Updated May 28, 2023

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The Very Latest

United Methodists are Breaking Up…It’s Not Pretty” via Ready to Harvest (YouTube). “What’s been going on in the United Methodist Church? Why are they splitting and what does the situation look like today?” (Added 5-28-2023)

Conference Announces New Supervisory Model” via Western PA Conference (UMC). “While the full impact of disaffiliation is yet unknown, Conference leadership is working to be proactive in the ways we care for our members and churches.” (Added 5-28-2023)

95 Louisiana churches disaffiliate from the United Methodist Church” by Matt Bruce via NOLA.com. “Delegates will not gather for a special session in November so Saturday’s convening was the last chance for Methodist churches in Louisiana to disaffiliate before paragraph 2553 sunsets at the end of the year, according to officials.” (Added 5-28-2023)

[Updated] Overheard: The Louisiana Conference (UMC) approved all 95 disaffiliations at a 10am special session today. Voting was by hand and by district. There was debate over the first district set, but much less opposition was voiced afterward. One retired clergy made a speech for rejecting disaffiliations so as to re-negotiate and exact 25% of the property value from the congregations. In spite of this, approval for the disaffiliations was overwhelming. Shreveport First, where the local disaffiliation effort was opposed by StayUMC billboards and TV ads, was among the congregations approved for exit. A group of nine retired UM clergy went to court earlier this year in a failed effort to halt the conference disaffiliation process. 58 other Louisiana disaffiliations were approved at a special session held in November 2022, bringing the total congregational exit rate to 35% to date. A 40% loss of revenue was cited by one clergy. (Added 5-27-2023)

Interview with Bishop Scott Jones & Mary Lou Reece (Bishop of the GMC)” by Jeffrey Rickman via PlainSpoken Podcast. “Bishop Scott Jones served faithfully in The United Methodist Church all his adult life. He has now chosen to answer the call to be one of two full-time bishops in the Global Methodist Church. I learned that he would be speaking at a church nearby in Claremore, so I extended the invitation to him and his wife Mary Lou Reece to sit down for a visit. They were gracious to accept the invitation, to have lunch at home with my family, and to let me learn from them for a little more than an hour on camera.” (Added 5-27-2023)

Louisiana Conference Special Session Livestream Link via YouTube. The special session will begin at 10 am and will consider 95 disaffiliations. (Added 5-27-2023)

Post by Jack McBride via Facebook. “Yesterday, my home church in San Angelo, First United Methodist Church of San Angelo, voted to disaffiliate from the UMC church conference by an overwhelming vote of 89%. Disaffiliation means they do not have to abide by the conference’s recognition of LGBTQ+ Methodists, our right to love, faith, marriage, or spirituality. 89% voted against me. It’s personal.” (Added 5-27-2023)

Post by Tracy Sweet Cross via Facebook. “I find it interesting that so many pastors and church leaders across the US have been accused of swaying their congregations to vote for the disaffiliation process but no one has mentioned how many pastors haven’t even let their congregations discuss it at all.” (Added 5-27-2023)

Post by Stephen Drachler via Facebook. “Does anyone care about those of us who want to remain United Methodist? I have sat and listened to their stories, offered words of hope and comfort and sometimes just sat with them and allowed them to be upset.” (Added 5-27-2023)

Astounding Development” by Lonnie Brooks via Facebook. “Such an outcome from this kind of proceeding is beyond the wildest dreams of a litigant. I’m not sure how the Church will react to this, but I know in the industry in which I worked for 32 years until my retirement, as well as in any other commercial enterprise I know anything about, the kind of misjudgment and misguided action demonstrated here by the North Georgia Annual Conference would cost somebody a job. This has been a complete and total waste of resources of time and money.” (Added 5-27-2023)

Pastor Lauren Geraghty No Longer Appointed to MTO” via Mount Olivet UMC (Facebook). Virginia Church: “Because this is an unusual year, in part because of other churches making decisions about disaffiliation, it has presented more chaos to our system, so, Lauren, in fact, will not be joining us and because it’s late in the season we are not projected to receive a full-time associate.” (Added 5-27-2023)

Final Methodist disaffiliation vote scheduled next month in Missouri” by Jeff Long via The Southeast Missourian. “On Friday, June 9, five Cape Girardeau County congregations are expected to receive final approval to leave the United Methodist Church, part of a group of 26 Missouri churches in the U.M.’s Southeast District that have previously voted to exit the Protestant denomination.” (Added 5-27-2023)

Post by Bob Phillips via Facebook. Open Letter: “With apologies for the timing, I am withdrawing as the instructor for the Introduction to the Bible class offered for the Course of Study. I know you are receiving contacts insisting I be removed or forced out….” (Added 5-27-2023)

Methodists Vote to Disaffiliate; Separate Churches Organizing” by Jan Schultz via the Imperial Republican (NE). “Those who voted in the majority to disaffiliate will now be affiliated with the Global Methodist Church, said Glen Knobbe, chair of the church’s administrative board. The name of their church will be Imperial Methodist Church…. Meanwhile, a group of Imperial Methodists who want to remain with the UMC are starting another church— Faith United Methodist Church of Chase County.” (Added 5-26-2023)

2023 Czech Republic Annual Conference” via UMNS. “With a two-thirds majority, the Annual Conference decided to form an autonomous church in a process lasting several years, in which all levels, from the Annual Conferences to the Central Conference to the General Conference, must take a stand. The new Bishop Stefan Zürcher expressed his sadness about the decision, but also made it clear that he would respect the decision and support the further process as far as possible.” (Added 5-26-2023)

2023 Austria Provisional Annual Conference” via UMNS. “…the members of the UMC in Austria made a clear commitment to unity within the worldwide United Methodist Church and the Central Conference of Central and Southern Europe. Divisions within the Central Conference were perceived with regret. Referring to a decision of the 2022 Central Conference to make internal arrangements with regard to questions of inclusion, the Annual Conference made the following decision: The aspect of pastoral care with regard to the desire for a church wedding or blessing celebration is to be prioritized. The decision as to whether a church wedding can take place lies with the pastors in accordance with the church order. All marriages performed in a civil ceremony according to Austrian law are to be treated equally in this sense.” (Added 5-26-2023)

Manistee United Methodist Church joins new denomination” via Manistee News Advocate (MI). “On May 21, church members decided to leave the current United Methodist denomination and join the newly formed Global Methodist Church. ” (Added 5-26-2023)

New era to begin May 28 for Friendship Methodist Church” via Donalsonville News (GA). “On Sunday March 26th the congregation of Friendship United Methodist Church made the overwhelming decision to leave the United Methodist Church and join the newly formed Global Methodist Church. This was not a decision made lightly and involved a lengthy discernment process. Through the process it was revealed that the current direction of the United Methodist Church did not reflect the beliefs of the local congregation.” (Added 5-26-2023)

The Changing Shape of Methodism” by Tom Lambrecht via Good News. “Although exact numbers are not available at this point, it appears that at least 80 percent of disaffiliating congregations are aligning immediately with the Global Methodist Church (GMC).” (Added 5-26-2023)

Post via Manila Episcopal Area (Facebook). “Shares a Resolution on Church Unity passed. Resolved… to commit to stay faithful and loyal to Jesus Christ through The United Methodist Church and pledge to protect the unity of our beloved denomination… ask the College of Bishops of the Philippines Central Conference of The United Methodist Church and our central conference agencies to jointly initiate and lead an organized effort to address the misinformation being disseminated that aim to destabilize and divide our denomination. Ratified on the 26th day of May, 2023 during the 112th Regular Session of the Philippines Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.” (Added 5-26-2023)

