Updated March 31, 2023

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The Very Latest

Letter to the Congregation – March 31, 2023” via St. Luke’s OKC. St. Luke’s is one of 15 congregations NOT initially recommended for disaffiliation approval by the conference trustees in spite of an overwhelming church conference vote. The issue may be membership archive records. Approval expected eventually. (Added 3-31-2023)

Divorce After Fifty Years” by Warren Lathem via Facebook. “The divorce is from the church of my youth, the United Methodist Church. I became a member of the UMC when the Methodist Church merged with the United Brethren. It was a forced marriage. We had no idea what the merger would mean for us.” (Added 3-31-2023)

UMC Regional Body Closes Historic North Carolina Church Attempting to Disaffiliate” by Milton Quintanilla via Christian Headlines. “Fifth Avenue never asked for, agreed to or wanted the closure, nor were its members ever given a chance to participate in the decision to close the church down.” (Added 3-31-2023)

More than 180 Georgia Methodist churches sue to disaffiliate” by Alexandra Koch via Augusta Chronicle. “Churches in north Georgia that want to disaffiliate using the previously approved process are stuck,” wrote John Kenney, pastor of The Quest Church in Grovetown, Georgia, in the release. “These are churches that have done all that has been required; yet, at the last hour were denied the opportunity to proceed with what had been promised to them.” (Added 3-31-2023)

The North Georgia Lawsuit via East Cobb News (PDF). See also this version which lists all the churches involved. (Added 3-31-2023)

Message from Bishop Dease on March 31” via North Georgia Conference. “My heart aches to share that, also today, a lawsuit has been filed against the North Georgia Conference, its board of trustees, our district superintendents, as well as your previous bishop, and me, your present resident bishop. While we review the lawsuit with the appropriate counsel, we will refrain from sharing details, however, we are familiar with the issues. Similarly, a lawsuit has been filed against the conference and its leadership by a church in Augusta.” (Added 3-31-2023)

Ga. Methodist churches sue to restore disaffiliation process” by Wendy Parker via East Cobb News. “The United Methodist Church website specifically states that when General Conference 2024 meets Paragraph 2553 will not exist and therefore, it is not possible to ‘extend’ a provision that does not exist,” the lawsuit states. (Added 3-31-2023)

Bitter Medicine: Realities of Church Membership” by Jeffrey Rickman via PlainSpoken Podcast. Is it right for conferences to demand contact information for members of disaffiliating churches? (Added 3-31-2023)

650 UMC clergy and laity publish letter supporting International Transgender Day of Visibility” via Baptist News Global. “As their denomination splinters over sexuality and gender issues and as their state elected officials debate new restrictions on transgender citizens and their families, a group of 650 United Methodist clergy and laity published an open letter supporting International Transgender Day of Visibility.” (Added 3-31-2023)

New Town Church’s Open Letter to United Methodists” by Greg West and Eric Shuey via Juicy Ecumenism. “After this congregation had its property taken away and its pastor abruptly removed, the bulk of its members along with Pastor West began worshipping at a new location on Sunday. The worship attendance of this “new” congregation, called Church at New Town, was 151, which is 25 more people than they normally had when worshipping as New Town UMC. The congregation now can use the over $562,000 exit fee it was to have paid the Virginia Conference instead for building up its new church.” See also here. (Added 3-31-2023)

GMC Thursday Night Live with Dr. Sterling Allen & Rev. Angela Pleasants” via GMC Thursday Night Live. An interview with a key GMC staffer. (Added 3-31-2023)

Post by Chris Ritter via Facebook. On the North Georgia situation: An analogy from Africa. “…Open doors allow two-way traffic.” (Added 3-30-2023)

Tweet by Mark Tooley: [sharing a Stan Copeland link] “The self identified “Picklin’ Parson,” the Dallas United Methodist cleric who shared his dream of my choking to death on a baloney sandwich, offers further thoughtful critique.” (Added 3-30-2023)

Back on Track” via WCA of North Georgia (Facebook). On the lawsuit of 186 churches against the North Georgia Conference: “We have repeatedly made this request to Conference leaders since receiving notice of “the pause” on December 28th. Regrettably there appears to be no willingness by leaders to resume that process or to even negotiate. We deeply regret the actions of Annual Conference leaders and the untenable situation in which it places hundreds of churches in our Conference.” (Added 3-30-2023)

Baptizing the Status Quo” by Carl Trueman via First Things. “To be a pro-LGBTQ Christian today is to interpret the Bible in a manner that gives religious sanction to the spirit of the age.” (Added 3-30-2023)

Post by Warren Lathem via Friends of the GMC Facebook Group. “It is with a heavy heart that we inform our North Georgia community that, faced with our conference leaders’ unwillingness to negotiate a disaffiliation agreement, 186 churches have filed suit today against the leadership of the North Georgia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.” (Added 3-30-2023)

More Thoughts on All Things Church and United Methodism…” by Matt Morgan via YouTube. The pastor of Community Brookside in Tulsa continues a conversation about the UMC. (Added 3-30-2023)

Historic North Carolina church trying to leave UMC shuttered by regional conference” by Michael Gryboski via Christian Post. Coverage of a forced closure, seizing property before a local church can disaffiliate. (Added 3-30-2023)

What Holston Pastors Wish You Knew (about Disaffiliation)” by Annette Spence via UM Insight. Republished from the Holston Conference newsletter. (Added 3-30-2023)

Tweet by Mark Tooley: ““We thought we were coming for an informational meeting about the vote for disaffiliation, which is coming up. However, it really was just to announce the closure of our church.” [link to story on closure of Wilmington church] (Added 3-30-2023)

Open Letter to the UMC” by Greg West & Eric Shuey via Friends of the Global Methodist Church Facebook Page. Leaders of New Town UMC in Virginia: “The issues at hand are 1) The fairness and integrity of a process put forward by the Virginia Conference of the UMC. 2) The unfair removal of an Elder in good standing serving as both Pastor and Evangelist disregarding required procedure.” (Added 3-30-2023)

A Personal FAQ on Disaffiliation” by Michael Roberts. A member of the Cabinet in the Arkansas Conference offers a personal FAQ on disaffiliation. (Added 3-30-2023)

GCFA Issues Update, Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Boy Scout Bankruptcy” via GCFA. “The Boy Scouts of America’s bankruptcy reorganization plan has survived its first appellate challenge. The General Council on Finance and Administration has provided a brief overview of what that means, and what might be next.” (Added 3-30-2023)

Split among European Methodists because of marriage” via CNE – Christian News Europe. “In a report from Dagen, the Christian Council of Norway recently discussed the roles of women in leadership and same-sex relationships… At the conference, the Methodist Church’s Bishop, Christian Alsted gave the green light in allowing same-sex weddings and clergy. “The Methodist Church in Norway will allow same-sex weddings. And sometime in the future, the Methodist Church in Norway will also have gay priests,” he said.” (Added 3-30-2023)

NTC Welcomes Market Street UMC To Conference” via North Texas Conference (UMC). “Chartering Service happens four — very quick — months after displaced and motivated congregants come together.” (Added 3-30-2023)

Area churches sticking with UMC” by Conner Pittman via Sachse News. North Texas coverage: “Personally, she said being able to move on from disaffiliation discussions has benefitted her and the church because she can focus her efforts on “making disciples to transform the world.” (Added 3-30-2023)

Being a church home, finding a church home” by Shannon Hodson via the Upper New York Conference (UMC). Stay UMC tips: “This is a challenging season for the United Methodist Church (UMC)—some churches throughout the denomination are disaffiliating. In the Upper New York (UNY) Conference, 26 local churches have disaffiliated since October 2022 and dozens more are exploring the disaffiliation option.” (Added 3-30-2023)

Eighteen churches disaffiliate at the March 2023 Special Session of the UNY Annual Conference” by Shannon Hodson via the Upper New York Conference. Special session results. Separate votes were taken for each disaffiliating church and the lowest approval rate was 89%. (Added 3-30-2023)

Church in Gordonville votes to leave United Methodist denomination” by Nathan English via The Southeast Missourian. See also related coverage of an upcoming vote at nearby Centenary UMC by the same author. “Hahs said the process is not disaffiliation but described it as more of an “amicable agreement” and a memorandum of understanding.” (Added 3-30-2023)

United Methodists lose 1,800 churches over sexuality debate” by Dwight Widaman via Metro Voice News. A summary article written for the Kansas City Metro area. (Added 3-30-2023)

Take the Fire and Leave the Stove” by Scott Field via Northern Illinis WCA. “Whether it’s Georgia or Illinois or so many other places in the US, congregations are dealing with the checkered outcomes of ‘disaffiliation.'” It might be time to start something new. (Added 3-30-2023)

Welcome to the Real Jesus Revolution!” by Jim Burklo via UM Insight. “The evangelicals who made it as a propaganda film surely did not intend for it to display the subtext it reveals. As soon as the Jesus Revolution merged into evangelical churches, it lost its countercultural juice. God at the beach rapidly morphed into fundamentalism in the suburbs.” (Added 3-29-2023)

Another WCA Myth Debunked: Nobody’s Silencing Anybody” by Cynthia Astle via UM Insight. “Rev. Therrell whines about the way poor little WCA’ers are being treated by big bad United Methodist bishops. While I agree with him that there’s too much secrey [sic] going on regarding disaffiliation (see Jessica Brodie’s excellent editorial), the WCA has no claim whatsoever to using United Methodist congregations as bully pulpits for its wily enticements to disaffiliation.” (Added 3-29-2023)

Post by Matt Morgan via Facebook. Tulsa UM pastor on St. Luke’s departure: “What I don’t understand is that this Oklahoma City church has been fine to live within the UMC until the option of keeping property was made widely available. Why now? Or better yet, why not participate in bringing about inclusivity for the entire UMC from within?” (Added 3-29-2023)

A Moderate Conversation about United Methodist Disaffiliation” by Matt Morgan via YouTube. Pastor of Community Brookside in Tulsa discusses UM disaffiliation. See also Community Brookside’s marketing to Methodists from disaffiliating churches. (Added 3-29-2023)

It’s A Crock–For the IRD to Work to Ruin God’s Church, No Matter the Brand” by Stan Copeland via YouTube. “Juicy Ecumenism, UM Action and any communication that comes out with the IRD brand flying behind it, is about damaging God’s church, of different brands. They have targeted mainline churches for years, namely Presbyterians, Episcopalians, and United Methodists. They were formed forty years ago, to combat communism and churches they perceived to be a bit too far to the “left” and lately it has been an agenda attacking LGBTQ inclusion.” (Added 3-29-2023)

Iowa Wesleyan University Announces Closure” via IWU. As shared by United Methodist News Service. (Added 3-29-2023)

Long’s Chapel stymied in vote over Methodist split” by Vicki Hyatt via The Mountaineer (NC). “The Long’s Chapel leadership team opted move forward with the steps leading toward a congregation vote. A February vote was set, but the district superintendent abruptly rescinded it.” (Added 3-29-2023)

Tweet by Tim Reaves: “This past Sunday the Bishop in Eastern NC of the UMC came in and closed a church that was in the process of disaffiliation so the conference could keep its property. The members were automatically transferred. They are heartbroken. This is so wrong.” (Added 3-29-2023)

Tweet by Tyler Cantrell: “Bold new #UMC strategy. Let’s close the church before they can vote to leave.” (Added 3-29-2023)

Members shocked as historic Wilmington church set to close after more than 170 years” by Zach Solon via WECT (Wilmington, NC). “Members of the Congregation at Fifth Avenue United Methodist Church say the church council had also recently started the disaffiliation process, but had not held a full vote yet. They say a meeting was called Sunday where members were told the church would be closing and the final service would be on Easter Sunday.” (Added 3-29-2023)

Tweet by John Lomperis: “Increasingly, #UnitedMethodist bishops to pastors: -we could not care less if U deny resurrection of Christ -we’ll celebrate U if U break church rules re marriage -if you DARE tell your congregants facts re #UMC now or your right to disaffiliate, we will crack down on U so hard! (Added 3-29-2023)

Methodism, the Jesus Movement, and the Present-Day Gap” by Riley Case via Juicy Ecumenism. “I wish to share some memories about the Jesus Revolution of some years ago, and relate those to memories about Methodist youth ministry, and to what I have referred to as “The GAP”, the disconnect between United Methodist leadership and ordinary people in the pew.” (Added 3-29-2023)

