Gladys Mangiduyos and Sam Hodges via UMNS. The Cavite Annual Conference endorses the Feinberg Separation Protocol and the Christmas Covenant calling for regionalization of the church. (Added 2-13-2020)

Philip Wingeier-Rayo: Rush Limbaugh, Church Division, the the future of The United States of America” via UM & Global. It is good for America that the UMC be a big tent so that its racist/misogynistic members might be converted. (Added 2-13-2020)

GC2020: Tree Gazing and Leadership” by Frank Holbrook. A lay delegate asks if United Methodism conflates credentials and true leadership. (Added 2-13-2020)

Holy Sexuality: The United Methodist Dilemma – The Complete Series” by Andy Adams. The pastor of Troy UMC, a long-time GC Delegate from Illinois, does a deep dive on the topic of sexuality & the UMC in a recent message series. (Added 2-13-2020)

There is a Season for Everything” by Bishop LaTrelle Easterling via Baltimore-Washington Conf. “While it may seem contradictory, the new [Protocol] is the best and strongest way we can move forward honoring the Gospel and our call to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. (Added 2-12-2020)

Connectional Table Offers Live Webinar on U.S. Regional Conference Legislation” via Press Release. Information on a Feb. 20 webinar offered by the Connectional Table as they promote their U.S. Regional Conference Plan. (Added 2-12-2020)

LINK CORRECTED: “Perfect Storm Expression #5: The Pocket Fires of the Next Methodist Movement” by Paul Lawler via NewMethodistMovement.org. Signs of life in the Methodist movement. (Added 2-12-2020)

The Sources of Methodist Coherence: Method” by Robert Hunt. The Director of Global Theological Education at Perkins offers this as the last of three posts on what makes United Methodism coherent. (Added 2-12-2020)

Mainstream UMC in the Philippines (Part 1)” by Mark Holland. Mark Holland spends eleven days in the Philippines to meet with delegates there. (Added 2-12-2020)

Eastern Pennsylvania Congregation Votes to Leave the UMC” by Cynthia Astle via UMC Insight. Grandview UMC in Lancaster votes to disaffiliate so as to be more LGBTQ affirming. (Added 2-12-2020)

Historian: Potential UMC Split Ignores Questions of Doctrine” by Cynthia Astle via UM Insight. Summation of Bill Lawrence’s recent article in Methodist Review: “A Question of Doctrine: Whither The United Methodist Church?” This former head of the Judicial Council would love to see church standards on marriage and human sexuality ruled unconstitutional. (Added 2-12-2020)

GC2020: Practical Observations Concerning the Proposed Legislation to Implement Reconciliation and Grace through Separation (Par. 2556)” by Frank Holbrook. A Memphis Conference lay delegate, a lawyer, analyzes the Protocol Legislation. (Added 2-12-2020)

Ad Meliora: A Young Clergy Perspective on the Separation Protocol” by Matt Abel via PeopleNeedJesus.net. A young clergy finds hope in the Feinberg Protocol. (Added 2-11-2020)

Reflections on the Proposed Protocol for Separation (Part IV)” by Timothy Tennent. A fourth installment on the Protocol by the President of Asbury Theological Seminary. (Added 2-11-2020)

Are We Ready to Embrace the Future?” by Patrick Scriven via Pacific-Northwest Conference. The Dir. of Communications of the PNW conference reflects on the changes brought by the Protocol. (Added 2-11-2020)

Reservations and Hope about the Protocol” by Tim McClendon via WCA. The senior pastor of St. John’s UMC in Aiken, SC reflects on the Protocol. (Added 2-11-2020)

The Time is Now: The Confessing Movement Board of Directors Endorses ‘Protocol’” via We Confess (Jan.-March 2020). The Confessing Movement endorses the Protocol. Issue also includes an article by Pat Miller “Why I Support the Protocol” and “Are There Reasons for Separation Besides the Issues of Marriage and Homosexual Practice?” by Riley Case. (Added 2-11-2020)

For the Protocol, which Comes First: The UMC Chicken or the WCA Egg?” by Jeremy Smith. The order of legislation at GC2020 is discussed… regionalization and separation. (Added 2-10-2020)