Tweet by Liam Adams. Religion Reporter: “Following the ratified disaffiliations from the #UMC of churches in West and Middle Tennessee, the Global Methodist Church’s new Mississippi-West Tennessee Provisional Annual Conference recently launched a website: https://ms-wtngmc.org/our-mission” (Added 5-26-2023)

19 Davidson County Methodist churches break with denomination over LGBTQ beliefs” by Jill Doss-Raines via The Dispatch (North Carolina). “Some local Methodist ministers and parishioners of churches that stayed – First United in Lexington, Memorial United and Unity United Methodist churches in Thomasville – have decided to turn the sad, relational break into what they see as a positive by becoming Lighthouse United Methodist churches. These churches are opening their doors to anyone from the disaffiliated churches who still wants to be United Methodist, said the Rev. Cheryl Skinner, co-pastor of First UMC in Lexington.” (Added 5-26-2023)

Meet the N. Georgia bishop who hopes to heal the United Methodist Conference” by Shelia Poole via Atlanta Journal-Constitution. A profile on Bishop Dease. (Added 5-26-2023)

83 United Methodist Churches in Iowa Exit Denomination” by Kim Roberts via Ministy Watch. “Most plan to join the Global Methodist Church.” (Added 5-26-2023)

Louisiana Conference to vote on 95 United Methodist Church disaffiliations” via KTBS. “The Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church is meeting in special session on Saturday, May 27, at 10:00 a.m. in Baton Rouge to vote on whether to allow 95 churches across the state to disaffiliate from the denomination. First United Methodist Church (FUMC) in Shreveport, one of the largest Methodist churches in the state, is one of the churches on the list. At an FUMC conference meeting held on April 14, and attended by 1120 congregants, 84 percent voted in favor of disaffiliation.” See also “95 Louisiana churches could leave United Methodist denomination this weekend” by Matt Bruce via The Advocate. (Added 5-26-2023)

[Updated] “Disaffiliation Resolutions” via Peninsula-Delaware Conference (UMC). Eight resolutions for the June 6 regular session. [Note: Overheard numbers are closer to 85-95]. (Added 5-26-2023)

Church Windows: UMC Disaffiliation” via YouTube. A church management software company offers help for disaffiliating churches, a function their software never anticipated.. (Added 5-25-2023)

Has The United Methodist Church Changed Its Basic Beliefs?” by Tom Junk via Traditional Methodist Voices of Oklahoma (YouTube). “The #StayUMC & #BeUMC proponents insist that the doctrine and basic beliefs of the United Methodist Church have not changed. On paper they are correct, the doctrines of the church have in fact not changed, but does it matter what the official stance of the UMC is on paper if they have clergy that teach the opposite?” See also: “Is The United Methodist Church Playing By Their Own Rules?” “Why Leave The United Methodist Church Now?” and “What Does The UMC Do With Our Apportionments?” (Added 5-25-2023)

Coker United Methodist Church | Roundtable Discussion” via Coker UMC (YouTube). A San Antonio congregation holds a forum on the Global Methodist Church. (Added 5-25-2023)

Post via Baguio Episcopal Area (Philippines) Facebook Page. Reminder that Bishop Pete Torio is no longer associated with the UMC. (Added 5-25-2023)

Interview with Jeff Pospisil (New Chief Financial Officer of the GMC)” by Jeffrey Rickman via PlainSpoken Podcast. “Jeff Pospisil has an active YouTube channel, on which he provides many resources for individuals and churches to be faithful with their money. He was the Treasurer for the Dakotas Annual Conference, where they thrived under his leadership. He was recently recruited by the GMC to head up the financial ministry of the new denomination.” (Added 5-25-2023)

Post by John Eshleman via Progressive Methodists Facebook Group. “Seven months ago, six churches in the NW Houston suburb of Cypress voted to disaffiliate. We all brought our unique selves together to start a UMC refugee community. Today, the community officially chartered with ~275 members as Mosaic United Methodist Church. We were all broken but came together to form a beautiful mosaic that value inspiring inclusion, authentic community, and joyful service…” (Added 5-25-2023)

Of Borrowed Lawnmowers and United Methodist Clergy Status” by Bob Phillips via PeopleNeedJesus.net. Thoughts on the ill treatment of retired UM clergy exercising their ministries in a GMC setting. (Added 5-25-2023)

Board of Trustees Report” via Kentucky Conference (UMC). Shows the 286 churches seeking disaffiliation at the June 4 session. Kentucky previously approved 57 disaffiliations in 2022. The 2021 church count was 730. (Added 5-25-2023)

Overheard: In a Missouri Conference report, the churches disaffiliating on June 9 (75 churches) represents $2,068,000 in annual apportionments and, according to UMData, six out of top ten churches in worship attendance. (Added 5-25-2023)

Churches Disaffiliation Under Par. 2553” via The Missouri Conference (UMC). A list of the 75 churches to be voted on June 9. (Added 5-25-2023)

Disaffiliating Church List for Louisiana Special Session on May 27 via Louisiana Conference (UMC). The list of 95 churches is larger than estimated for an upcoming special session. (Added 5-25-2023)

Two More Anglican Parishes Have Property Rights Affirmed” via Anglican Diocese of South Carolina. Status update on old denominational property battles between TEC and ACNA. (Added 5-25-2023)

On Drag Queens and the Methodist Breakup” by Tom Raabe via The American Spectator. “Churches lately have gone all in on these drag shows. A Methodist church in Lincoln, Nebraska, hosted one in April, a “fun and inclusive event that the whole family can enjoy,” according to an advertising post. Earlier this month, a United Church of Christ congregation in New Braunfels, Texas, hosted an “age-appropriate art performance,” as supporters styled it, where three drag queens helped raise funds for at-risk youth in Comal County. A “drag bingo” night last September at a Katy, Texas, church raised money for the church’s Transparency Closet, which, the church’s pastor said, “is for all people, teens, and adults exploring and transitioning.” (Added 5-25-2023)

Presentation by Bishop Scott Jones” via Claremore FMC Facebook. A presentation on the GMC to a church considering affiliation. (Added 5-25-2023)

Future Home of the Mississippi – West Tennessee Provisional Annual Conference Website. (Added 5-25-2023)

Post by Jason Woolever via IGRC WCA Facebook Group. “The Global Methodist Church will partnering with The River Network to plant hundreds of new GMC churches in the next few years. This webinar “Starting a Church without a Pastor” might be one that you would like to watch with interested members of your community.” (Added 5-25-2023)

Press Release – Special Held Iowa Annual Conference Session Approves Disaffiliation of 83 United Methodist Churches” via Iowa Conference (UMC). A press release on the May 23 special session where 83 churches completed disaffiliation. (Added 5-25-2023)

A Response to the Bethlehem United Methodist Church (Marianna-Panama City) Narrative” by Alabama-West Florida Conference (UMC). “This past fall the church voted to not disaffiliate from the Untied [sic] Methodist Church. Pastor Tanton was discontinued as a United Methodist pastor by the district board of ordained ministry and is no longer appointed to serve at the church. He has refused to step down from leading this congregation.” See Bethlehem Church post here. (Added 5-25-2023)

Stung by close vote, Wamego looks to future” by David Burke via Great Plains Conference. “The vote prompted several immediate changes. What was two worship services have combined into one, with a hybrid of contemporary and traditional Christian music. Three paid staff positions, filled by people who left the church after the vote, were replaced by volunteers. Church members on both sides, leaders said, feared a split and didn’t make their pledges to the 2023 budget. Sixty families committed to their giving for the year this year, compared to 100 in previous years.” (Added 5-25-2023)

Thousands of Congregations Leave United Methodist Church Over Biblical Concerns” by Jeff Johnson via The Daily Citizen. “…They are part of a growing exodus from the denomination, with more than 3,500 congregations leaving the second largest Protestant denomination in the United States in 2022 and 2023.” (Added 5-25-2023)