How concerned should Conservative United Methodists be?” by Jeff Pospisil via Ten Minute Treasurer (YouTube). “There’s a lot of anxiety out there among conservative United Methodists considering leaving the denomination. Are they paranoid or just being cautious?” (Added 3-29-2023)

The March 2023 update on the status of cases and matters within the Arkansas Annual Conference” via Dalton & Tomich, PLC (YouTube). “Dan Dalton provides an update (as of March 2023), on what is happening in the Arkansas Annual Conference with respect to two pending cases and Central United Methodist Church. Watch this video to learn what this could mean for your church.” (Added 3-29-2023)

United Methodist Renegade Bishops and the Bible Belt – Can They Escape the Progressive Tsunami?” by Jeff Dollar via YouTube. A video response to Steve West’s promise of “Bible Belt” bishops in the South. (Added 3-29-2023)

Disaffiliation: Now What?” by Jessica Brodie via South Carolina Advocate. “However, a group called the South Carolina Traditional United Methodist Lay Leadership Group reports that of the 122 traditional churches on their list, 50 have voted to separate from the UMC, and several others not on this list told the Advocate they also voted to separate. (See list at end of article.)” (Added 3-29-2023)

Why the Secrecy?” by Jessica Brodie via UM Insight. Editor of the South Carolina Advocate: “We think the conference’s decision—not to release the names of those churches who have voted to separate from The United Methodist Church, or the number of churches that have chosen to separate—is in error.” Original here. (Added 3-29-2023)

Facts About Gender-Affirming Care” by G. Samantha Rosenthal via UM Insight. Editor’s note: As United Methodists across the United States advocate against legislation that would restrict or even criminalize gender-affirming care, we present this article from The Conversation to provide fact-based background on the medical and psychological treatment. (Added 3-29-2023)

A Time to Grieve and a Time to Move Forward” by Kevin Watson via Firebrand Magazine. “These are hard times for many people across the board in the Wesleyan world (and beyond). The United Methodist Church chose the route of ugly and bitter divorce. Many are grieving the loss of relationships, churches, and more from the fracturing of the UMC to the collapse of United Methodist polity. The temptation to despair and quit can be strong in times like these. I think Billy [Abraham] would exhort us now, as he did many times during his life, not to lose our nerve. Press on. Trust the Holy Spirit. Relax.” (Added 3-29-2023)

Silencing Opposition” by Jay Therrell via WCA. “Multiple annual conferences, including North Georgia, Western North Carolina, and Virginia have either placed severe restrictions on how and where traditionalist groups may share information about disaffiliation, or they have outright banned it. Just last week, Bishop Ken Carter of the Western North Carolina Conference issued a statement that included the following, “… there shall no longer be meetings with WNCC churches where persons recruit members to depart from The United Methodist Church.” (Added 3-29-2023)

United Methodist Church split impacting area Congregations” by Peter Albrecht via WKRG (AL). “That has been the hardest thing, to watch the church being torn apart over an opinion about one thing,” said UMC District Superintendent, Rev. Debora Bishop, who oversees all churches in Lower Alabama and Northwest Florida. (Added 3-29-2023)

Disaffiliation Stats” as compiled by Jimmy Boone via Friends of the GMC Facebook Group. Reports 2107 disaffiliations with 30 special sessions upcoming. No number listed for the churches involved in lawsuits. (Added 3-27-2023)

Study shows strong support from Blacks to remain United Methodists” by Joe Henderson via Florida Conference (UMC). Gammon Theological Seminary, recorded 668 responses to the 29-question survey in May 2022. Black United Methodists’ Perspectives on the Future of the UMC Research Project: 69.9% of respondents want to remain affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Only 6% said they want to disaffiliate and join the Global Methodist Church (3%) or another denomination (3%).” (Added 3-27-2023)

Issues Behind the Increasingly Nasty United Methodist Church Divorce” by John Lomperis via Juicy Ecumenism. Points toward a Lomperis opinion piece in the Washington Examiner. (Added 3-27-2023)

Letter to Litigating Churches from Baltimore-Washington Conference Trustees” via PDF. Letter sent to all congregations seeking the court’s help to leave the UMC: The conference will not change its policy and no disaffiliation will be granted unless the lawsuit is dropped with prejudice. (Added 3-27-2023)

Interview with Joe DiPaolo (Whistleblower on the Commission on General Conference)” by Jeffrey Rickman via PlainSpoken Podcast. (Added 3-27-2023)

COB President’s letter regarding Judicial Council Decision # 1472” by Bishop Tom Bickerton via COB. “Specifics of the timing and agenda of this additional General Conference remain unknown, as well as whether or not an additional Jurisdictional Conference will need to be scheduled are unknown at this point. However, plans will need to be made for the election of delegates to this additional General Conference. This will, in all likelihood, take place in the 2025 Annual Conference sessions.” (Added 3-26-2023)

Eastern Europe methodists to exit United Methodist Church” via Evangelical Focus Europe. Coverage of Eastern Europe’s exit from the UMC. (Added 3-26-2023)

Asbury’s break from United Methodist Church represents direction of progressive adaptation” by Aiden Nellis via The Badger Herald. A sophomore studying sociology analyses Madison Asbury’s exit for the UMC. (Added 3-26-2023)

North Georgia halted disaffiliations. Then a Dalton Methodist pastor left his church behind — and started a new congregation” by Andrew Schwartz via Chattanooga Times Free Press. Pastor Brian Clark launches The River Community Church in Dalton, Georgia after the North Georgia Conference shut down all disaffiliations. (Added 3-26-2023)

The United Methodist Church is undergoing an increasingly nasty divorce” (Opinion) by John Lomperis via The Washington Examiner. “After decades of infighting, America’s second-largest Protestant denomination is now undergoing a slow-motion schism.” (Added 3-26-2023)

First United Methodist Church focuses on caring, healing” by Tanner Holubar via Enid News & Eagle. “Krause said with much division and disagreement, the church community is choosing to come together to try and make Enid as strong of a community as possible.” (Added 3-25-2023)

Updates on the United Methodist Church” via Chapelwood UMC. A Houston area church decided to remain UMC. See also “A Study Series for Traditional United Methodists Who Long to Remain in The United Methodist Church” (Added 3-25-2023)

Reclaim, Revive, Renew Discussion Guide” via UM Communications. A #BeUMC discussion guide for Bishop Bickerton’ s mid-term State of the UMC Address. (Added 3-25-2023)

18 Methodist churches expected to depart the Upstate New York UMC Conference” by Kenneth Crowe II via Times-Union (Albany). “Upstate New York’s United Methodist Churches will meet virtually Saturday to vote on approving the request by 18 congregations to depart the church to affiliate with a new Methodist organization or other groups.” (Added 3-24-2023)

Methodist Exodus in High Gear as Largest UMC Churches in Michigan, AL, SC Want Out” by Steve Warren via CBN News. Large church exits are the focus of this article. (Added 3-24-2023)

Is The United Methodist Church really… ? (Part 11)” via UM Communications. Church conference voting practices are the focus on this installment. (Added 3-24-2023)

Bishop Johnson publishes memoir” via New England Conference (UMC). “Through the lens of her journey with her spouse, Mary, and her transition, Bishop Johnson explores “the raging theological wars that ensued around human sexuality in the annual conferences where I presided and during painful General and Jurisdictional conferences.” (Added 3-24-2023)

Tweet by Chris Ritter: “Watching the #UMC Judicial Council mandate a GC2024 in 2025-2027 to accommodate the institution’s desire to hold GC2020 in 2024.” [gif: jumping the shark] (Added 3-24-2023)

Official Statement: The Northern Philippines Annual Conference Clergy” via Baguio Episcopal Area (Philippines) Facebook. “We, the clergy of the Northern Philippines Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church fully support the BEA Cabinet’s Statement of Loyalty to Christ through The United Methodist Church below. HOWEVER, should the language of the Book Discipline on HUMAN SEXUALITY be CHANGED in the forthcoming GENERAL CONFERENCE 2024, we are open with other United Methodists to explore a church structure option where we can PRESERVE our DOCTRINE and WESLEYAN heritage.” (Added 3-24-2023)

SIE11 – Inclusion from a Global Perspective with Israel Alvaran” via The Bar of the Conference Podcast. “Israel Alvaran is an ordained elder in the Philippines Central Conference of the UMC and an organizer for Reconciling Ministries Network. In this episode, Izzy… gives us a master class on inclusion from a global perspective and how regionalization provides a path to a just, hopeful and Spirit-led future for the UMC’s worldwide connection.” (Added 3-24-2023)

What’s Going On In The Baltimore-Washington UMC Annual Conference?” by Jeffrey Rickman via PlainSpoken Podcast. Continues a series of episodes about how disaffiliation is playing out in each conference. (Added 3-24-2023)

Judicial Council Mandates Extra General Conference” by Tom Lambrecht via Good News. “Now, in Decision 1472, the Judicial Council is mandating a “make-up” General Conference to be held sometime in 2025-27, prior to the regular General Conference to be held in 2028. They base this decision on the tortured logic of Decision 1451 that allowed them to postpone the 2020 General Conference, rather than taking the more common-sense step of cancelling it altogether.” Comments on a recent Congo memorandum also included. (Added 3-23-2023)

Bishops Announce New Supervision Model” via The Susquehanna Conference (UMC). “Some members of disaffiliating congregations have already switched their membership to churches that are remaining United Methodist, thus creating new relationships and opportunities for ministry. We are also using this season to look at ways to be in ministry with new people in new places.” (Added 3-24-2023)

Judge leaves it up to Methodist church courts to settle dispute between ministers, La. conference” via WAFB. Evening TV news coverage. “Plaintiffs have thirty days to refile their motion.” (Added 3-24-2023)

Out of the Ashes: A Service of Lament in a Season of Disaffiliation” via Missouri Conference (UMC). “Join UMC Discipleship Ministries on Thursday, April 20 at 11 a.m. CDT for an online worship experience intended to help us speak into the pain of the moment. This will be a time to name the loss that we feel as we cry out to God, while also leaning into hope as we seek the new thing God is doing in our midst.” (Added 3-24-2023)

First United Methodist Church of Shreveport intervenes; vote may proceed” via Natchichoses Parish Journal. “On Monday, March 20, the First United Methodist Church of Shreveport filed an intervention pleading stating that the church has followed the rules regarding disaffiliation and explained the steps taken by that church. The church stated that a meeting is scheduled for April 16 where a vote is to be taken and if that meeting is postponed, it is unlikely that another meeting can take place before the time for having such meetings has expired.” See Court Filing. (Added 3-24-2023)

Eagle Lake Methodist To Pay $25,000 For Disaffiliation From United Methodist Church” by Bernadette Salapare via Christianity Daily. “The Eagle Lake United Methodist is one of the members of the United Methodist Church who chose to disaffiliate from their denomination. However, the United Methodist Church in Eagle Lake reportedly needs to pay $25,000 in order to retain its church title.” (Added 3-24-2023)

Judge: Court has no say in property fight in Louisiana Methodist church split” by Matt Bruce via The Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA). A suit filed by retired clergy to stop to conference disaffiliation process has been tossed. (Added 3-24-2023)

United Methodists in Eastern Europe, Eurasia planning to leave UMC” by Michael Gryboski via Christian Post. “All four of those conferences — with 66 churches in total across Russia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Estonia — are led by Bishop Eduard Khegay.” (Added 3-24-2023)

Michigan’s largest United Methodist congregation votes to leave denomination” by Michael Gryboski via The Christian Post. “Cornerstone Church of Caledonia, which has satellite campuses in Grand Rapids and the city of Wyoming, voted on Sunday to disaffiliate from the UMC and become a nondenominational congregation. The final tally was 616 in favor, nine against and two abstentions.” (Added 3-24-2023)

Methodist Church Splitting Over LGBTQ Issues” by Tom Raabe via The American Spectator. National coverage in a conservative outlet. (Added 3-24-2023)

Response from the NCLL Regarding the Ruling in North Carolina Case” via Press Release (PDF). Judge was asked to recuse himself because he is the treasurer of Sparta UMC an the DS over the church is married to counsel for the Western North Carolina Conference. The National Center on Life and Liberty believes the decision to be made in error and plans an immediate appeal. (Added 3-23-2023)