Accountability of Congregations in the New Expression of Methodism” by Art Collins. Drawing on experience of scouting, the author recommends a criterion-based system for congregational accountability. (Added 2-10-2020)

WCA Holds Informational Meeting” by Cathy Bruce & Alan Wild via Kentucky Conference. A large crowd attends a WCA event in the Kentucky Conference. (Added 2-10-2020)

Advocacy Groups from Across the Church Endorse the Protocol” via WCA Facbook. A joint endorsement announcement from The Confessing Movement, Good News, Mainstream UMC, Reconciling Ministries Network, Uniting Methodists, UMC Next and WCA. (Added 2-10-2020)

South Georgia Conference Delegation Statement” The South Georgia Conference Delegation endorses the Separation Protocol and encourages GC2020 to prioritize it on the agenda. (Added 2-10-2020)

A Primer in UMC Assets: Annual Conferences and Jurisdictions” by David Scott via UM & Global. A continuing series on property matters in the UMC, especially pertinent in light of the Separation Protocol. (Added 2-10-2020)

‘Plain Grace Plan’ Submitted by Memphis Conferences Frank Holbrook is among Many Being Considered to Structure the United Methodist Church” by Lane Gardner Camp via Memphis Conference. Coverage of the Plain Grace Plan. (Added 2-10-2020)

Timelines, Tensions, and the Separation Protocol (PART 3)” by Chris Ritter via PeopleNeedJesus.net. A proposed solution to the connectional conundrum presented by the Separation Protocol and U.S. Regional Conference Plan. (Added 2-10-2020)

UMC Protocol: Just Do the Right Thing” by Keith Sweat. We must do right by Africa. (Added 2-10-2020)

Pre-General Conference Presentations via ResourceUMC. Videos from the January event in Nashville are made public. (Added 2-9-2020)

Timelines, Tensions, and the Separation Protocol (Part 2)” by Chris Ritter via PeopleNeedJesus.net. The second of a three-part series exploring challenges with the Protocol and possible solutions. (Added 2-9-2020)

What the Protocol Legislation Means for You and Your Students” by Jeremy Steele via Youth Worker Collective. Advice to youth workers about the Protocol and what it will mean for them and their students. (Added 2-8-2020)

Bishop McKee on Protocol of Reconciliation and Grace Through Separation” via Youtube. The bishop of the North Texas Conference offers a 4 minutes video describing the Protocol as “the framework for a new home.” (Added 2-7-2020)

Dear Bishops, Please Stop Traumatizing Your Clergy” by David Baker via Christian Today. Church of England clergy believe it is time to take the UMC’s example and part amicably rather than see bishops blast church teaching. (Added 2-7-2020)

Timelines, Tensions, and the Separation Protocol (Part 1)” by Chris Ritter via PeopleNeedJesus.net. The pace and stability of the new order created by the Separation Protocol is explored. (Added 2-7-2020)

UMC Protocol: That’s Still Lucy Holding the Football” by Keith Sweat. Can The UMC Establishment be trusted to act in good faith? (Added 2-7-2020)

Conferences to Vote on Forwarded Protocol Legislation” by Sam Hodges via UMNS. Reports on plans in the Michigan and Sierra Leone Conferences to forward the Protocol legislation to GC2020 by the March 20 AC Deadline. (Added 2-7-2020)

Transgender Passe’, meet the Non-Binary Clergy” by Claire Hepler via Juicy Ecumenism. M Barlay, Anna Blaedel, Jess Cook, Megan Rohrer, and Ryan Dowell Baum are profiled. (Added 2-7-2020)

Reconciliation and Grace Through Separation Website & Legislation. Release of the legislation on a dedicated Protocol Website. (Added 2-7-2020)

What the 1887 Evangelical Association Schism Teaches Today” via Baltimore-Washington WCA Facebook Page. (Added 2-7-2020)

TEC and ANCA Settle Lawsuit Over Diocese of Quincy” by Kirk Peterson via The Living Church. After eleven year, a lawsuit is settled over a diocese that left the Episcopal Church. (Added 2-7-2020)

Clarity and Curiosities in the Protocol for #UMC Separation” by Jeremy Smith. A Progressive review of the Protocol legislation. (Added 2-7-2020)