83 Iowa methodist churches disaffiliated” via Ottumwa Courier. Iowa coverage of recent special session. (Added 5-25-2023)

United Methodist Church North Georgia Conference speaks out after court decision” by Alexandra Koch via Augusta Chronicle. “In a video uploaded this week to the conference’s website, Bishop Robin Dease shared she will be calling a special session of the North Georgia Annual Conference on Nov. 18.” (Added 5-25-2023)

GA Methodist Exodus in High Gear as 193 Churches Given Green Light, Judge Clears Path for 185 More” by Steve Warren via CBN News. Report covers both GA conferences. (Added 5-25-2023)

Post by Jimmy Boone via Facebook. A May 24 disaffiliation tally showing 3,488 to date with an eventual estimate of 5,600. (Added 5-24-2023)

Overheard: The Louisiana Conference will be voting on 96 disaffiliations on Saturday. May 27 at 10 am via a special online session. (Added 5-24-2023)

Holy, Holy, Holy with Jeremy Smith” via Dangerous Liberal Lady Preachers Podcast. “Rev. Jeremy Smith, United Methodist pastor serving in the Pacific Northwest and author of the very awesome blog “Hacking Christianity”, chats with us about this “interregnum” time in the UMC and the future of our denomination, his upbringing being molded by other Dangerous Liberal Lady Preachers, and expanding the accessibility and lifespan of the Church.” (Added 5-24-2023)

Tweet by Drew McIntyre: “Former pastors should not interfere in the current discernment process of #UMC congregations, either to encourage or discourage disaffiliation, in the same way that former pastors are – as a matter of professional courtesy – expected not to interfere in any other matters.” (Added 5-24-2023)

Post by Tim Ozment via Facebook. The pastor of Peoria First UMC offers a video message following the end of their discernment process during which it was decided not to disaffiliate. An appeal to not be hasty in leaving. (Added 5-24-2023)

Disaffiliation Conferences Reveal Deep Sadness, Need for Grace” by Mary John Dye via UM Insight. “In the past 5 days, I conducted “final” Charge Conferences for 16 United Methodist Churches that have chosen to disaffiliate. Procedurally, these Charge Conferences—authorized by the DS—are simple: authorizing the formal new name of the new church entity and dissolving the incorporation of those which were incorporated as UMCs.” (Added 5-24-2023)

Letter to Lake County District” via John Breon (Facebook). Oklahoma D.S.: “In the present United Methodist Church, many are opting for the first strategy Mouw describes (separation). They may think, concerning the second option (staying and working for renewal), “That ship has sailed—and it’s the Titanic!” But I’m holding on to the hope that God will surprise us all. I’ve felt torn by the UMC’s divisions for some time. The United Methodist Church is the only church I’ve ever belonged to. I’ve been more at home in the traditional camp, though I’m sometimes uncomfortable with attitudes and actions there as well as among some more progressive folks. I have friends on various sides of the church’s debates. In accepting the appointment to be a District Superintendent, I’ve committed to staying in the UMC.” (Added 5-24-2023)

Post by Nate Nims via Facebook. On thee Iowa special session: “The United Methodist Church proclaims everyone is welcome at the open table, but we’ve come to a point where we can’t welcome one another. For those of us that remain, we can start to put in new table leafs, but there are now 83 empty chairs around the table, while others rustle in their seat anxious to leave in November.” (Added 5-24-2023)

Silencing United Methodist Voices” by Rob Renfroe via Good News. “I have now been banned in two states. Ok, that’s a bit of an overstatement. Two annual conferences, each covering an individual state, have determined that I may not speak to their churches. Even though I am still a United Methodist elder. Even if I am invited by a United Methodist pastor to speak to his or her congregation.” (Added 5-24-2023)

Korean churches hope to continue shared mission work in Mongolia” by Thomas Kim via UMNS. “A number of Korean churches are expected to disaffiliate from the denomination, including a few of the most active Korean churches of the Mongolia Mission.” (Added 5-24-2023)

North Georgia Conference of UMC calls for special session” by Shelia Poole via Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Coverage of Bishop Dease calling a November special session in response to a court order to resume the disaffiliation process. (Added 5-24-2023)

Dothan’s Harvest Church in legal battle after UMC disaffiliation” by Caleb Taylor via 1819 News. “The lawsuit by Harvest Church against the Alabama-West Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church, Inc. and General Council on Finance and Administration of the United Methodist Church was stayed, or delayed, in Houston County Circuit Court last week pending a review by the Alabama Supreme Court.” (Added 5-24-2023)

A Question for Annual Conference” by Jack Harnish. “So…have the churches desiring disaffiliation clearly stated that their reason is an issue of “…conscience regarding the practice of homosexuality?”” (Added 5-24-2023)

An Update from Pastor Forrest” by Forrest Diviney via Asbury Corpus Christi. “We have been attempting to negotiate a more reasonable payment, but the conference has refused repeatedly to meet or speak with us. Therefore, the conference left us no choice but to retain an attorney. We have joined with over 40 churches in the Rio Texas conference in retaining the same attorney, so that he is able to represent us all. We’ve paid a $2500 refundable retainer for his services. To put this in perspective, the conference is demanding we pay over $150,000 as our exit fee, so I consider this retainer to be money well spent.” (Added 5-24-2023)

Annual Conference Members Will Consider Churches’ Disaffiliation Requests” via Northern Illinois Conference (UMC). Ten disaffiliations to be voted on June 6. “Over the past year, our bishops and the cabinet worked with the 18 congregations that expressed interest in exploring this option. Those churches first contacted their district superintendent to learn about the process. The district superintendent and Rev. Arlene Christopherson, the assistant to the bishop, sent explanatory documents and met with churches to present more information.” (Added 5-24-2023)

Christ Church and 161 Other United Methodist Churches OK’d to Leave” by Jane Roberts via The Daily Memphian. [paywall] (Added 5-24-2023)

A Broken Church” via Bloomfield Democrat (Iowa). “The Bloomfield United Methodist Church sits atop the highest point in the City of Bloomfield and has served as a beacon for the community since it was built in 1980. Due to circumstances, many of them beyond the control of the local congregation, the church will be splitting. Many involved hope both factions can continue to work together in ministry for the benefit of the community.” (Added 5-24-2023)

Rift over LGBTQ rights causes 83 Iowa churches to split from United Methodist Church” by F. Amanda Tugade via Des Moines Register. “Before the conference leaders adjourned, the Rev. James Parks of Christ Church in Davenport, whose church disaffiliated, left with a final remark. “At this crossroads, we live out the Great Commission by traveling our separate paths, and yet we also recall that obeying what Christ has commanded includes the command to love one another,” he said.” (Added 5-24-2023)

Global Methodist Church’s Catechism Now in Print” by Walter Fenton via GMC. “A foundational catechism for a denominational family is not only a good idea; it’s essential,” said the Rev. Dr. Jessica LaGrone, a TLC member and Dean of the Chapel at Asbury Theological Seminary… “One of my favorite lines in the introduction of our catechesis proclaims that its purpose is to help those in our connection to ‘understand, recall, profess, and enjoy the church’s essential teachings.’ The proclamation that right doctrine is something that we enjoy is a powerful one, and one that is to be celebrated.”(Added 5-24-2023)

Post via Mid-Texas GMC Facebook Page. “This week we topped 200 churches that have voted to affiliate with the Global Methodists in Mid-Texas. As more congregations join the Mid Texas family, we are gathering experienced, Christ-Centered individuals for conference leadership. We are excited to announce that Brian Denman will be our Finance and Administration Chair.” (Added 5-24-2023)