Beeson Divinity School approved to train clergy for Global Methodist Church” by Greg Garrison via AL.com. “Beeson Divinity School is committed to welcoming students from churches of the Wesleyan tradition,” said Michael Pasquarello III, Beeson’s Methodist Chair of Divinity and director of the Wesleyan Studies certificate program, said this recognition was good for Beeson. “We are thankful at this time for the privilege of partnering with the Global Methodist Church in preparing women and men for the joy of spreading scriptural holiness throughout the world.” (Added 3-23-2023)

Interview with Jay Therrell (President of the WCA)” via PlainSpoken Podcast via YouTube. “Jay is often maligned for representing part of the ‘Reform and Renewal’ coalition. In this conversation, Jeffrey directly asks him about a number of allegations made by different voices within the UMC. This is an opportunity to assess whether or not the behavior and words of a public figure match the caricature that is painted.” (Added 3-23-2023)

Hope Springs Eternal: Positive Conversations About the UMC (This week featuring Kay Kotan)” by Natalie Justice (YouTube). This series was shared by UMNS. (Added 3-23-2023)

Bishop Announces Task Force on the Structure of the Alabama-West Florida Conference” by Alabama-West Florida Conference (UMC). “At the conclusion of their work, the committee will have made a proposal with recommendations related to the number of districts, district lines, district offices, the Episcopal residence, the conference office, and conference lines; to name a few.” (Added 3-23-2023)

Judge Sides with Louisiana Conference in Lawsuit Regarding Disaffiliation Process” via Louisiana Conference (UMC). A case brought by retired clergy seeking to shut down the Louisiana Conference’s disaffiliation process has been thrown out. (Added 3-23-2023)

An Update on the Congregational Exodus from the United Methodist Church – Mark Tooley, 3/17/23” via Issues, Etc. An interview with Mark Tooley of the Institute on Religion and Democracy. (Added 3-23-2023)

Judge’s dismissal of 36 churches’ lawsuit holds implications for other UMC departures” by Cynthia Astle via Baptist News Global. “The dismissal has broader implications for similar actions against UMC annual conferences, which are the regional units through which churches seeking to depart must work. Lawsuits are pending in Florida and Missouri, while a Wisconsin lawsuit was dismissed in federal court earlier this year.” (Added 3-23-2023)

ChatGPT on the Challenges Facing the Global Methodist Church” by David Donnan. Chat GPT’s essays on the challenges facing the GMC. (Added 3-23-2023)

Judge Dismisses Lawsuit by 36 United Methodist Churches” by Yonat Shimron via Ministry Watch. “It was not immediately clear on what basis Doughton agreed to dismiss the suit since his ruling was given orally. But the Western North Carolina Conference nevertheless heralded the ruling.” (Added 3-23-2023)

Inspire – The Webinar of the Global Methodist Church” via Global Methodist Church YouTube Channel. Cara Nicklas, Keith Boyette and Bishops Webb and Jones are featured in this first in a series of webinars. (Added 3-23-2023)

An autonomous Methodist Church is formed in Eurasia” via ADP Adventist Press Service (German language article). “A March 18 online special session of the Methodist Bishoprics of Northern Europe and Eurasia decided to move forward with the separation process of the Methodist Church in Russia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Estonia from the United Methodist Church. The Methodist congregations in these areas want to form an “autonomous Methodist church,” according to the draft resolution. 40 delegates voted in favor of this issue, 20 against, and few abstained.” (Added 3-23-2023)

Tweet Thead by John Lomperis: “Fun Facts: Not a real denomination? The # of congregations now in the #GlobalMethodist Church is already higher than all 3 #UnitedMethodist Central Conferences in Europe COMBINED, or than any US annual conference, or than the #UMC Western Jurisdiction” (Added 3-23-2023)

Tweet by Mark Tooley: “Some exiting United Methodist churches, even if joining Global Methodist denomination, are deleting Methodist from signage, which’s national pan-denominational trend. For better or worse, most church goers aren’t very concerned about denominations.” (Added 3-23-2023)

These are the schools the Global Methodist Church recommends for hopeful clergy” by Emily McFarlan Miller via Religion News Service. “None of these schools are Global Methodist schools,” said the Rev. Keith Boyette, who heads the denomination as its transitional connectional officer. “They serve diverse constituencies, diverse student bodies. We don’t expect them to be exclusively for the Global Methodist Church, but we’re looking at are they as an institution aligned with who we are and our mission and our doctrine and our practices as a church?” (Added 3-23-2023)

Leaning in and Listening” by John Kubal via Brookings Register. Bishop Lanette Plambeck visits local South Dakota churches during a tumultuous time in the denomination: “Anybody who wants a home in the United Methodist Church will have a home and be able to live in the fullness of who they are as people of God,” Plambeck noted. As to same-gender relationships, same-gender marriage, in the Western Jurisdiction, “We have two bishops that would identify with the LGBT community.” (Added 3-23-2023)

United Methodist Pastor Simultaneously Serves Local Church and Country” via Alabama-West Florida Conference (UMC). A military chaplain leads a UM church from overseas via Zoom: “Pastor Bailey states, “Tabernacle is a great place for local families who have been displaced from the disaffiliation process to come and worship.” (Added 3-23-2023)

Three local United Methodist churches to remain with denomination” by Johnette Magner via KTBS (Shreveport, LA). While three area churches decide not to enter into discernment, the largest church, First UMC, votes next month. (Added 3-23-2023)

La Croix Church votes to disaffiliate from United Methodist Church” by Nathan English via The Southeast Missourian. On the exit of one of Missouri’s largest congregations: “Members of the one of the largest church bodies in Cape voted 579 to 36 — 94% — in favor of disaffiliation, far exceeding the required two-thirds threshold…. La Croix has an estimated 1,900 members in total. The vote will also affect the Benton, Missouri, satellite campus. The disaffiliation will be finalized with a ratification of the congregation’s vote at the Missouri Annual Conference in June.” (Added 3-23-2023)

An Advocacy Expert Responds to Bishop’s Suspension Issues” by Jerry Eckert via UM Insight. “The Rev. Jerry Eckert, retired from the Wisconsin Annual Conference, wrote this response based on years of work with Associates in Advocacy (AIA).” (Added 3-23-2023)

A Public Call to Lift the Prolonged Suspension of Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño” via Press Release via UM Insight. “We, leaders and members of ethnic caucuses of California-Nevada Annual Conference as well as national ethnic caucuses of The United Methodist Church, are putting out this public call because our letter of request to the Western Jurisdiction College of Bishops and Western Jurisdiction Committee on Episcopacy to lift the unprecedented, prolonged suspension of our Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño was met with silence. We are now left with one option, and that is to go public.” (Added 3-23-2023)

When Keepers of the Flame Lose the Narrative” by Scott Field via Northern Illinois WCA. “Our United Methodist Bishops have attempted to assure church members that the future is bright, and they should just ignore those other voices raising questions and concerns. Those dissenting voices are spreading misinformation and disinformation, we are told. The bishops apparently are convinced that if they, the bishops, communicate “what is going on”, their voice will be given more credence than others describing current events within the unraveling United Methodist Church because, well, after all, they are the bishops.” (Added 3-23-2023)

38 Churches Sue UMC Baltimore-Washington Conference over Disaffiliation Procedures” by Amanda Cassanova via Christian Headlines. “Gibbs said the regional UMC body is asking for 50 percent of the property values, “and so, some of these churches that are in cities and other areas they’re not in a position to do that, and this is property they’ve already paid for once.”” (Added 3-22-2023)

About that Baltimore-Washington Conference Lawsuit” by Greg Witte via Juicy Ecumenism. “The bishop asks that churches not disparage or cause spiritual harm to other UM churches, yet she continually disparages these members of her own flock. She implies departing churches will “damage benefits and pensions for retired pastors and their spouses,” yet the straight ¶2553 process includes support for our share of any aggregate unfunded pension obligations, if there actually are any.” (Added 3-22-2023)

Cornerstone Votes to Disaffiliate” via Michigan Conference (UMC). [Story shared by UMNS as “Megachurch’s exit vote comes with backstory.”] “Rev. Margie Crawford, superintendent of the Midwest District, has been assisting Cornerstone through the disaffiliation process and confirmed this congregational personality trait: “They are United Methodist, but they’re more than United Methodist. That’s the best way to say it.” Crawford sees evidence of some of those United Methodist ties remaining after the formal separation is complete. Cornerstone has committed to continuing to financially support La Nueva Esperanza UMC, a Hispanic congregation in Grand Rapids, something they’ve been doing for some time.” (Added 3-22-2023)

Post by Chase Crickenberger via TikTok. UM Clergy: “All the Global Methodist Church is doing is applying a Trumpian political strategy that is antithetical to the Gospels to the polity of our church. The clergy leaders of thos (sic) movement should feel deep shame.” (Added 3-22-2023)

Getting Through the UMC Split Without Giving Into Our Fears” by Ben Gosden. Lenten message from a South Georgia clergy: “Our annual conference gathering is set to be roughly half the size it was last June. Rooms will have noticeable gaps and where friends once filled spaces. The impact will continue to unfold for at least the next few months. The connection in many places will look and feel very different.” (Added 3-22-2023)

Second Alternative Educational Pathway Approved” by Keith Boyette via GMC. “The Global Methodist Church’s Transitional Leadership Council has approved United Theological Seminary’s (Dayton, Ohio) Certificate in Theology and Ministry (CTM) and its Advanced Certificate in Theology and Ministry (ACTM) as alternative pathways toward completing the educational requirements for ordained ministry. ” (Added 3-22-2023)

GM Church Launches New Online Application Process for Clergy and Local Churches” by Keith Boyette via GMC. “Local churches and clergy wanting to join the Global Methodist Church will now complete and submit their applications online. Applications will immediately be routed through the GM Church’s review process. As a result, the Church will be able to track the status of applications more efficiently, and the time to review and approve them should be significantly reduced.” (Added 3-22-2023)

Tweet by Jeff Walton: “Two years ago I thought Mark’s [Tooley] estimate of United Methodist departures was overly optimistic (based on Episcopal Church departures 2006-2012). He was right. I didn’t foresee non-conservative churches departing. They’re clearly lining up, too.” (Added 3-22-2023)

Tweet Thread by Michael Adam Beck: Defending United Theological Seminary: “Why would we dismiss a seminary with such positive momentum simply because they have opened the doors to educate GMC students? Is that not being “fully inclusive”? Critiques aimed at United sound like the very dualistic thinking that has led us to schism to begin with.” (Added 3-22-2023)

Long-standing Big Spring Church undergoes Change” by KBST. Coverage of First Methodist Church in Big Spring, TX joining the Global Methodist Church. (Added 3-22-2023)

Bitter Infighting Threatens Kenya’s Methodist Church” by Fredrick Nzwili via ChurchLeaders.com. Although the UMC exists in Kenya, this article is about the dominant Kenya branch stemming from British Methodism. (Added 3-22-2023)

Let’s Do Better” by Rob Renfroe via Good News Magazine. What United Methodists and Global Methodists must do better, during disaffiliation and after. (Added 3-22-2021)

9 Methodist ministers sue La. conference over disaffiliation process, which they say is flawed” by Curtis Heyen via KSLA Shreveport. “In the case of First United Methodist Church in Shreveport, which has a disaffiliation vote scheduled in April, the value of church property exceeds $50 million. However, under the proposal being considered by the Louisiana Conference, the conference would receive only $765,728.16 for its assets – a loss to the denomination of more than $49 million.” (Added 3-22-2023)

Tweet Thread by John Lomperis. “In 2019-2020, liberal #UnitedMethodist leaders claimed to not want our split done via contentious lawsuits like the Episcopalians. Since then, they greedily demanded more and more, broke their own word re #UMC Protocol + other matters, & got lawsuits in 11 conferences so far. note that some of these lawsuits were filed by the liberal side.” (Added 3-22-2023)

United Methodist congregations contend with process of disaffiliating” by Julia Marcua via (Pittsburg) Tribune-Review. “They are among more than 260 churches in the Western Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church — almost one-third of its 800 members — that have taken steps to leave the denomination. As debates and disagreements continue over same-sex marriage and ordaining gay pastors, the creation of a more conservative Global Methodist Church branch in mid-2022 sped the momentum of congregations voting to disaffiliate.” (Added 3-22-2023)