Methodist Minister at George Mason University Could Face Discipline Over Officiating a Same-Sex Wedding” via Washington Post. National reporting on the Drew Enzs case in Virginia. (Added 2-6-2020)

New Effort Starts for Same-Sex Weddings” by Heather Hahn via UMNS. 466 retired pastors make themselves available to perform same-sex weddings so that active clergy don’t risk charges. (Added 2-5-2020)

Bishop Wallace-Padgett Calls a Special Session of the North Alabama Annual Conference If Needed” by press release. August 15 seems to be a popular date for annual conferences to meet in special session to decide their futures. (Added 2-6-2020)

Editorial: Farewell, Methodist Catholicism” via The Living Church. Thoughtful ecumenical reflection of The Protocol: “Maybe we’re learning to “walk together at a distance” (in current Anglican parlance), in hopes that our paths may eventually converge again.” (Added 2-6-2020)

A Happy Death and a Hopeful Future” by Billy Abraham via PeopleNeedJesus.org. The Albert C. Outler Professor of Wesley Studies at SMU shares his pastoral thoughts on the Separation Protocol. (Added 2-5-2020)

MovingForward.cc via St. James Church Montgomery, AL. A seminar on the future of the United Methodist Church on April 23 with Keith Boyette. (Added 2-5-2020)

Special Michigan AC Called in March” via press release. The Michigan Conference calls a special session to forward The Protocol Legislation to General Conference 2020. See also Bishop Bard’s blog post: “Life in Interesting Times.” (Added 2-5-2020)

What Will your Church’s New Name Be?” by David Donnam. The pastor of Twin City UMC in Twin City, GA offers some thoughts about church names when denominations may change. (Added 2-5-2020)

Interview with Vaughn Stafford” by Paul Lawler via NewMethodistMovement.org. The pastor of Clearbranch UMC in Northern Alabama is interviewed, casting vision for a new Methodist movement. (Added 2-5-2020)

The Shakedown in The United Methodist Church” by William Alberts and Gilbert Caldwell via UM Insight. Retired pastors struggling with the Protocol: The $25 million given to a new traditional Methodist Church is described as a shake-down. (Added 2-5-2020)

Pastors: It’s Time for The Talk” by David Livingston. A Great Plains Conference pastor offers thoughts on pastors speaking to their congregations about Separation. (Added 2-5-2020)

A Primer on UMC Assets: Local Church Assets” by David Scott via UM & Global. Part of an extensive series of blog posts on UMC assets. Good background information. (Added 2-4-2020)

A Sad Separation” by Bishop William Willimon. Reflections on the Separation Protocol, also appearing in Circuit Rider Magazine. (Added 2-4-2020)

GCFA Board Officers Discuss Potential Financial Impacts” via GCFA Press Release. The General Council on Finance and Administration is studying the financial impact of separation. (Added 2-4-2020)

Western Delegates Ask for Prayer” by Cynthia Astle via UM Insight. A news roundup including a Western Jurisdiction call to prayer, GCFA financial study, and other recent media mentions. (Added 2-4-2020)

Remembering Our Baptism During this Time of Split” by Trent Somes III. As we approve the Separation Protocol, are we living up to our baptism vows? (Added 2-3-2020)

The Timeline Problem in the Protocol for UMC Separation” by Jeremy Smith. A possible prolonged timeline for full inclusion makes the Protocol problematic for the post-separation UMC. (Added 2-03-2020)

Caffeine for a Methodist Morning” by Chris Ritter. An invitation to join Team Caffeine. (Added 2-3-2020)

Keith Boyette Presentation” via Leesburg UMC Facebook. The President of WCA gives a presentation on the Separation Protocol. (Added 2-3-2020)

Why the Best Days of Methodism are Ahead of Us (Conference Video)” by Chris Ritter via NewMethodistMovement.org. The plenary address at the January 25 event for traditionalists in Birmingham, AL. Direct Vimeo link here. (Added 2-3-2020)

Seven Blessings and Seven Bumps (Part 2): Progressives/Centrists and the Protocol” by Bob Phillips. The advantages and open questions creates for Progressives and Centrists by the Separation Protocol. (Added 2-3-2020)