Overheard: The Iowa Conference of the United Methodist Church approved 83 church disaffiliations in a May 23 special session. The vote was 541-21. (Added 5-23-2023)

North Georgia Conference to follow court orders” by Noah Shroyer via Times-Georgian. “The North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church (NGUMC) has accepted the order of the Superior Court of Cobb County regarding 185 churches, including the Carrollton First United Methodist Church (CFUMC), attempting to leave the conference.” (Added 5-23-2023)

Interview With Daniel Dennison (UMC Culture of Financial Entitlement & Ineptitude)” by Jeffrey Rickman via PlainSpoken Podcast. “This video is for folks to understand how and why it is that many desire to leave the UMC. Many in conferences outside of Oklahoma may see similar signs of paternalism and obscurantism. Or perhaps you want to speak publicly about an issue that you’re afraid will get you in trouble with the bishop, and you would benefit from hearing two guys talk about what that is like.” (Added 5-23-2023)

Tweet Reply by Adam Hamilton to Mark Tooley. On a 40% drop to the UMC budget: “Hi Mark, thanks for sharing this. The UMC looks like it will retain about 85% of its churches in the US, and 75 of its 100 largest churches. Some that stay will lose members, but others will gain from departing churches. GCFA seems to be taking a very conservative approach.” (Added 5-23-2023)

Post by Matthew Sichel via Facebook. Shares an open letter to the Baltimore-Washington Conference calling for disaffiliations with no additional surcharges added. (Added 5-23-2023)

Bitter Medicine: Ordaining Liars” by Jeffrey Rickman via PlainSpoken Podcast. “This installment deals with the practice of assenting to ordain people at Annual Conference session who have no interest in fulfilling their vows.” See also “Letters From Our Viewers – Congratulations, Liberal Intolerance, Conservative Ignorance” (Added 5-23-2023)

Bishop Dease to Call a Special Session of the Annual Conference November 18” via North Georgia Conference (UMC). A video message from North Georgia’s bishop, mentions disaffiliations only of those churches named in the lawsuit. (Added 5-23-2023)

‘A day of sadness’: 193 Georgia churches vote to leave United Methodist Church” by Michael Gryboski via Christian Post. “Many of these churches have dedicated clergy and laity who truly desire to serve God and their communities. We pray for these churches as they navigate ministry in a new season,” stated Graves. (Added 5-23-2023)

Thousands debate leaving United Methodist Church over LGBTQ issue” via FOX News. Picking up the national AP story. (Added 5-23-2023)

From Methodist to Anglican: Returning to the Church of the Wesleys” by Stephen Fife via Anglican Compass. “I found that as my ministry matured, my desire to be a part of the church of John and Charles Wesley also grew. In my daily prayer and discernment, I realized that my faith journey wasn’t abandoning The United Methodist Church, where my ministry developed, but returning to the historic church that gave birth to the Methodist missional movement.” (Added 5-23-2023)

Triad congregations suing to leave United Methodist Church without paying fees boosted by Georgia court ruling” by Steve Doyle via Fox 8 Greensboro. “The 36 churches from western North Carolina suing the Western North Carolina Conference of United Methodist Church because they want to leave the denomination without having to pay exit fees to get the title to their property – as some of their brethren are doing – are taking heart in a court decision announced Friday afternoon in Georgia.” (Added 5-23-2023)

Tweet by John Meunier: “At what point in the fracturing of the #umc do we get to the point where it is okay to ask what our fault was in the break up? When do we look for the plank in our own eye?” (Added 5-23-2023)

John Wesley’s Call for Us Today” by Jay Therrell via WCA. “This present season has been intolerably hard. The “institution” has come down hard on churches and pastors trying to move to a better theological home. They have seized church property citing “exigent circumstances,” they have threatened retired clergy with being brought up on charges for even attending a disaffiliated church, and they have added punitive and onerous costs to churches trying to depart. The easy thing would be to give up. Wesley didn’t. We can’t either.” (Added 5-23-2023)

NC Pastor Repeats Plea: Tell Dissidents to Stop Falsehoods about UMC” by Mary John Dye via UM Insight. “In all my years as a Rotarian, I don’t ever remember a program chair inviting someone from Kiwanis or Jaycees or Optimist clubs to come give an “information session” on the shortcomings of Rotary and to recruit us to leave Rotary and join another club. Anyone had that happen?” (Added 5-23-2023)

Questions About the May 23, 2023, Special Called Session” via Iowa Conference (UMC). The Iowa Annual Conference Special Session to approve disaffiliations will be on May 23, 2023, beginning at 6:30 p.m. CDT via Zoom. View the 82 disaffiliating congregations here. (Added 5-23-2023)

Post by Jimmy Boone via Facebook. An updated total that reflects the approved disaffiliations as of 5-22-2023. (Added 5-23-2023)

Bishop Graves delivers hope for a new season, oversees special session to vote on disaffiliations” via South Georgia Conference (UMC). “I especially want to express my appreciation for the 274 churches who have chosen to remain United Methodist and those who heard my call to refrain from holding discussions around leaving the denomination until we have more information,” said Bishop Graves. (Added 5-23-2023)

Bishop Héctor meets with clergy discerning disaffiliation” by Shannon Hodson via Upper New York Conference. “He urged clergy to rely on firsthand information and official United Methodist sources when wanting more information about our official beliefs rather than solely trusting the information provided by the WCA and GMC.” (Added 5-23-2023)

Some worshippers switching congregations amid United Methodist split over LGBTQ issues” by Peter Smith and Holly Meyer via Associated Press. National Article: “But the dividing line isn’t just running between congregations. It’s running right through the pews of individual churches, separating people who had long worshipped together.” (Added 5-23-2023)

Overheard162 congregations in the Tennessee-Western Kentucky Conference were approved for disaffiliation at a May 22 special session. The vote was 645-22 (96.7%) on a single consent calendar vote. See recorded session here. (Added 5-22-2023)

[updated] Western Pennsylvania Conference Churches Seeking Disaffiliation via Western PA Conference. In the Western PA Conference, 299 congregations wish to disaffiliate at the special session (held right before the regular session) on June 14. These include five of the top ten churches, 39.1 of Congregations, 37.7% of membership, 46.4% of attendance, 41.9% of apportionments, and 34.5% of property value. (Added 5-22-2023)

As church exits rise, proposed budget drops” by Heather Hahn via UMNS. “The United Methodist Church’s financial leaders met to shrink its budget proposal that will go before General Conference next year… The new bottom line also marks a nearly 40% reduction.” (Added 5-22-2023)

Disaffiliations May Top 5,000” by Chris Ritter via Team Caffeine (PNJ). This week’s subscriber content includes reports on the scale of UMC disaffiliations, developments in the Southwest, and the North Georgia un-pause. Click here to subscribe. (Added 5-22-2023)

Overheard: All eight churches in Greater New Jersey were approved for disaffiliation this morning. After a motion to divide the question was defeated, a single Korean church was separated out and questions of abuse of pastoral authority and unfair process were raised. A postponement and investigation was moved and defeated. Ultimately, they too were approved. The eight churches will pay a combined $7.1 million dollars to exit the UMC. (Added 5-22-2023)

Affiliation Vote Results” by Ben Trammell via University UMC (video). The pastor of a San Antonio church, the largest congregation in the Rio Texas Conference, reports the results of the congregation’s disaffiliation vote: 956-164 in favor of disaffiliation. (Added 5-22-2023)

Overheard: “North Georgia has scheduled a special called Annual Conference for 11/18/23 to deal with disaffiliations. Church conference votes, for those in the lawsuit, are scheduled as soon as the first week in June. Unknown at this point is whether churches that weren’t in the lawsuit can still pursue disaffiliation.” (Added 5-22-2023)