Bishop Carter Calls Special Session of the WNC Annual Conference for Fall 2023” via Western North Carolina Conference. On the day the lawsuit against the conference is dismissed, the Western NC Conference announces a special session for this fall. (Added 3-21-2023)

Post by Bob Phillips via IGRC WCA Facebook Group. “Update and Takeaways from GMC bishops/leadership: GMC has 1350 churches, 1900 clergy from 8 nations, 9 provisional conferences, anticipates members from Europe, Asia, Central/South America. Convening General Conference will be summer or fall 2024. Bishop Webb will be the first provisions bishop of the Great Lakes Conference (IL, IN, MI, WI). (Added 3-21-2023)

Church group urges judge to disregard countersuit” by Keith Inman via The Sun (Jonesboro, AR). “The Arkansas Conference, the governing body for United Methodist congregations statewide, filed a counter claim against the local congregation on March 14, the same day a judge refused to dismiss the original lawsuit, which seeks clear title to the land and buildings.” (Added 3-21-2023)

Our View: A painful exodus” by the Editorial Board via The Dispatch (Columbus, MS). “We offer no opinion of the vote because that decision rests with the membership alone. But we do regret the likely departure of so many in the church family. For those who are in pain, we offer our sympathy and our hopes that they will find a way forward in grace. Sunday was a difficult day for all.” (Added 3-21-2023)

Methodist Church in Arkansas Continues Lawsuit to Retain Ownership of Property” by Kim Roberts via Ministry Watch. “Arnold denied the motion to dismiss filed by the Arkansas Conference of the United Methodist Church in which the conference argued the court did not have jurisdiction over the case.” (Added 3-21-2023)

Church Splits: Why is the United Methodist Church splitting and what is disaffiliation?” by Anna-Lisa Hunter via Saumico UMC YouTube Channel. “Currently, a number of churches are voting to leave the global denomination because of this issue. What is happening? What is the timeline? Here are some answers to common questions our pastor has received.” (Added 3-21-2023)

Cost of Disaffiliation: Eagle Lake Methodist raising $25,000 for title to church building” by Terri Cowart Frazier via The Vicksburg Post. “She said she believes that the United Methodist Church is not living up to its Book of Discipline, which outlines the law, doctrine, administration, organizational work and procedures of the church. And she feels that for those who are not abiding by the established guidelines, there has been no “accountability” or “recourse.” (Added 3-21-2023)

A Response about the Recent Lawsuits Against the BWC” by Greg Witte via Baltimore-Washington WCA. “We read with grief the statement by Bishop Easterling regarding a suit by 38 churches within the Conference. It is indeed sad that churches have been placed in this position, but it should not be surprising. The bishop herself, although she has since recanted from the agreement that she signed, proposed separation as the best means to resolve our differences.” See also the Juicy Ecumenism’s re-post here. (Added 3-21-2023)

Tweet by David Watson: “Perhaps so. I’d say we should be humbler in our ambitions generally. The GMC should be (1) catholic, (2) Protestant, and (3) Methodist. I.e., we will confess the Great Tradition understood through a Protestant lens with specific Methodist emphases. No need to reinvent the wheel.” (Added 3-21-2023)

Tweet by Jeremy Smith (Seattle): “The Judicial Council says vacancy elections are allowed. So all the antigay churches and reps that left? See ya. Thanks for letting us replace your seats with inclusive Christians and create the change we hope to see in the #umc world.” (Added 3-21-2023)

Court rules on General Conference questions” by Heather Hahn via UMNS. Annual conferences may hold elections to fill vacancies created by disaffiliations. In a separate opinion, the court maintained that the Congo Central Conference must provide a right of trial and appeal for clergy. (Added 3-21-2023)

Lawsuit by 36 Churches Against WNC Conference, Bishop Carter Dismissed” via Western North Carolina Conference (UMC). “On Monday, March 20, 2023, North Carolina Superior Court Judge Richard L. Doughton issued an oral ruling from the bench granting the Western North Carolina Conference’s motions to dismiss the lawsuit brought against the conference, its board of trustees, and Bishop Kenneth H. Carter, Jr. by 36 United Methodist local churches represented by the National Center for Life and Liberty.” See also Religion News Service Coverage. (Added 3-21-2023)

Judge rejects lawsuit against United Methodist Church over disaffiliation process” by Michael Gryboski via Christian Post. “North Carolina Superior Court Judge Richard L. Doughton issued an oral ruling on Monday, in which he granted the [Western North Carolina] Conference’s motions to dismiss the departing churches’ lawsuit.” (Added 3-21-2023)

Nine United Methodist Ministers File Suit in Baton Rouge Court Against Louisiana Annual Conference of the Church” [PDF] via The Cohn Law Firm. “This suit is not about theology but rather about responsibility, the fiduciary responsibility the leadership
of the Conference has to all members of the United Methodist Church in Louisiana. No one has said a church cannot disaffiliate from the United Methodist Church family of churches. The plaintiffs’ position is that the limited disaffiliating rule cannot be used by Louisiana churches which agree with and approve of the current Methodist stance prohibiting the ordination or marriage of self-avowed practicing homosexuals.” (Added 3-21-2023)

Edmond’s New Covenant to Leave United Methodist Church” by Carla Hinton via The Oklahoman. [paywall] (Added 3-21-2023)

After Disaffiliation” by Jason Vickers via Good News Magazine. Ways disunity can threaten our spiritual lives. (Added 3-21-2023)

Bible college fires theologian for tweet against homosexuality, threatens to report as terrorist: lawyers” by Jon Brown via Fox News. “Edwards’ case comes amid a growing rift among Methodists globally over the issue of same-sex marriage and gender. The United Methodist Church in the U.S. has been hemorrhaging congregations in recent years, with many of them joining the new conservative Global Methodist Church.” (Added 3-21-2023)

Bayshore Christian School of Tampa Florida prevails at trial against the Florida Annual Conference” by Dan Dalton of Dalton & Tomich via YouTube. “Our client, Bayshore Christian School of Tampa, Florida prevailed in a jury trial against the Florida Annual Conference in February 2023. With this win, the School can continue in serving the south Tampa community and denied the Florida Annual Conference from taking the property and selling it.” (Added 3-21-2023)

1 in 4 East Tennessee United Methodist churches poised to exit denomination” by Andrew Schwartz via Chattanooga Times Free Press. “The Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church counts about 150,000 members in and around East Tennessee. Now, roughly 1 in 4 of the churches that comprise it are poised to exit the denomination, according to figures from a conference newsletter.” (Added 3-21-2023)

FUMC of Columbus members vote to leave United Methodist Church” by Shawanda Jones via WCBI (Mississippi). “Columbus First United Methodist Church is the latest in a large number of defections across Mississippi and the nation over language in the denomination’s Book of Discipline regarding homosexuality and whether to exclude gay and lesbian persons from ordination.” (Added 3-21-2023)

OKC church’s congregation votes to disaffiliate from United Methodist Church” by Alyce Jones via KOCO. “People should know that this vote was about inclusivity,” Ladd said. “It was about punitive language in the United Methodist Church’s book of discipline.” See also this YouTube link. (Added 3-21-2023)

As United Methodists debate future, bishop says church’s decision to leave is ‘painful‘” via Fox News 17 (West Michigan). ““It would be safe to say that, within the United States, the church is wanting the church to be more inclusive of LGBTQ people, that is, allowing the church to host weddings, clergy to officiate, [and] offering people who are LGBTQ the opportunity to apply for ordination,” Bishop Bard said during a Zoom interview on Monday.” (Added 3-21-2023)

The Global Methodist Church and the Quadrilateral” by David F. Watson via Firebrand Magazine. “My point is not to reject Scripture, tradition, reason, or experience, but to suggest that without greater definition the appeal to these will leave us knee-deep in a hopeless swamp of confusion.” (Added 3-21-2023)

S1E10 – Tradition and Nuance with Stephen Rankin” via The Bar of the Conference Podcast. “In this episode, we talk about his journey of faith and ministry, the labels we use and how someone with conservative commitments can stay in the UMC. This deep and substantive conversation will be helpful for United Methodists across the theological spectrum.” (Added 3-20-2023)

Tweet by Stephen Fife: “I don’t like to get into denominational matters (mostly because I don’t have one currently). However from a counselor perspective, filing a lawsuit to prevent someone from leaving you is about as abusive as it gets in a relationship. #UMC” (Added 3-20-2023)

Tweet by Mark Tooley: “Spokesperson for the Michigan Conference of the UMC: “The root of this conflict is how United Methodists interpret the Bible.”” (Added 3-20-2023)

Save UMC in Louisiana” via GoFundMe. “A group of retired United Methodist Church ministers have filed a lawsuit, as members of the Louisiana Annual Conference, asking a judge to stop the disaffiliation of United Methodist Churches who are taking their property with them even though they do not meet the narrow, restrictive exception to the Trust Clause added by the General Conference in 2019. It is the Louisiana Conference’s allowing this to happen that the plaintiffs oppose.” (Added 3-20-2023)

Eurasia and Estonia begin exit from church” by Heather Hahn via UMNS. “Amid an ongoing church separation, United Methodists across Russia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Estonia have taken the initial steps toward leaving the denomination en masse..” (Added 3-20-2023)

Cornerstone Church To Leave United Methodist Denomination” via WGHN. Michigan’s largest UMC votes to exit. “Seven churches in Michigan have left the United Methodist Church, and the Michigan Conference of the UMC expects that to rise by 23 more by June.” (Added 3-20-2023)

A Message from Bishop Easterling” via Baltimore-Washington Conference. “It is with sadness that The Baltimore-Washington Conference of The United Methodist Church informs you that the Conference has been sued by 38 churches demanding immediate separation from The United Methodist Church. We are deeply grieved by this as we seek to be a church united in love and in mission. Pursuant to our protocol, we do not comment on ongoing litigation. However, the issues raised are not novel. Here are some broad, important thoughts to keep in mind…” (Added 3-20-2023)

United Methodist Church Disaffiliation: Where Dade Churches Stand” by The Dade County Sentinal (GA). A run-down of where local UMC churches stand on disaffiliation in this northwest corner of Georgia. (Added 3-20-2023)

Opinion: On questions of gender and sexuality in the Christian faith, love is the answer” by Trudy Robinson via The San Diego Union-Tribune. The pastor of First UMC in San Diego offers this Op-Ed. “Disagreements create wars, which cause casualties. That is hard to reconcile with Jesus who summed up all the commandments into two: Love God and love your neighbor as yourself.” (Added 3-20-2023)

Great Lakes Conference Website (GMC). The GMC conference covering Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan has a website. (Added 3-20-2023)

St. Luke’s Members Decided Fate of Ties to United Methodist Church Denomination” by Carla Hinton via The Oklahoman. “The votes are in.” Coverage of the largest church in Oklahoma’s decision to disaffiliate. (Added 3-20-2023)

Cornerstone Church, the state’s largest United Methodist church, votes to leave denomination” by Hannah Riffell via Fox 17, West Michigan. “We are grateful for the United Methodist Church,” said Cornerstone Lead Pastor Ken Nash following the vote, “While our hearts are heavy today, we believe this is a healthy step for Cornerstone as we navigate ministry in these complex times.” …Cornerstone Church has no plans to adopt a new denomination. Instead, Lead Pastor Ken Nash says the church intends to remain independent. (Added 3-20-2023)

Maryland, West Virginia Methodist congregations sue denomination over departure payments” by Mark Kellner via The Washington Times. “Thirty-eight United Methodist Church congregations in Maryland and West Virginia have sued the Baltimore-Washington Conference and its leader, Bishop LaTrelle Easterling, claiming the regional body is extorting a “financial ransom” of half their church property value as they seek to leave the denomination.” (Added 3-20-2023)

‘Cusp of Great Spiritual Awakening’: Pastors Report Fresh ‘Fire’ in Wake of Methodist Mass Exodus” by Charlene Aaron via CBN News. “It came into existence because it became clear that the conflict in the United Methodist church was not going to be resolved,” Boyette said in an interview with CBN News.  “The energy of the church was increasingly dominated by dealing with this conflict. That impacted the message of the church, the witness of the church. That witness became very confused.” (Added 3-20-2023)