Pinson Pastor Responds to Conservative Methodists Who Led Meeting on Split” by Greg Garrison via AL.com. Rev. Joe DeWitte responds in the newspaper to the January 25 meeting at Clearbranch UMC. (Added 2-1-2020)

German Church Proposes Way to Preserve Connection” by Klaus Ulrich Ruof via UMNS. Germans propose a local option with a life raft for Traditionalists. (Added 2-1-2020)

Black UM Leaders Explore Various GC2020 Proposals” by John Coleman via UM Insight. Coverage of a Northeastern Jurisdiction gathering on January 11 in Philadelphia. (Added 2-1-2020)

Circuit Rider Feb./March/April 2020 Issue: The Future of Methodism” via Ministry Matters. Articles by Neil Alexander, William Willimon, Kenneth Carter, Lovett Weems, Junius Dotson, Jan Lawrence, Nate Nims, NEW Plan Authors, Tom Lambrecht, Karen Prudente, Fred Allen, Sungho Lee, Rudy Juan, Cynthia Fierro Harvey, Edgardo Colon-Emeric. (Added 2-1-2020)

Plans for Late-Arriving GC2020 Legislation” by Heather Hahn via UMNS. Process questions addressed as to how The Protocol will get to GC2020. How Pres. Trump’s travel ban might affect international delegates. (Added 1-31-2020)

What Separation Means for U.S. Churches” by Thomas Lambrecht via Good News. The legislation is complete. Local churches can begin voting by late summer. (Added 1-31-2020)

Seven Observations from the Recent Gathering of Traditionalists in Birmingham” by Paul Lawler via NewMethodistMovement.org. Highlights from the January 25 meeting in the Southeast. (Added 1-31-2020)

Machen’s Miracles, Methodists’ Morality” by Russel St. John via World Magazine. J. Greshem Machem: “It is often said that the divided condition of Christendom is an evil, and so it is. But the evil consists in the existence of the errors which cause the divisions and not at all in the recognition of those errors when once they exist.” (Added 1-31-2020)

Conferences Find High Interest in GC2020” by Cynthia Astle via UM Insight. A rounds up of new and information on annual conference informational meetings held in the lead-up to Minneapolis. (Added 1-31-2020)

The Separation Protocol Essentials

Reconciliation and Grace Through Separation Website & Legislation. Release of the legislation on a dedicated Protocol Website. (Added 2-7-2020)

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

An Invitation to Work Together” by Jeff Greenway via WCA. “We look forward to joining other traditionalists as they surface their ideas for a healthy, vibrant, and warm-hearted expression of Wesleyan Christianity.” (Added 1-31-2020)

Top Courts Sets pre-General Conference Docket” by Linda Bloom via UMNS. Summarizes the business coming before the UMC’s top court. (Added 1-30-2020)

Foretaste of What’s On the Table at GC2020” by Heather Hahn via UMNS. Coverage of the GC2020 Preview Event in Nashville (Added 1-30-20202)

Judicial Council April 2020 Docket” via Press Release. The Judicial Council will take up several matters related to GC2019 and its fallout. (Added 1-30-2020)

Northside United Methodist Leaves Denomination, Changes Name” by Brandon Shields via The Jackson Sun. Coverage of a UM congregation leaving prior to GC2020. (Added 1-30-2020)

‘Liberationist’ Methodists Gather in March” by Cynthia Astle via UM Insight. News roundup, including the Lenten Gathering for the formation of a possible Liberation Methodist Church. (Added 1-30-2020)

The Rise and Fall of the Great Denomination” by Teddy Ray. Networks and coalitions are replacing denominations on the U.S. religious landscape. (Added 1-30-2020)

A Primer in UMC Assets: Church-Related Institutions” by David Scott via UM & Global. A series aimed at understanding UMC assets continues with a look at church-related institutions like Southern Methodist University. (Added 1-28-2020)

NCJ Recommends Electing One Bishop in 2020” by NCJ Press Release. A Task Force on Episcopal Leadership is created to study the loss of at least one NCJ Bishop. (Added 1-28-2020)

United Methodist Church in Jackson Leaves Denomination Amid Proposed Split Over LGBTQ Right” by Brandon Shields via The Tennessean. Another church gets out rather than deal with the toxic binary choices offered to GC2020. (Added 1-28-2020)

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)

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

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)

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)