What Did God Do?” by Warren Lathem via Facebook. 291 shares to date on this article connecting the divide in the UMC with a larger assault on the church and the traditional family. (Added 5-22-2023)

United Methodists Mixing Christianity, Other Religions” by John Lomperis via Juicy Ecumenism. Roundup concludes: “the problem is the UMC’s lack of clear doctrinal boundaries, so that such embracing of other religions’ spiritualities is acceptable for United Methodist congregations and even prominent denominational officials.” (Added 5-22-2023)

Czech Methodists leave UMC” by Klaus Ulrich Ruof via Central and Southern Europe Central Conference. “In view of the decision to leave the UMC, the new bishop, Stefan Zürcher, expressed his sadness. At the same time, he underlined that he respected the decision and supported the further process as far as possible.” (Added 5-22-2023)

Fayetteville Methodist church completes split over human sexuality issues” by Laurenda Joenks via Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. The UMC gets the property while the staff and pastors move away to start Christ Church, a Wesleyan Faith Community. (Added 5-22-2023)

South Georgia Conference to lose 193 United Methodist churches” by Shelia Poole via Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Also mentions North Georgia: “It’s unlikely North Georgia churches would be able to hold a vote before the annual meeting June 1-3 in Athens, according to sources on both sides of the issue. The most likely scenario is for the conference to hold a special called conference before the end of the year, according to Atty. David Gibbs III, who represents the [exiting] North Georgia churches.” (Added 5-22-2023)

Overheard: University UMC in San Antonio, TX votes 956-164 (85%) to approve disaffiliation. They have been the largest church in the Rio Texas Conference. (Added 5-22-2023)

2023 Commencement” via United Theological Seminary (YouTube). Starting at 1:42:15, Bishop Bickerton addresses the split in the United Methodist Church, naming churches going independent or joining the GMC. “It is nasty, deeply hurtful…” Shared a personal story of eventual healing after a hurtful divorce. (Added 5-22-2023)

A Seminarian’s Reflections on the Future of the UMC” by Erik Slingerland via IGRC for Unity. “To be frank, LGBTQIA+ inclusion seems to be a non-issue among many students. Wesley is an inclusive seminary: I have had several openly LGBTQIA+ classmates, a Queer Theology class has been offered each academic year for the past few years, there are signs posted near restrooms that affirm gender diversity and point to the gender-neutral bathrooms that are available on campus for any who feel most comfortable using those… with some members joining local United Methodist congregations to be part of the Washington, DC Pride Parade in a few weeks.” (Added 5-21-2023)

Post by James Lambert via Facebook. On charges by Bishop Nunn without due process: “While I regret that my years of faithful service to the UMC in Oklahoma will officially come to an end in this dishonorable manner, it is my hope that some small good can come from taking a stand on this issue and not simply giving in to the demand. Methodists in Oklahoma should think long and hard about what kind of governance serves the cause of the gospel of Christ.” (Added 5-21-2023)

United Methodists affirm 141 disaffiliations at Susquehanna Conference” by Pat Crossley via Williamspot Sun-Gazette. “Every church is unique with a different mix of pastors, leaders and congregational members. Every church really has to make their own decision in this regard, and there are many factors that churches have to take into consideration. And so there’s not a one-size-fits-all prescription,” Wooster said. (Added 5-21-2023)

Post by Warren Lathem via Facebook. North Georgia disaffiliations moving forward by court order: “here remains a question as to whether the opportunity will be extended to other churches which did not join the suit. It would appear the judge’s decision would negate the ability of the AC to “pause” or block a local church vote on disaffiliation. However, no one knows, yet.” (Added 5-21-2023)

Post by Jimmy Boone via Facebook. A clergy who keeps a running tally of disaffiliations offers a May 21 update: Today’s total is 3,591. “During the remainder of May an additional 500 will move total to 4,100. In June an additional 1,300 will move total to 5,400.” (Added 5-21-2023)

Overheard: All 193 requested disaffiliations were approved at a May 21 South Georgia Conference special session held at 4 pm via Zoom. This represents 41% of the churches in the conference. (Added 5-21-2023)

Media Information for the May 21 South Georgia Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church Special-called Session” via South Georgia Conference (UMC). Media information released on the May 21 special session where 193 local church disaffiliations will be considered. (Added 5-21-2023)

Bishop Laura Merrill: Post Special Session Words” via Arkansas Conference (UMC). The UMC bishop in Arkansas offers healing words to United Methodists following a special called session. A beacon church network is being formed for those staying. (Added 5-21-2023)

2023 05 20 Flame Removal” via John Wesley GMC (YouTube). A church in Victoria, TX shares a video of the UMC name and insignia being removed from their building. (Added 5-21-2023)

General Conference 2024: Western Jurisdiction Style” by Bob Phillips via IGRC WCA Facebook Group. What was learned from a recent webinar on the agenda for the next UMC General Conference. (Added 5-21-2023)

Overheard: North Georgia Conference churches victorious in the recent lawsuit were notified today by their respective district offices of their church conference dates in June, July, and August. They were also notified by their legal team that the North Georgia Conference has set a special called session to deal with the disaffiliation votes on November 18, 2023. (Added 5-20-2023)

Special Called Session of the NMAC” by New Mexico Conference (UMC) YouTube. 31 disaffiliations approved by 97%. Bishop Schnase reports that 9 more are in process, some of whom may be approved at the upcoming regular session. (Added 5-20-2023)

Post by Rob Price via Facebook. “Professor Luther Oconer is Associate Professor of Global Wesleyan Theology at my alma mater, Asbury Theological Seminary. Here he exposes a highly questionable attempt to weaponize John Wesley against faithful Methodists who have recently opted out of the “United” Methodist Church” (Added 5-20-2023)

Struthers United Methodist Church Forced To Close” by Jeffrey Rickman via PlainSpoken Podcast. “The East Ohio Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church has forced a congregation in Struthers Ohio to close their doors against their will. This unfortunate patter of behavior seems to be commonplace in The United Methodist Church in this season of disaffiliation, we look into this case and explore what happened to Struthers United Methodist Church.” (Added 5-20-2023)

The Special Session for Disaffiliations is happening on May 27!” via Louisiana WCA. Lists known churches seeking disaffiliation. (Added 5-20-2023)

Interview With Daniel Dennison (Oklahoma AC Financial Mismanagement & Secrecy)” by Jeffrey Rickman via PlainSpoken Podcast (YouTube). “Both he and Jeffrey were disciplined by the bishop for speaking publicly about concerns they had about financial protocols in the conference. Now that they have both severed their relationships with the conference, they get together to compare notes and try to fit the pieces of this puzzle together.” (Added 5-20-2023)

Overheard: Annual Conference sessions over the next 7 days include a 5/20 regular session in New Mexico (31 disaffiliation requests), a 5/21 South Georgia special session (193 disaffiliation requests), a 5/22 Tennessee-Western Kentucky special session (162 disaffiliation requests), a 5/23 Iowa special session (82 disaffiliation requests), and a 5/23 Greater New Jersey regular session (8 disaffiliation requests) and a 5/27 Louisiana Conference special session (“at least 56” disaffiliation requests… full list not yet released). (Added 5-20-2023)

Message to the Louisiana Conference by Ben McGehee via Louisiana WCA. A plea to delegates not to block disaffiliations. (Added 5-20-2023)

Protestors condemn Christian church hosting ‘family friendly’ drag night: ‘DEFEND PURITY, REJECT PERVERSION‘” by Gabriel Hays via Fox News. “The First United Methodist Church in Sherman, Texas became the venue for the May 13 LGBTQ event, after it was moved from its original location at nearby Pecan Grove Park. The event, called “Pride Prom,” was billed by organizers as a “family-friendly drag show.”” (Added 5-20-2023)