Overheard: St. Luke’s in Oklahoma City, the OK conference’s largest congregation, voted to disaffiliate from the UMC today by a 92% majority. 1211 votes cast to disaffiliate. 96 votes against disaffiliation. 17 abstentions. 1 invalid ballot. 1315 total votes. (Added 3-19-2023)

The time is urgent for Bible-believing United Methodists” by John Lomperis via Christian Post (op-ed). “Theologically conservative United Methodists, we have a soon-to-expire, perhaps once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to lead our congregations out of a rapidly radicalizing, declining denomination without losing our church buildings, which are technically “held in trust” for the denomination.” (Added 3-19-2023)

Tweet by John Lomperis: “Bishop Pedro Torio was reportedly the only theologically orthodox bishop left, of all active and retired #UnitedMethodist bishops in the Philippines. And now he has left the #UMC. That so-called “big tent” is getting ideologically smaller and smaller.” (Added 3-17-2023)

Tweet by John Lomperis: “New Iowa bishop welcomes #UMC minister under complaint, denied appointment for marrying gay partner, and appoints him to Des Moines church. Tell me again about how there is no widespread violation by #UnitedMethodist leaders of their own rules…[link]” (Added 3-18-2023)

[Updated] “We are excited to share that The Reverend Dr. Gregory S. Neal has been appointed as the new Senior Pastor of Grace United Methodist Church!” via GraceDesMoines via Facebook. A male pastor suspended in the North Texas Conference for marrying a younger male member of his church staff has been appointed to a church in Des Moines, Iowa. See also here and here and here. See Gregory Neal’s comments in the Progressive Methodists Facebook Group. (Added 3-17-2023)

Cutting Personal Ties Over Ideological Differences” via Ricochet. Lay view that conservatives are more comfortable associating with people with which they disagree that progressives: “In my church congregation, Progressive-oriented members are leaving the congregation (thereby functionally ending many of their relationships with other members of the congregation) after the congregation voted by a wide margin to reject a “Progressive” path on church policy and rules and to follow a more “conservative” path.” (Added 3-17-2023)

Disaffiliation: Grieving through transition” by Crystal Caviness via UMNS. “Acknowledging the heartache that disaffiliation causes and doing the work to process the pain may move us into a hopeful place.” (Added 3-17-2023)

The Curious Case of Bishop Carcaño” by Jeffrey Rickman via Plainspoken Podcast via YouTube. “Bishop Minerva Carcaño was suspended from her position (with pay) as Bishop of California-Nevada Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church pending an investigation into charges made against her. One year later it doesn’t seem that much has happened, now a board within the organization wants to get involved to determine what is causing the delay. We look into what is happening with Bishop Carcaño and what little information has been made available to the public.” (Added 3-17-2023)

Letter to St. Luke’s UMC by Bishop Jimmy Nunn. The bishop of the Oklahoma Conference writes to his largest congregation two days before their disaffiliation vote. (Added 3-17-2023)

Is The United Methodist Church really? (Part 10)” via umc.org. On UM seminaries teaching things contrary to doctrinal standards: “Those preparing to be clergy in The United Methodist Church need to know that other doctrines exist, what they are, and how to articulate and support United Methodist doctrines in the face of them so they can help those they serve do the same.” (Added 3-17-2023)

A Pastoral Letter of Bishop Rodel M. Acdal | March 17, 2023” via Baguio Episcopal Area, Philippines. “I am writing in connection with the decision of Bishop Pedro M. Torio Jr., who left the United Methodist Church and plans to establish his own Christian fellowship, as stated in his letter addressed to the undersigned and Bishop Thomas Bickerton, Council of Bishops President.” (Added 3-17-2024)

Response to Pastoral Letter of Bishop Rodel M. Acdal” via Davao Episcopal Area, Philippines. Cabinet response Bishop Acdal’s statement on plans by Bishop Pete Torio’s plan to start a new Methodist fellowship in the Philippines: “In the light of the Pastoral Letter of Bishop Rodel Acdal, we appreciate the Bishop’s prompt response on the matter. We are in solidarity with his statement and wholeheartedly support the call to solidify our stand to be loyal to Christ through the United Methodist Church. We uphold in our prayers the Baguio Episcopal Area and the United Methodist Church as a whole amid these trying times.” (Added 3-17-2023)

Loyal to Christ through The United Methodist Church: A Statement by the Baguio Episcopal Area Cabinet” by Baguio Episcopal Area Facebook Page. “Some individuals and congregations decided to secede from The United Methodist Church to join a recently organized denomination, while others wanted to become independent Methodist congregations, as a result of massive misinformation launched by the propagandists of separation in our country and their supporters abroad.” (Added 3-17-2023)

Bishop Mark Webb” via GMC Thursday Night Live via Facebook. An interview with GMC Bishop Mark Webb. (Added 3-17-2023)

Judicial Council Maintains Status Quo” by Tom Lambrecht via Good News. An analysis of recent UMC Judicial Council rulings related to disaffiliation. (Added 3-17-2023)

State Methodists seek court order against bank” by Keith Inman via The Jonesboro Sun (AR). “The governing body for the United Methodist Church in Arkansas has requested a court order for a local bank to “provide a full and complete accounting” of alleged unauthorized financial transactions made in the name of First United Methodist Church of Jonesboro. The Arkansas Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church also seeks a ruling that the conference is the rightful owner of the accounts.” (Added 3-16-2023)

Introducing The Harbor UMC: The First Online-Only Church Plant in the North Georgia Conference” via North Georgia Conference. “The Harbor is an online faith community for anyone finding themselves without a church home—whether that’s because of turmoil, timing, life changes, health challenges, or displacement.” (Added 3-16-2023)

A Sneak Peak at Five Possible 2023 Decisions in the Global Methodist Church” by David Donnan. Weighty decisions facing the Global Methodist Church. (Added 3-16-2023)

Tweet by Daniel Ausbun: “The biggest religion news story occurring is the collapse of the United Methodist Church. 200 years ago, one-third of America of Methodist. #UMC” (Added 3-16-2023)

Tweet by Larry Baird: “When you naively or intentionally do things which alienate a very large and strong base within an organization and then try to close the barn door after the horses have left you have to deal with the consequences which have likely irretrievably damaged your organization. #UMC” (Added 3-16-2023)

Fitzgerald to be first conference circuit pastor” by David Burke via Great Plains Conference (UMC). ““Even in a settled time, this kind of position would require the ability to be flexible and operate within different contexts all the time,” he said. “I do think that given this kind of situation with the unsettledness, with disaffiliations and other things, that the complexities of what I have to be flexible with increases.” (Added 3-16-2023)

What’s Going On In The Great Plains UMC Annual Conference?” by Jeffrey Rickman via Plainspoken Podcast (YouTube). Continues a series on what is happening in the UMC, conference by conference. (Added 3-16-2023)

Judge OKs Arkansas church’s lawsuit against UMC to save church property” by Michael Gryboski via Christian Post. “First United Methodist Church of Jonesboro, Arkansas, filed a lawsuit against The UMC Arkansas Conference last year, arguing that the regional body has no right to its property.” (Added 3-16-2023)

New congregations started in Alabama after UMC disaffiliation” by Gabriella Smith via Alabama Public Radio. “Clifton said the establishment of new ministries has resulted in high energy. Members of the North Alabama Conference say they’re hopeful they will be able to reach new people as developers are being placed within in each district.” (Added 3-16-2023)

Rulings Strike Blows Against United Methodist Disobedience Movement, Abeyances” by John Lomperis via Juicy Ecumenism. “What is a bit new about these three resolutions, however, is their pressuring United Methodist bishops to declare that they are “holding in abeyance” complaints against clergy who violate these standards.” (Added 3-16-2023)

Overheard: “Appalachian District Superintendent LoryBeth Huffman said there will be 214 disaffiliations to be voted on May 6th. When you add in the 42 already disaffiliated in the past two years plus the 38 in the lawsuit, that is a total of 294 or roughly 30% of all churches in Western North Carolina.” (Added 3-16-2023)

Here They Come Spinning Out of the Turn!” by Scott Field via Northern Illinois WCA. “And I think, as we are in the “home stretch” of disaffiliations that will conclude in Northern Illinois in June and in all parts of United Methodism by the end of the year, you will appreciate Rev. DiPaolo’s concluding question: “If we can no longer live together in peace under the same roof, why not choose to live as next-door neighbors cooperatively and happily?” (Added 3-16-2023)

[updated] “Thousands Expected as More Oklahoma Congregations Decide Future with United Methodist Church” by Carla Hinton via The Oklahoman. “Besides St. Luke’s, more Oklahoma congregations are voting to determine if they will stay with the United Methodist denomination before and on March 19.” (Added 3-15-2023)

Healing and Hope: A Time of Worship and Celebration for God’s Leading” via GMC Kentucky. Promotes an April 15, 2023 in Wilmore with Bishop Scott Jones. (Added 3-15-2023)

Global Methodist Church Announces Asbury Seminary as a Recommended Educational Institution” via Asbury Seminary. “Since our founding in 1923, we have answered the call to spread scriptural holiness throughout the world,” Dr. Timothy C. Tennent, President of Asbury Seminary, said. “We share a vision with the Global Methodist Church to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ, and it is a sacred privilege to serve the Church by equipping men and women to answer that call.” (Added 3-15-2023)

WBS Named an Approved Seminary by the Global Methodist Church” via Wesley Biblical Seminary. “We are excited to partner with the GMC by training pastors and church leaders,” said Dr. Matt Ayars, president of WBS. “As a seminary grounded in the Wesleyan tradition and committed to the full authority of Scripture, we are ready to develop trusted leaders for faithful churches in the GMC.” (Added 3-15-2023)

For United Methodists’ top court, 2024 is the new 2020” by Emily McFarlan Miller via Religion News Service. Round-up coverage of recent UMC Judicial Council decisions. (Added 3-15-2023)

Tweet by John Lomperis: “One of the very under-appreciated ironies of the #UnitedMethodist split: prior to recent far-left take-over of #UMC bureaucracy, renewal caucuses now demonized for “denominational disloyalty” did far more 2 encourage people to #stayUMC than most new “stay UMC” activists” (Added 3-15-2023)

Tweet by Tyler Cantrell: “The #UMC Literally tried to make everyone happy and now nobody is happy. Big tent looks like an old circus movie with the elephant running out while the tent is engulfs in flames and the tight rope walkers are falling to their death. It honestly makes me sad.” (Added 3-15-2023)

New African UM Organization Plans Webinars” by Press Release via UM Insight. According to an announcement from the Methodist Federation for Social Action newsletter, “United Methodist Africa Forum (UMAF), is a new group from across the African continent dedicated to promoting unity and the future of The United Methodist Church in Africa. UMAF exists to promote African values, and to support mission and ministry within the African context while strengthening connectional relations across the UMC.” (Added 3-15-2023)

Agency seeks role in complaint against bishop” by Heather Hahn via UMNS. “The United Methodist Commission on the Status and Role of Women says it has a role to play in the complaint process involving Bishop Minerva Carcaño.” (Added 3-15-2023)

Grief and compassion for such a time as this with Linda Holbrook: Get Your Spirit in Shape, Ep. 137” via United Methodist Videos (YouTube). “United Methodists may experience grief as the denomination experiences disaffiliations. A spiritual director shares tips for healing while explaining compassion is needed during this fragile time.” (Added 3-15-2023)

Lexington’s Mt. Horeb church completes departure from Methodist denomination” by Kailee Kokes via Lexington Chronicle. “South Carolina’s largest United Methodist Church has left the denomination. Mt. Horeb, located at 1205 Old Cherokee Rd. in Lexington, voted on Feb. 26 to leave the United Methodist Church denomination, with 97% of the contribution voting in favor of the departure.” (Added 3-15-2023)

Upper New York Disaffiliation Policy updated” via Upper New York Conference of the UMC. “This update clarifies the fact that local churches interested in exploring disaffiliation must take an Administrative Board/Church Council vote to authorize this request. If the vote is affirmative, the Administrative Board/Church Council must submit the application to explore to the Bishop’s Office for Bishop/Cabinet approval….The Terms of Disaffiliation established by the Conference Board of Trustees are unchanged from the previous version.” (Added 3-15-2023)

Vote set for Shreveport’s FUMC to accept, reject disaffiliation” by Johnette Magner and Greg Liggins via KTBS. Louisiana Conference: “Any church that votes to disaffiliate under these limited provisions is one too many, and we lament the loss of any congregation.” (Added 3-15-2023)

Commentary: As Methodists grapple with disaffiliation, the world is watching” by Joe Henderson via UMC Florida Conference. “In the eyes of many, this issue reduced our denomination to a sort of tractor pull where people await the scoreboard to determine the winner and loser. It affirms the worst things many in the outside world believe about Christians.
In the media, where I spent my working career, the “winner-loser” might be the headline, no matter how it turns out.” (Added 3-15-2023)

First United Methodist Church of Waynesville’s Response to Questions About Disaffiliation” by Keith Turman via UM Insight. “As our United Methodist denomination splinters over the matter, our congregation has made it clear that our LGBTQ+ friends, family members and neighbors are both included and affirmed in our life together.” (Added 3-15-2023)

Church dispute to go to trial” by Keith Inman via The Jonesboro Sun. “A special judge on Tuesday refused to dismiss a lawsuit involving First United Methodist Church of Jonesboro. Judge Gary Arnold scheduled a trial for the week of Jan. 29, 2024. In the meantime, parties involved in the litigation will continue to gather information and file additional motions.” (Added 3-15-2023)

Post by Bob Phillips via IGRC WCA Facebook Group: The Global Methodist Church is now an authorized endorser for the Bureau of Prisons. This closes the loop on GMC’s capability to endorse chaplains at the federal level with the Department of Defense, the Bureau of Prisons, and the Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Centers. (Added 3-15-2023)

Progressive United Methodists Cannot Have It Both Ways” by John Lomperis via Ministry Matters. Responding to a Bill Brownson article: “You cannot refuse to stick your necks out to defend traditionalists from mistreatment during disaffiliations, and then expect traditionalists to trust that you would treat them well or ever have their back if they stayed UMC.” See also this on Juicy Ecumenism. (Added 3-15-2023)

Rebuttal to ‘What is Actually Happening with the GMC in the Congo’” by Jean Jacques Mbuyu, as translated by Rev. Matthew Sichel. The General Council for the North Katanga Conference responds to an article by Rev. Ben Ilunga Banza on the status of the GMC in Congo. (Added 3-15-2023)

Processing the State of the Church Address” by Jeffrey Rickman via Plainspoken Podcast (YouTube). “On March 2, 2023, Bishop Thomas Bickerton of the New York Annual Conference, President of the Council of Bishops, released a “State of the Church” that said a lot, explicitly and implicitly, about how he and the leadership of The United Methodist Church are currently understanding the division in this denomination.” (Added 3-15-2023)

“Inspire, the Webinar of the Global Methodist Church.” via GMC Facebook and YouTube Channels. The inaugural session on March 20 at 8 pm: “The chair of the Transitional Leadership Council, Cara Nicklas, will be joined by Bishops Scott Jones and Mark Webb, and Chief Connectional Officer, Keith Boyette, as they explore the relationship among and roles of the Transitional Leadership Council, the bishops and the GMC staff as we make disciples of Jesus Christ who worship passionately, love extravagantly, and witness boldly.” (Added 3-15-2023)

First United Methodist votes to stay in church: Disaffiliation vote falls just short of 2/3 majority” by Stateboro Herald. One vote shy. Georgia local coverage of. 66.6% failed disaffiliation vote: “According to an email sent Sunday afternoon from John Ashley Welch, chair of the Church Council, 418 voted for disaffiliation, 210 voted against and six abstained.” (Added 3-15-2023)

United Methodist Church splits, new denomination forms” by Nancy Kennedy of the Citrus County Chronicle. [Pastor Bill] Farmer and the others who formed Grace Methodist Church had previously left their former church, First United Methodist Church of Homosassa, which they described as painful.” (Added 3-15-2023)

Recommended Educational Institutions and First Course of Study Program Announced by the Global Methodist Church” by Keith Boyette via GMC. “Asbury Theological Seminary, Ashland Theological Seminary, Beeson Divinity School at Samford University, Truett Theological Seminary at Baylor University, United Theological Seminary, and Wesley Biblical Seminary are the first schools to be approved as Recommended Educational Institutions of the GM Church for the completion of educational requirements by candidates for ordination.” “Candidates may complete their educational requirements at any accredited educational institution.” (Added 3-15-2023)

Disaffiliation is Like a Bank Run” by Richard Bryant via UM Insight. “Disaffiliation is still spreading like a financial contagion. At first glance, faith appears to be hemorrhaging. Faith can be removed, lost, and taken at any time. I see this happening every day.” (Added 3-14-2023)

The many meanings of connectionalism” by David Scott via UMNS (Commentary). “As United Methodists and Global Methodists grapple with how to relate to one another, either directly, indirectly (through common participation in multilateral groups like the World Methodist Council), and programmatically (through common use of Wespath services, for instance), how will these new forms of practical organizational and relational connectionalism lead to new insights about or changed interpretations of connectionalism as a theological principle?” (Added 3-14-2023)

Overheard: Judge Gary Arnold today refused a request from the Arkansas Conference to dismiss the case seeking ownership of the properties of Jonesboro First. (Added 3-14-2023)

State of UMC March 2023” via Dalton & Tomich (YouTube). Law firm: “We have seen bishops become more and more vindictive in their approaches toward disaffiliations in several conferences.” (Added 3-14-2023)

[Updated] Thirty Eight Churches File Suit Against the Baltimore-Washington Conference. Search case number: C-02-CV-23-000500 to see the information. See PDF here. (Added 3-14-2023)

Plan to add 5 African bishops faces challenges” by Klaus Ulrich Ruof via UMNS. “We are going to be a smaller church with less financial capacity than before,” Council of Bishops President Thomas Bickerton told the committee. (Added 3-14-2023)

International group pursues regionalization” by Klaus Ulrich Ruof via UMNS. “The Standing Committee on Central Conference Matters is forming a task force to harmonize the Christmas Covenant and a Connectional Table proposal for a U.S. structure.” (Added 3-14-2023)

Holston Conference Disaffiliating Churches via Holston WCA Facebook Page. A list of over 200 churches that have voted to disaffiliate in time for the April 22 special session. (Added 3-14-2023)

‘Supernatural Claptrap’” by Mark Tooley via Juicy Ecumenism. “The Lutheran author of the 1969 Sunday school lesson thought Jesus’s bodily resurrection was considerably more than “supernatural claptrap.” But many Methodist & other Mainline Protestant clergy at that time did not, with implications for today.” (Added 3-14-2023)

Tweet by Liam Adams: On St. Luke’s OKC “The largest United Methodist congregation in Oklahoma is on the verge of disaffiliating from the #UMC and becoming a founding member of the new Wesley Methodist Society, an association of churches in OK and TX. @OKRelig has the full story:” (Added 3-14-2023)

Methodist Collegiate Church Website. “Deeply Methodist, Highly Connectional, Centered in the Local Church, Shared Ministry, Equal Accountability, Practical Governance.” (Added 3-14-2023)

Enterprise church votes to leave the United Methodist Church” by Richard Everett via WDHN. Alabama local coverage: “According to officials from the United Methodist Church, on Sunday, March 12, 207 members of the First United Methodist Church in downtown Enterprise voted to disaffiliate from the United Methodist Church and its Alabama West Florida Conference. 68 members voted to stay with the conference.” (Added 3-14-2023)

United Methodist churches face challenges as disaffiliation tops 30% in North Carolina” by Summer Stevens via The Coastland Times. “The United Methodist Church (UMC) is experiencing a major transition across the nation and the globe, resulting in a significant number of churches disaffiliating from the denomination. About 6% of churches in the United States have chosen disaffiliation, but in North Carolina, that number is closer to 30%.” (Added 3-14-2023)

Respecting Our Retirees” by Jay Therrell via WCA. “Targeting traditionalist retired pastors is a continuation of cancel culture. Men and women who gave their lives to the church and who want to move to a church that better aligns with their theology are being penalized. Retirees deserve our respect and gratitude. Instead, they’re receiving contempt and are being cancelled.” (Added 3-14-2023)

Is There a “Gay Gene”?” by David Ludden via Psychology Today. “Not long ago, I had a conversation with a Methodist minister who was lamenting the recent schism in the once “United” Methodist Church. He explained that this split had come about over a disagreement about whether to accept LGBTQ persons into their congregations.” (Added 3-14-2023)

With Her Newsworthy ‘Firsts,’ Don’t Ignore Religion Angles In Nikki Haley Vs. Donald Trump” by Richard Ostling via Religion Unplugged. “Moreover, Haley right now has a link to a huge 2023 story, the global split in the United Methodist Church. Haley and family are members of Mt. Horeb church in Lexington, South Carolina’s largest UMC congregation, with 5,000-plus members.” (Added 3-14-2023)

Methodist Split’s Messy Creativity” by Mark Tooley via Juicy Ecumenism. “Amid messiness, division and death there will be new life. United Methodism, founded in 1968 as a large national bureaucracy committed to liberal Protestantism, has declined every year of its existence. That decline will now fast accelerate. Traditional Methodism will endure and prosper in new contemporary situations, becoming “new” by reaching people in practical ways.” (Added 3-14-2023)

Email via California-Nevada Conference (UMC). “In an effort to address ongoing misunderstanding and confusion related to the process involving Bishop Minerva Carcaño, our California-Nevada Conference Committee on Episcopacy offers the following summary,” (Added 3-13-2023)

Overheard: St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Columbus, GA voted 77% to disaffiliate from the UMC with 640 ballots cast. They will take the next year to consider future affiliations. (Added 3-13-2023)

Interim pastor named for Jonesboro church” by Imani Williams via KAIT. “According to a social media post by the Arkansas Conference of The United Methodist Church, “Bishop Laura Merrill announced her intention to appoint Rev. Britt Skarda as interim pastor for Jonesboro First United Methodist Church.” This appointment would begin on March 15 and continue until June 30. This comes after the former senior pastor of the church, John Miles, was suspended.” (Added 3-13-2023)

PlainSpoken – Weekly News Update (March 10th, 2023)” via PlainSpoken Podcast. Central UMC’s (Fayetteville, AR) vote to split three ways, Connectional Table plans, are recent editorials are analyzed in a weekly news roundup. (Added 3-13-2023)

Courtroom showdown looms in Harvest Church dispute” via WTVY. “The heat turned up in a simmering but emotional legal dispute between Harvest Church Dothan and the United Methodist Church.” (Added 3-13-2023)

United Methodist congregations contend with process of disaffiliating” by Julia Maruca via TribLive. Two churches “are among more than 260 churches in the Western Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church — almost one-third of its 800 members — that have taken steps to leave the denomination.” (Added 3-13-2023)

Hearing set for Tuesday in suit over assets of breakaway Jonesboro United Methodist Church” by Frank Lockwood via Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. “A hearing will be held Tuesday in the lawsuit between Jonesboro First United Methodist Church and state United Methodist officials over control of the congregation’s assets.” (Added 3-13-2023)

St. Luke’s is pursuing disaffiliation from the UMC: Here’s Why” via The Oklahoman. [Paywall] Reporting on a historic downtown OKC UMC that is disaffiliating (church board voted 73-2) to be more inclusive, also critical of high apportionments and frustrated attempts at reform. Headed to a new group called the “Wesleyan Methodist Society.” (Added 3-13-2023)

Parishioner: United Methodist Church needs true leadership to attract new members” by Phil Busey, guest columnist via The Oklahoman. On St. Luke’s decision to leave the UMC: “Kicking the can forward on the issues of gay inclusion has put the UMC in today’s dilemma. This is compounded by financial challenges due to decreasing apportionments. With a shrinking number of churches, the burden of apportionments shifts to larger churches. Property is owned by the UMC. When a church shutters its doors, the property and its costs shift to the UMC. Problematic, 35% of apportionments go to administration.” (Added 3-13-2023)

Bishop: Fear Does Not Have too Divide the United Methodist Church” by Bishop Jimmy Nunn, guest opinion column via The Oklahoman. “I can’t predict what might happen when our general conference meets in 2024. But I have faith. With that faith, I am confident that the UMC will remain a vibrant, world-changing family full of a variety of voices — progressive, moderate and traditional.” (Added 3-13-2023)