Vote could determine fate for some N.M. Methodist churches” by Phaedra Haywood via Santa Fe New Mexican. “A brewing battle over homosexuality may come to a boil Saturday when representatives from 140 United Methodist churches, largely in New Mexico, hold a virtual vote on whether to ratify 31 congregations’ intention to “disaffiliate” from the denomination.” (Added 5-20-2023)

South Georgia UMC vote on exit of 193 churches on Sunday” by Shelia Poole via Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Coverage of the South Georgia disaffiliation vote. (Added 5-20-20233)

The United Methodist schism was a long time coming” by John Lomperis via Dallas Morning News (Opinion). “The Bible rhetorically asks, “Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?” (Amos 3:3). While some disagreement over secondary issues is normal, for decades United Methodism has been plagued by infighting over the most basic questions about our church’s values, purpose, and direction.” Read also in Juicy Ecumenism. (Added 5-20-2023)

Notice of Complaint” by Bishop James Nunn (PDF). In spite of a Judicial Council ruling stating that exiting clergy do not need to surrender their credentials, the bishop of the Oklahoma Conference continues to threaten charges against those that did not do so. Several of these letters were reportedly issued. (Added 5-20-2023)

North Georgia Court Order via PDF. The final order from the Superior Court of Cobb County ordering the North Georgia Conference to lift the disaffiliation process pause. (Added 5-19-2023)

Is This Why the UMC Continues to Hemorrhage Churches?” by James Lasher via Charisma News. Opinion Piece: “The largest factor: they removed God from their presence. In His place is a misguided belief system of accepting any and all sexual practices, while disregarding what the Bible specifically teaches as abominable before the Lord.” (Added 5-19-2023)

Who’s In? Who’s Out? The Latest On The Baptist And Methodist Doctrinal Divides” by Bobby Ross Jr. via Religion Unplugged. UMC featured in this religion roundup. (Added 5-19-2023)

Denomination vs. Independent” by Tom Lambrecht via Good News. Lifts recent examples where denominational accountability has been helpful and also the positive contribution of concerted efforts in mission. (Added 5-19-2023)

Methodist congregations in Erie, Crawford welcome members of disaffiliated churches” by Dana Massing via Eries Times-News. “The Western Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church has more than 750 churches in 23 counties, including about 80 in the Erie-Meadville District, according to information provided via email by District Superintendent Dennis Swineford. About a third of the churches in the Conference have explored disaffiliation from the United Methodist Church, he said.” (Added 5-19-2023)

First United Methodist Church-Montgomery considering leaving UMC denomination” by Caleb Taylor and Will Blakely via 1819 News. “The vote by the committee was 31-30 in favor of the discernment process. A 12-member subcommittee with 11 voting members established earlier in the year to investigate the issue recommended 6-5 to begin discernment.” (Added 5-19-2023)

A Few Days After” by Brad Elrod via Arkansans Staying United Facebook Group. “I’m struggling because what seems to be in our own best interest is to just let them go. It’s what they want, fine let them go to it. It’s better for us in the long run. After all, they are amongst us but they are not with us. And they haven’t been for a long while. The difference without them in the room in conferences gatherings has been tangible. You can just feel the difference. Yet, that doesn’t strike me as very Christ like either…” (Added 5-19-2023)

Here’s how much North Carolina congregations are paying to leave United Methodist Church” by Steve Doyle via Fox8 News. “HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (WGHP) – Nearly six dozen congregations in the Piedmont Triad have agreed to pay more than $3.7 million – some churches more than $200,000 each – for the right to take their more conservative doctrines and the deeds to the properties they have owned for generations and leave the United Methodist Church…” (Added 5-19-2023)

More than 140 Pa. congregations get go-ahead to sever ties with United Methodist Church” via Patriot News (Harrisburg). “More than 140 United Methodist Church congregations in the Susquehanna Conference, including 14 in the Harrisburg area, plan to end their affiliations with the denomination under agreements approved by the conference Wednesday night.” (Added 5-19-2023)

United Methodist Church Fading Away” by Scott Field via Northern Illinois WCA. The third and final installment in a “Why Can’t We Get Along?” series: “Intramural squabbling over an organizational carcass is not what members signed up for. They want something worth investing themselves in. And, clearly, we are not it.” (Added 5-19-2023)

Can Grace Prevail?” by Warren Lathem via Facebook. “Now the question remains for the 500-600 churches in North Georgia who did not join the suit. Is the “Pause” still in effect for them? Certainly, the judge’s ruling specifically only applied to the 186 churches which joined the suit. Therefore, the decision regarding the “Pause” rests with the Bishop and Cabinet. What will they do?” (Added 5-19-2023)

Trustees Report 8% to Depart” by James Deaton via The Michigan Conference (UMC). “At the Michigan Annual Conference, scheduled for June 2-4, 2023, clergy and lay members will vote to approve the disaffiliation of 60 churches from The United Methodist Church. This represents about 8% of the 721 United Methodist churches in the state. Six more have voted to disaffiliate but won’t complete all the requirements until the November 30 special session of the annual conference, which Bishop David Bard announced previously. The November virtual session will process these disaffiliations, and any others, in preparation for the end of the provisions in the Book of Discipline’s Paragraph 2553, which expire on December 31, 2023.” (Added 5-18-2023)

The past is dead? Time for news analysis of America’s scrambled Protestant marketplace” by Richard Ostling via Get Religion. “The news service of the United Methodist Church, #3 in size among U.S. Protestant groups, last week posted tabulation of departures since 2019 of 2,996 conservative congregations, roughly one-tenth of the denomination, with more in process. Most are joining the newborn Global Methodist Church.” (Added 5-18-2023)

United Methodist Exits Accelerate” by Mark Tooley via Juicy Ecumenism. Links to an article by Tooley in World. (Added 5-18-2023)

The faithful head for the exits” by Mark Tooley via World. “Bishop Bickerton and the other United Methodist prelates are rightly worried. Their denomination’s future is grim. But they show no awareness that their own revisionist theology is at fault. Instead, they blame exiting orthodox Methodists for the rift.” (Added 5-18-2023)

AC will be chance to look back, forward” by David Burke via Great Plains Conference. “Most of the conference business, including voting on the disaffiliations of 155 churches from the conference, will take place at a special online session May 31.” (Added 5-18-2023)

United Methodist Church wants Alabama Supreme Court to Intervene in Harvest Church case” by Glen Horn via WDHN. “The denomination is petitioning for the Alabama supreme court to look at the case and decide what issues the courts truly have jurisdiction over.” (Added 5-18-2023)

Judge clears way for disaffiliations from United Methodist Church in north Georgia” by Emily McFarlan Miller via Religion News Service. “The North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church can’t just press “pause” on disaffiliations from the denomination by churches in its area, according to a ruling Tuesday (May 16) by a Georgia judge.” (Added 5-18-2023)

Ordination in the Global Methodist Church” by Jeffrey Rickman via Substack. “This is an article detailing my twelve-year journey towards ordination. It covers a lot of details that people usually do not say out loud. ” (Added 5-18-2023)

Discernment Survey Results” via Peoria First UMC (IL) Facebook. The one-time largest church in the North Central Jurisdiction (formerly a Midwest Evangelical flagship led by Ira Galloway from 1972-1989), decides not to move forward with disaffiliation as a membership survey did not surpass a self-imposed 60% threshold for proceeding. 378 surveys were submitted. Adrian Garcia leads the Hispanic Ministry there and was an original member of the GMC Transitional Leadership Council. Adam Hamilton and former FUMC pastor Bob Phillips both gave presentations to the church during the discernment process. (Added 5-18-2023)