2 memoranda released” by Heather Hahn via UMNS. Two matters on which the Judicial Council decided to not issue opinions. One is a Virginia Conference request for a ruling on the complaint process. The other was a request by the Burundi conference on whether bishops should call together their Central Conference to elect new bishops. (Added 3-10-2023)

Church court reviews LGBTQ-related resolutions” by Heather Hahn via UMNS. “Specifically, the church court said that the resolution’s encouragement of leaving weddings up to individual clergy and congregations, so long as the unions are “between two consenting, committed adults,” deviates from the denomination’s definition of marriage as “between a man and a woman.” Similarly, the church court said the resolution’s promise not to restrict a clergy candidate’s call solely based on sexual orientation and gender identity was “a call to ignore human sexuality in the candidacy process.” (Added 3-10-2023)

Analyzing Disaffiliating Churches” by Tom Lambrecht via Good News. Counterpoint to the Weems article: Churches remaining UMC are likely to have a male pastor, are overwhelmingly white, and have highest percentage concentration in the West and Northeast. (Added 3-10-2023)

Methodism and the Mediating Elite — Part II” by Riley Case via Juicy Ecumenism. “Business as usual since 1972 has led to a membership loss in America of nearly five million members. Is no one concerned about this loss? Overseas churches receive almost no benefit from boards and agencies. Large churches receive almost no benefit from boards and agencies. Condense, merge, eliminate. Time for action.” (Added 3-10-2023)

LGBTQ rights split Madison church as ‘traditional’ side wins” by Tyler Katzenberger via The Cap Times. “People like us, who are not anti-gay, voted against leaving,” said Carey Fleischmann, a longtime member of the church’s bell choir. “We never thought it was possible in Dane County.” (Added 3-10-2023)

Episode 118: Bishop Mande Muyombo” via Pod Have Mercy. An interview with the bishop heading the UMC Connectional Table. Topics include the Africa Initiative, American renewal groups, and regionalism. “Marriage is not a sacrament in the UMC. It is a social contract.” “Africans know the United Methodist Church has been a blessing to them and will continue to be a blessing to them.” Hopes for GC2024. (Added 3-10-2023)

They Just Don’t Care” by Richard Hunt. “Traditionalists will argue that surveys don’t matter. They argue that the Church must stand firm on Biblical mandates in the face of cultural and social changes. But it does matter, and not only because the traditionalists are wrong on the teaching of the Bible.” (Added 3-10-2023)

Why Do They Stay? Queer Voices Share Their UMC Experiences” by Nancy Malcom and AJ Ramirez via UM Insight. Listening to Queer voices in the UMC. See also “Part Two: Those Who Stay but Disconnect” and “Part Three: Those Who Continue to Struggle with Staying.” (Added 3-10-2023)

Sociologists Find LGBTQ United Methodists, Allies Stay in UMC Out of Hope” by Cynthia Astle via UM Insight.” From 2016 on, I thought about what was happening in the United Methodist Church,” she said. “I thought, ‘well, the South (where she lives in Statesboro, Ga.) is slow; the rest of the U.S. will save us. Then, after the 2019 conference, I’m ashamed that I had this feeling: nobody’s going to save us, we have to save ourselves.” (Added 3-10-2023)

Is the UMC’s First Latina Bishop a Victim of Its Culture of Secrecy?” by Cynthia Astle via UM Insight. “For example, a complaint brought last fall against the Western Jurisdiction College of Bishops by a South Carolina pastor, the Rev. Timothy McClendon, has been dismissed for “breach of confidentiality.”…no one except those involved in the investigation know precisely what violations are alleged against Bishop Carcaño. Knowledgeable sources in the California-Nevada Conference suggest the complaints involve allegations of financial impropriety, administrative malfeasance, even nepotism.” (Added 3-10-2023)

How Pastors Withdraw from the UMC & Join the GMC” via Western PA WCA. “It should be noted that no ordained clergyperson – active or retired – should leave the UMC via paragraph 360.2. Do not surrender your ordination status/certificate for any reason, no matter who requests it. That is simply inappropriate unless you are leaving pastoral ministry altogether.” (Added 3-9-2023)

Alabama megachurch votes to leave UMC over denomination’s theological direction” by Michael Gryboski via Christian Post. “Covenant United Methodist Church of Dothan, which has approximately 2,600 members, voted last week to seek disaffiliation from the UMC, with 406 present members voting in favor of leaving, 64 voting against, and four abstaining.” (Added 3-9-2023)

Mariners members to vote on disassociating from UMC” by Susan Canfora via Coastal Point. Deleware local coverage. (Added 3-9-2023)

Mass Exodus from Christianity or Revival?” by Scott Field via Northern Illinois WCA. “I’m more interested here in getting a bead on whether rampant atheism is sweeping across our culture, or a religious revival is warming up just offstage. And, honestly, it is hard to press for either of those two options on the warrant of either a British philosopher’s latest book or the experience of two-weeks of prayer at Asbury University.” (Added 3-9-2023)

Disaffiliation supporters use political playbook” by Bill Brownson via UMNS (Commentary). GC Lay Delegate: “But do any of us serve God when we exchange frank and mutually respectful Christian dialogue for the polarizing tactics and aspersions torn from the pages of U.S. political campaigns? Repetitive and continuing laments ring hollow and are misplaced.” (Added 3-8-2023)

Spring 2023 Docket” via Resource UMC. The Judicial Council’s spring docket. (Added 3-8-2023)

Special Called Session Recap” by Bishop Ruben Saenz via North Texas Conference (YouTube). “Bishop Ruben Sanez Jr. looks to the future of the North Texas Conference and The United Methodist Church after 41 churches leave the NTC. Following March 4’s vote, more than 230 NTC churches remain undeterred from their mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” (Added 3-8-2023)

Post by Jeff Bealmear via Facebook. Answering rumors that the church walls collapsed after disaffiliation. (Added 3-8-2023)

Methodist Detox” by Chris Ritter via PeopleNeedJesus.net. A reform agenda adopted by British Methodism offered as a playbook for Methodist renewal in America. (Added 3-8-2023)

The In-Between” by Bishop Mark Webb via GMC. “As the disaffiliation process continues to play out in the UM Church, let’s keep praying that all involved in conversations and decisions will be gracious and seek to help one another move into the next faithful season of ministry and mission. May we always be witnesses to the grace of God through Jesus Christ in all our actions and conversations.” (Added 3-8-2023)

A Soil Prepared: How Three-Fourths of the Northwest Texas Conference Came to Leave the UMC” by Steve Harper via UM Insight. Harper named the Republican Party, Good News, and Asbury Seminary as the cause for the 75% exit from the Northwest Texas Conference: “My guess is that the same three ‘fertilizers’ have been worked into the soil of United Methodism elsewhere in the USA, and in other countries.” (Added 3-8-2023)

United Methodist Church’s split over LGBTQ rights comes to Madison” by Caroline Dade via WKOW (Wisconsin). Coverage of Asbury Madison’s exit. “Asbury’s Lead Pastor, Harold Zimmick, supported the vote to disaffiliate. He said, if the congregation had voted to remain part of the UMC, he would have left his pastoral position. He said he’s seen the UMC’s teachings shift during his 42 years as a Methodist pastor.” Additional local coverage here. (Added 3-8-2023)

New Developments Shape UMC Unity in the Philippines” by Cynthia Astle via UM Insight. “The Philippines has been targeted by the WCA and the GMC with disaffiliation efforts. As in the United States, UMC leaders in the Philippines have struggled against WCA and GMC propaganda that the UMC will forsake its historic Christian doctrines contained in the church’s constitution. By stoking fears, UMC leaders contend, WCA and GMC proponents have falsely characterized the denomination.” (Added 3-7-2023)

Why It’s So Hard to Leave the United Methodist Church?” by Cynthia Astle via UM Insight. “The bottom line in St. Andrew’s case may be simple: St. Andrew wanted to get out from under the UMC’s welter of rules and fractious politics, as its senior pastor said, and its leaders finally agreed to follow the official exit process as its off-ramp.” (Added 3-7-2023)

With pastor and members ‘stunned’ and ‘heartbroken’, Asbury leaves United Methodist Church over gay marriage, clergy” by Melissa Renee Perry via Kenosha News. Coverage of an emotional disaffiliation vote in Wisconsin. See related coverage from another source. (Added 3-7-2023)

What’s Next for the 41 Local Churches leaving the United Methodist Church?” by Isabella Volmert via Dallas Morning News. Follow-up article on the future of the North Texas Conference congregations approved for disaffiliation on Saturday. (Added 3-7-2023)

Fayetteville United Methodist Church votes to drop disaffiliation, split into 3 churches” by Frank Lockwood via Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Arkansas’s largest UM church agrees to a three-way split in a settlement agreement. Additional local coverage here. (Added 3-7-2023)

Finding a Way Home – Six Reasons to Join the Global Methodist Church” by David Donnan. “For the past several months I have had the opportunity to share with individuals and groups about the Global Methodist Church. This is the talk I give formatted for my blog.” (Added 3-7-2023)

Why leave the UMC?” by Jeff Pospisil via YouTube. The former treasurer of the Dakotas Conference: “With the first wave of United Methodist churches leaving, the question was where should we go? With the second wave, more of the are asking why should we go?” (Added 3-7-2023)

Catechism: It’s Not Just For Catholics Anymore – Dr. Chappell Temple” via East Texas GMC via YouTube. “Are there non-negotiable when it comes to what we believe, and if so, what are they? And how can we best communicate and contend for the faith to others, especially those in the next generation? The new catechism for the Global Methodist Church offers one practical solution in defining and teaching what our understanding of the faith really is. The workshop will examine that resource and how to best use it to share our core beliefs and follow the Wesleyan Way of Salvation.” (Added 3-7-2023)

Informational Meeting for Global Methodist Church” via Forest Hills Macon (YouTube). A March 5 informational session in South Georgia. Projection of 218 leaving by May in South Georgia. (Added 3-7-2023)

Tweet by John Lomperis: “Saturday, large Korean-American congregation approved to leave the #UMC. Today, it reportedly voted to join #GlobalMethodist Church. Unlike most US #UnitedMethodist congregations, its worship attendance (>2,000) is LARGER than its membership.” (Added 3-7-2023)

A new beginning for a retired pastor and United Methodists in Thomasville” by South Georgia Conference. A retired pastor serves a group leaving a disaffiliated church. (Added 3-7-2023)

Tweet by John Lomperis. “Interesting. Liberal #UnitedMethodist caucus promotes sheet outlining supposed #UMC vs GMC differences, admits that in the former, de facto theology + practice of marriage varies by annual conference https://umarc.org/_files/ugd/6d72ef_1d0dd00f72d5413c8b12c647c8ea736a.pdf” (Added 3-7-2023)

The great breakup in the American church and the political uses of religion” by Stephen Shoemaker via Baptist News Global. Citing (only) examples from the right: “When we think about the great breakup in the American church, we do well to take a hard look at the political uses of religion and the exploitation of the church for political power. It is a sure way to bring in votes and cash, and people with little religious conviction are aiding in the strife of churches and denominations in our nation.” (Added 3-7-2023)

Disaffiliation Trends” by Jay Therrell via WCA. Identifies bad trends in the UMC: gaslighting, mistreatment of local pastors and retired clergy, and changing the rules mid-stream. (Added 3-7-2023)

Sheep Swapping is Good News?” by Randy Burbank. Response to “Growth for Some Churches Staying UMC” by UMNS. Shifting church-goers between denominations does not transform the world. (Added 3-7-2023)

Houses of Study Draw New Students to United Theological Seminary” via United.edu. UMNS linked to this article about growth United is experiencing though a Hispanic House of Study led by Dr. Jorge Ochoa, a Fresh Expressions House of Study led by Dr. Michael Beck, a Global Methodist House of Study led by Rev. Greg Stover, a Global Pentecostal House of Study led by Dr. Cheryl Bridges Johns, and a Full Gospel Baptist Fellowship House of Study led by Bishop Lisa Weah. (Added 3-6-2023)

Group plans for budget cuts, regionalization” by Jim Patterson via UMNS. The Connectional Table “approved an 18% cut to the base percentage — a key component of calculating the budget — and hit church agencies and boards with about 40% in cuts,” rejecting the plan to cut the base percentage by 25%, the number preferred by the General Council on Finance and Administration. Will work to bring one, strong regionalization plan to GC2024. (Added 3-6-2023)

First United Methodist Church of Waynesville’s response to questions about disaffiliation” by Keith Turman via The Mountaineer (NC). UMNS linked to this article under the heading “Why this church won’t hold disaffiliation vote”. The Waynesville church had a congregational conference in the wake of GC2019 to approve their own “Identity Statement.” (Added 3-6-2023)

Overheard: Due process is underway in a complaint filed after a 1/7/2023 incident involving two Mississippi Conference clergy participating in the wedding of two women in Tupelo. (Added 3-6-2023)

Amicable Separation Agreement & Genesis Property Conveyance” via Central UMC (Fayetteville). The largest congregation in the Arkansas Conference reaches a property agreement with the UMC. (Added 3-6-2023)

The Asbury Revival is Over. What Happens Now?” by Fiona Morgan via UM Insight. “The Asbury team was just fried, and there was decision fatigue, and just burnout,” Hall told Religion News Service. He said Brown told him the school’s leaders felt like Asbury’s role was complete. The school said its hope is that revival continues in other spaces. (Added 3-6-2023)

Jerusalem rejects gay blessings” by Hosam Naoum via Anglican.ink. The Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem clarifies that the Anglican shift on human sexuality does not include them. (Added 3-6-2023)

Cy-Fair congregations opt to disaffiliate from the United Methodist Church” by Danica Lloyd via Community Impact. A graphic and coverage of disaffiliating churches in the Cypress and Fairfield, Texas area. (Added 3-6-2023)

Tweet by Mark Tooley. [Photo with stats showing 342 in attendance at a new location in Collierville]. “Last week this Tennessee church voted 65% to quit United Methodism failing to reach required 67%. Today most of congregation met elsewhere as new traditional church. Sad but new life & future.”

More on Monks and Methodists” by Art Collins. “What our churches so often lack today is that power of that devoted, disciplined life. We build holy places and then try to attract people to them with what amounts to spiritual entertainment.” (Added 3-6-2023)

41 North Texas congregations granted approval to leave the United Methodist Church” by Isabella Volmert via Dallas Morning News. “Some disaffiliating churches will become independent and others will unite with other denominations,” Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr. said during his homily before the vote of approval. “This is a difficult day.” (Added 3-5-2023)

PlainSpoken – Weekly News Update (March 3rd, 2023)” by Jeffrey Rickman via YouTube. An Oklahoma pastor offers his weekly news roundup. (Added 3-3-2023)

GMC Thursday Night Live with Dr. Sterling Allen & Rev. Keith Boyette” via YouTube. An interview with the Transitional Operations Officer of the Global Methodist Church. Breaking news: GMC convening conference in summer or fall of 2024. Response to Weems article and Bickerton speech. (Added 3-3-2023)

UMC Should Not Be Unitarian Methodist Confederacy” by John Lomperis via Juicy Ecumenism. “A recent interview has now exposed the lengths to which our denomination’s leadership has chosen to go in order to keep the United Methodist Church safe for Unitarianism.” (Added 3-3-2023)

‘Emory just feels so dark’: Students discuss faith at their Methodist university in wake of Asbury revival” by Robert Schmad via Campus Reform. “In nearly every opportunity I’ve witnessed for Emory to put its Methodist affiliation to practice, be it in the classroom, at events, or in conversations among students, it has fallen short,” Jackson stated. (Added 3-3-2023)

Finding Fairness” by Tom Lambrecht via Good News. “All that traditionalists are asking for is a fair discernment process for local congregations to follow. If the congregation fairly considers all perspectives and wants to remain United Methodist, we obviously have no problem with that. However, unfair elements should not be introduced into the process to influence or coerce congregations into remaining UM.” (Added 3-3-2023)

Tweet by Mark Tooley: “United Methodists in Russia planning to exit denomination, joining Romanians, Bulgarians, Slovaks & other East Europeans. Small in number but evincing post-schism United Methodism will be much less global & ultimately almost USA only.” (Added 3-3-2023)

Clarification of the United Methodist Book of Discipline regarding a Retired Pastor’s Relationship to the Local Church, the District, the Annual Conference, and the United Methodist Church” via the Texas Annual Conference (PDF). “…the emergence of a new Wesleyan movement prompts the need to clarify the relationship between clergy members and pastoral ministry beyond the UMC.” Serving a non-UMC or disaffiliated church without permission of the bishop is a chargeable offense and are in danger of having their clergy membership terminated. (Added 3-3-2023)

Bishop: Time to move from rancor to revival” by Heather Hahn via UMNS. “In the meantime, Bickerton acknowledged, the rhetoric urging churches to exit has taken its toll — leaving many who want to stay United Methodist feeling bullied and sapped of energy.” (Added 3-3-2023)

Most congregations exiting the UMC are white and located in the South” by Cynthia Astle via Baptist News Global. The editor of UM Insight shares coverage of the Weems Report with a progressive Baptist outlet. (Added 3-3-2023)

Overheard: St. Matthew in Belleville, IL, one of the largest churches in the Illinois Great Rivers Conference, voted 321-10 to disaffiliate (97%) from the UMC. (Added 3-3-2023)

Let’s Make a Deal!” by Scott Field via Northern Illinois WCA. Given the punitively high cost of disaffiliation in Northern Illinois: “Some congregations, or portions of congregations, and pastors, too, are choosing the third option, neither default to #StayUMC or disaffiliate. You might think they are leaving, but they think of themselves as launching…a new ministry of the Global Methodist Church (GMC).” (Added 3-3-2023)

Examining the Report on UMC Disaffiliating Churches” by Jeffrey Rickman via PlainSpoken Podcast. Converation on the Lovett Weems article on disaffiliating churches. (Added 3-2-2023)

Reports of the Death of United Methodism are Greatly Exaggerated” by Kevin Young via Reconstructing Faith. “… and if people DO have an opinion about United Methodists right now, it’s an increasingly positive one. They are cheering for you as you fight for full inclusion. They want you to succeed. This matters to them, not just to you.” (Added 3-2-2023)

Mid-Term State of the UMC” by Bishop Bickerton via UMC.org. The President of the UMC Council of Bishops offers a status update half-way through his term: “It only take a spark to get a fire going.” (Added 3-2-2023)

United Methodist Bishop Joins Global Methodists with Scott Jones” by Andy Miller via More to the Story Podcast (YouTube). An interview with bishop and Wesley scholar Scott Jones. (Added 3-2-2023)

Pull Down the Fear-Filled Playbook” by Bill Brownson via Ministry Matters. “If it’s Monday, I must have an email from the Institute on Religion and Democracy bemoaning the conduct of United Methodist bishops.” (Added 3-15-2023)

LGBTQ+ Writing: Liberating Scripture #1” by Steve Harper via UM Insight. “With respect to Scripture, it means that the creation stories must now be read with new eyes. The “and” designations are signs of oneness and nonbinary manifestations. Between each of the “twos” in the first creation story is a spectrum of “kinds,” with incalculable variety at the molecular level all the way out to the expanding cosmos.” See also Part Two and Part Three and Part Four. (Added 3-2-2023)

Local churches join those that have split from United Methodists” by Jim Phillips via Logan Daily News. Local Ohio coverage. (Added 3-2-2023)

Report Sheds Light on Disaffiliating Churches” by Sam Hodges via UMNS. Reporting on a Lewis Center analysis showing disaffiliating churches are mostly white with male leadership. (Added 3-2-2023)

Presentation by Joe DiPaolo” via Vimeo. Church of the Good Shepherd in Lancaster, PA hosted this well-sourced presentation on the GMC view. See also the UMC View by John McIllhenny and the related Q&A Session. (Added 3-2-2023)

Truett Seminary names a controversial Methodist bishop to its faculty” by Mark Wingfield via Baptist News Global. Progressive Baptist Outlet: “The appointment of Scott Jones as affiliate professor and pastor-theologian in residence at Truett’s Wesley House of Studies strikes at the heart of the current schism in the UMC, however, because Jones and his family are lightning rods in the controversy.” (Added 3-2-2023)

After Pushing for UMC Unity, Former Bishop Joins New Denomination” by Emily McFarlan Miller via Christianity Today. CT picks up this RNS story highlighting Bishop Jones’ move to the GMC. (Added 3-2-2023)

Church court addresses disaffiliation questions” by Heather Hahn via UMNS. “The United Methodist Judicial Council has released nine decisions dealing with Paragraph 2553, a new church law that allows U.S. congregations to leave with property under limited conditions. The rulings all stem from questions raised during the 2022 annual conference season.” (Added 3-1-2023)

A Presentation of Different Views on the Issues Facing the United Methodist Church” via Church of the Good Shepherd (Lebanon, PA). Joe DiPaola and John McEllhenny offer the UMC and GMC perspectives. (Added 3-1-2023)

Recent Events Regarding UMC Church Disaffiliations” by Sky McCracken. Upon a failed disaffiliation vote in a neighboring congregation, McCracken makes the point the disaffiliation process was written by traditionalists. (Added 3-1-2023)

Anglicans reject Justin Welby as head of global church amid anger at same-sex blessings” via The Guardian. “The leaders of Anglican churches in some developing countries, including South Sudan, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, have said they no longer recognise Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury, as the head of the global church.” (Added 3-1-2023)

UMC pastors again celebrate connectionalism, look optimistically to the future” via Kentucky Conference (UMC). “About 60 pastors who are planning to remain in the denomination gathered Tuesday, Feb 28, at Christ Church United Methodist in Louisville for a day of worship, fellowship, support, and strategizing.” (Added 3-1-2023)

Episode 112 – Disaffiliation in the UMC” via Youth Worker Collective Podcast. Youth ministry folks talk about disaffiliation. (Added 3-1-2023)

Another Alabama church voting to leave United Methodist Church” by Richard Everett and Aaron Dixon via WDHN CBS42. Coverage of Covenant UMC in Dothan. (Added 3-1-2023)

Report on Disaffiliating United Methodist Churches through 2022: Comparing Similarities and Differences” by Lovett Weems. “What are the characteristics of churches disaffiliating from the United Methodist Church? Lovett H. Weems Jr. reports that there are more similarities than differences between the cohort of disaffiliating churches and the total pool of all United Methodist churches.” (Added 3-1-2023)

Majority voting at Collierville United Methodist want to leave UMC, but vote still fails” via Katherine Burgess via Memphis Commercial Appeal. “The fact that a majority of voting members at Collierville United Methodist Church voted to leave the denomination but did not have enough votes to do so leaves the church’s future uncertain.” (Added 3-1-2023)

121 Attend First New Houston Area Multigenerational Church Service” by Lindsay Peyton via UM Insight. A new UM congregation springs from dissidents of disaffiliated congregations. (Added 3-1-2023)

Laity Inspired Beyond These Walls Conference Set for The Woodlands Methodist Church” by Walter Fenton via GMC. April event features Rev. Dr. Jerry Kulah, the Rev. Dr. David Platt, and Ms. Danielle Strickland. (Added 3-1-2023)

Part Six, Dear Bishop, Some Disaffiliating Churches are Taking the Votes Away from Their Members” by Stan Copeland via YouTube. “Did St. Andrew and First, Frisco (UMCs) have the same lawyer writing their by-laws? Do their members know if they disaffiliate they no longer have a vote? When a pastor, with lawyers and hand picked leaders rewrite the church by-laws, a close read reveals they have taken away the vote, and therefore the voice, from the members of the church.” (Added 3-1-2023)

Texas megachurch votes to leave United Methodist Church as mainline denomination fractures over LGBT issues” via Fox News. “”…the fractures and flaws of the institution are too deep to ignore.” (Added 3-1-2023)

You are Disaffiliated! (What Now?)” by Shane Bishop. The pastor of Illinois Methodism’ largest congregation offers six points of advice following disaffiliation. (Added 3-1-2023)

Court Filing by Trinity on the Hill via PDF. A large congregation in Augusta, Georgia seeks legal relief to exit the UMC after the North Georgia Conference shut down the disaffiliation process. (Added 3-1-2023)

Overheard: In spite of an episcopal visit, The Summit Church in Lee’s Summit, Missouri (one of the largest congregations in the conference) voted to disaffiliate from the UMC on 2/26 by a margin of 90%. (Added 3-1-2023)

See Also: Nov 2022-Feb 2023, Aug-Oct 2022, May-July 2022, Jan-April 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, or earlier.