Forest Hills is first in Macon to leave UMC” by Melissa Orrison and Will Davis via Monroe County Reporter. South Georgia congregation: “We got out when we could.” (Added 5-18-2023)

Midland Heights Methodists break from United Methodist denomination” by Roberts Medley via Fort Smith Times Record. A feature on two Arkansas congregations, one that stayed and one that disaffiliated. (Added 5-18-2023)

Context on the Susquehanna May 17 Disaffiliation Vote” via PNJ PDF. A Susquehanna Conference clergy serving a disaffiliating church offers a correction and summary of how the voting unfolded. (Added 5-18-2023)

Annual Conference Affirms Disaffiliations” via Susquehanna Conference (UMC). Scroll down to “News from Around the Conference” to find the article on the 141 May 17 disaffiliations. (Added 5-18-2023)

List of Disaffiliated Churches via Susquehanna Conference (UMC). A list of the 141 congregations aproved for disaffiliation at the regular session of the conference on May 17. (Added 5-18-2023)

Post by Stephen Drachler via Susquehanna Reconciling Ministries Facebook Group. A reflection written before the vote on the 141 congregations leaving the Susquehanna Conference of the UMC. (Added 5-18-2023)

BREAKING: 141 of 805 United Methodist Churches disaffiliate from Susquehanna Conference” by Robert Baker via Wyoming County Press Examiner. “The Susquehanna Conference of the United Methodist Church voted Wednesday night to allow 141 of its 805 churches in Northeast and Central Pennsylvania to disaffiliate from the denomination.” (Added 5-18-2023)

Church officials consider appeal of judge’s ruling” by Shelia Poole via Atlanta Journal-Constitution. ““While details of the order are yet to come, after they are received, the conference board of trustees in conversation with Bishop (Robin) Dease and the cabinet will communicate plans and timelines,” Sybil Davidson, a spokeswoman for the North Georgia Conference she wrote in an email.” (Added 5-18-2023)

Cobb judge rules Methodist churches can have disaffiliation votes” by Wendy Parker via East Cobb News. “One of the plaintiffs, Mountain View UMC, located at Jamerson Road and Trickum Road, had requested a disaffiliation vote after holding a discernment period last fall, with church members hearing the pros and cons of leaving the denomination.” (Added 5-18-2023)

Post by Jimmy Boone via Facebook. A clergy offers an updated tally of UMC disaffiliations: 3362. (Added 5-17-2023)

20 churches disaffiliate from the TAC at recent Special Session” via Texas Annual Conference. “During the May 11th Special Session, the delegates voted 462 to 26 to approve the departure of 20 Texas Conference congregations from the United Methodist Church. This brings the total number of disaffiliations for the Texas Conference to 320 congregations…Bishop Harvey said “if there are additional churches requesting to disaffiliate, I may consider calling an additional Special Session.” (Added 5-17-2023)

[corrected] Overheard: 141 churches were approved to leave at the regular session of the Susquehanna Annual Conference under Paragraph 2553. Hand votes were used, so there is no detailed record of voting margins. (Added 5-17-2023)

Nearly 190 Georgia churches win lawsuit to disaffiliate from United Methodists” by Alexandra Koch via Augusta Chronicle. “With Schuster’s ruling, those churches can expect the leadership of their annual conference to put the disaffiliation process back on track so that local churches are able vote, according to the Wesleyan Covenant Association.” (Added 5-17-2023)

Tweet by Mark Tooley: “The apparently now failed (thx to court ruling) try by North Georgia United Methodism to block church exits likely will motivate even more church exits.” (Added 5-17-2023)

Judge lifts North Georgia disaffiliation pause” by Heather Hahn via UMNS. “In a statement to UM News, the North Georgia Conference said that while details of the order are yet to come, conference leaders are exploring possible appeal.” (Added 5-17-2023)

Judge says North Georgia United Methodist churches may proceed with disaffiliation” by Andrew Schwartz via Chattanoooga Times Free Press. “Critics say the conference was making a desperate effort to hold together when it became clear that, amid a historic schism, hundreds of its member churches might join the wave of theologically conservative congregations leaving the large Christian denomination.” (Added 5-17-2023)

185 Georgia churches must be allowed to vote to leave UMC, judge rules” by Michael Gryboski via Christian Post. “The pause violated that right,” said Schuster. “They have a right, and I believe the North Georgia Council has an affirmative duty to assist them in holding a vote, if the church makes a call for a local church conference to have that vote.” (Added 5-17-2023)

Connectional Funding – Keeping The Focus on the Ministry of the Local Church” by Keith Boyette via The Global Methodist Church. “All local churches are asked to contribute one percent of their operating income to the funding of the general church…. Where provisional annual conferences are not yet operating, local churches are also asked to pay an additional one percent of their operating income to underwrite the formation of annual conferences in their regions.” (Added 5-17-2023)

Christianity, Translated for the Non-Religious” by Jim Burklo via UM Insight. Offers a statement describing Christianity “in purely secular terms” (and without reference to Jesus) for the non-religious. (Added 5-17-2023)

Western NC and North Carolina Conferences Receive Duke Endowment Grant Exceeding $10 million” via Western North Carolina Conference. “The North Carolina and Western North Carolina Conferences of The United Methodist Church (UMC) are thrilled to announce that they have each received a generous grant from The Duke Endowment to support the creation of new United Methodist faith communities and the strengthening of existing congregations within the UMC conferences. Over five years, these grants for $5.25 million each will provide vital resources to help the conferences address the challenges posed by recent disaffiliations and continue to spread the message of Jesus’ love and hope throughout the state of North Carolina.” (Added 5-17-2023)

Historic Church Looks To Raise Funds With Dinner” by Sara Holthouse via The Post-Journal (Jamestown, NY). “Following the congregation’s decision to disaffiliate from the United Methodist Church, the historic church is now facing a fine of $16,708. The amount is due to the United Methodist Church by the end of May and pays for the pastor’s retirement and legal fees. If the money is not paid, the United Methodist Church will close the church down.” (Added 5-17-2023)

Georgia judge rules 185 churches can vote to leave the United Methodist Church” via The Georgia Sun. “The ruling is significant as it allows these churches to exercise their right to vote on disaffiliation, a process that was previously stalled by the conference. The court case highlighted the broader argument within the UMC over social issues and the right of local churches to decide their affiliations based on these issues.” (Added 5-17-2023)

Bishop meets with local departing Methodist churches” by Jeff Long via Southeast Missourian. “Representatives of six area congregations who have voted to disaffiliate from the United Methodist Church met Monday, May 15, in Cape Girardeau with Bishop Scott Jones of the Heartland Conference of the newly- organized Global Methodist Church (GMC).” (Added 5-17-2023)

Providing an alternative to toxic religion” by Martin Thielen via Baptist News Global. “While I applaud and celebrate this UMC “Lighthouse” effort, the need for alternative faith communities extends far beyond the United Methodist Church. Sadly, millions of people throughout America need healthy alternatives to toxic religion.” (Added 5-17-2023)

How the United Methodist Church is Fracturing Over Theology and Corruption” by Jon Harris via Conversations that Matter Podcast (YouTube). An interview with Jeffrey Rickman. (Added 5-17-2023)

North Star Congregations Provide Purposeful Direction And Hope” via West Ohio Conference (UMC). “North Star Congregations are local churches in the West Ohio Conference that are prepared to welcome anyone whose church has closed or disaffiliated.” (Added 5-17-2023)

The faithful see both crisis and opportunity as churches close across the country” by Scott Neuman via NPR. “Last fall, the United Methodist Church office overseeing the congregation said Struthers had fallen behind in the money it pays for denominational support. It determined that the church was no longer a “vital congregation” and would have to close.” (Added 5-17-2023)

United Methodist churches in Pa. could cut ties over LGBTQ issues” by Ivey DeJesus via PA Patriot News. “One of the Pennsylvania branches of the country’s second-largest Protestant denomination on Wednesday will take up an issue that has become a schism, threatening to transform the approximately 30,000 churches nationwide.” (Added 5-17-2023)

Post by Warren Latham via Facebook. Shares a letter from the North Georgia WCA about the May 16 ruling that churches have a right to a disaffiliation vote if they want one. (Added 5-17-2023)

The General Church Membership Roll: staying connected to the present and future ministry of The UMC” via South Georgia Conference (UMC). “Disaffiliations from The United Methodist Church in the past year have left some faithful United Methodists who want to stay part of the denomination without a church home. In response, South Georgia Conference leadership has worked to make sure there is a place to call “home” – at least temporarily.” (Added 5-16-2023)

Global United Methodists (sic) Move Forward After United Methodist Split” by Carla Hinton via The Oklahoman (paywall). Coverage of a GMC Summit in Bethany, OK. (Added 5-16-2023)

Update on the Suspension of Bishop Minerva Carcaño upon Committee Work Completion” by Press Release via UM Insight. See also “Western UMC Leader Finds Request to End Bishop’s Suspension ‘Profoundly Troubling‘” (Added 5-16-2023)

Bishop Schnase– Litigation” via Vimeo. An explanation of the lawsuit against churches in the Rio Texas Conference. See also a related message by Kevin Reed, president of the Board of Trustees. (Added 5-16-2023)

Court lifts ‘disaffiliation’ vote ban on UMC North Georgia Churches” by Shelia Poole via Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I’m very pleased by the judge’s ruling,” said Gary Floyd, a member of The Fountain Church in Suwanee. “I personally want to give the membership the opportunity to vote.” (Added 5-16-2023)

UPDATE: Georgia churches have right to vote on leaving Methodists, Cobb judge rules” by Hunter Riggall via Marietta Daily Journal. [Paywall]. “A Cobb County judge ruled Tuesday that the United Methodist Church must allow 185 Georgia churches to vote on leaving the denomination.” Earlier report here. (Added 5-16-2023)

67 Arkansas churches leave the UMC” by Michael Gryboski via Christian Post. Coverage of the May 13 special session. (Added 5-16-2023)

Post via Baltimore-Washington WCA via Facebook. On the North Georgia ruling: “They will be able to have their church conferences, and the North Georgia conference will need to “hustle” to have them complete, according to the judge. NCLL filed on behalf of the 186 churches. The judge’s ruling was clear and strong in the fact that Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson’s “pause” was a violation of these churches limited contract rights. Though a slightly different case and argument than the issues being litigated by NCLL on behalf of the Baltimore-Washington Conference churches who want to disaffiliate, it is another example of a judge who was unpersuaded by the wide latitude that the UMC leadership is trying to assert outside of judicial oversight in attempts to stifle the moves of churches to realign out of the UMC.” (Added 5-16-2023)

Overheard: While the Cobb County Superior Court ruled that North Georgia Conference churches have a right to vote on disaffiliation, there is no special called session currently scheduled. With ten days notice required for a church conference, this only provides a two-day gap before the regular session will be held. (Added 5-16-2023)

Tweet by Jonathan Anderson: “Cobb County Superior Court rules in favor of 150+ [180] United Methodist churches in the North Georgia Annual Conference wanting the chance to vote on disaffiliation from the #UMC: [video link, see 9:25:00] (Added 5-16-2023)

Rio Texas Conference Asserts Fiduciary Responsibility in Legal Suit” via JPG. A Texas annual conference moves to seize the property of some 40 congregations seeking to leave without going though their disaffiliation process. (Added 5-16-2023)

Cooler and Calmer Heads” by Jay Therrell via WCA. “The United Methodist Church is going through a divorce. Divorces are hard and often extremely painful. This one certainly has been. As a local church pastor and a layperson who has walked with many couples going down that path, here are a few things we can say with certainty.” (Added 5-16-2023)

A View From Inside the UMC: Reflections on Bishop Bickerton’s Presidential Address” by Paul Stallsworth via Firebrand Magazine. “Were the bishops to be done with their denial and confess their complicity in the schism, healing and reconciliation would come to the church. Were the bishops to repent and depend upon God’s grace for forgiveness, there is no telling how much good among Methodists, including United Methodists and Global Methodists, would be divinely given. But first the bishops must overcome their denial.” (Added 5-16-2023)

Post by David DiSilva via Facebook. A UM clergy announces his intention to leave the UMC with an extended post in a clergy group. (Added 5-16-2023)

Petition to General Conference” by Haley Robinson et. al. via Google Docs. A petition to the UMC General Conference to grant sacramental rights to deacons. (Added 5-16-2023)

Methodists approve departure of some NEA churches” by Keith Inman via Jonesboro Sun. “As litigation over United Methodist Church property in Jonesboro continues, the church’s state governing body has granted permission to some Northeast Arkansas congregations to depart the worldwide Christian denomination.” (Added 5-16-2023)

Mass exodus: United Methodist churches disaffiliating” by Austen Shipley via Yellowhammer News. “In Montgomery, the Alabama-West Florida Conference of the UMC alone saw 193 congregations depart in a 24-hour period. Those 193 churches are 38% of the conference, 39% of its membership, and include nine churches with membership of more than 1,000.” (Added 5-16-2023)

Cobb hearing scheduled for lawsuit pitting 185 Methodist churches against denomination” by Hunter Riggall via East Cobb News. North Georgia hearing on the date of Trinity on the Hill’s forced church conference: “The first hearing in a lawsuit between 185 Methodist churches and their local governing body is scheduled for Tuesday morning in Cobb Superior Court.” (Added 5-16-2023)

May 6th Session Disaffiliating Churches” via Western North Carolina Conference. Final voting results show that all disaffiliating churches were approved by over 94% at the May 6 special session. (Added 5-15-2023)

Letter from Greg Porterfield to Trinity on the Hill (Augusta, GA). Letter calling a long-awaited church conference in North Georgia in compliance with a court order. (Added 5-15-2023)

Denominational Update” via Trinity on the Hill (Augusta, GA). “Our District Superintendent, Rev. Greg Porterfield, has scheduled a Church Conference on TUESDAY, MAY 16TH AT 7:00PM IN THE SANCTUARY for Trinity to vote on disaffiliation from the United Methodist Church.” (Added 5-15-2023)

[Updated with a PDF link] “Why the Debate on Whether to Leave Can bee More Intense Among Suburban UMC Churches” by Liam Adams via The Tennessean (PDF). “At UMC churches in suburban and urban areas dealing with questions of disaffiliation, there is less consensus among members and the votes for disaffiliation are closer.” (Added 5-15-2023)

Tweet by Mark Tooley: “Woodlands Church outside Houston might effectively be largest Methodist church in USA.” [link] (Added 5-15-2023)

Texarkana, Hope congregations separate from Arkansas Methodists” by Frank Lockwood via Texarkana Gazette. Southwest Arkansas media coverage. (Added 5-15-2023)

Press Release via The Woodlands Methodist Church (PDF). “(The Woodlands, TX) On Sunday The Woodlands Methodist Church (TWMC) announced its decision to affiliate with the Global Methodist Church (GMC) following a churchwide vote of members that resulted in the resolution passing by 96%. The vote far exceeded the self-imposed threshold of 66.67% needed to join the GMC and makes the 14,000-member congregation the single largest church to join the new expression of traditional Wesleyan Methodism.” (Added 5-15-2023)

United Methodist Church conference ratifies 67 Arkansas churches to leave denomination” by Paul Petitte via 4029TV. Local Arkansas coverage. (Added 5-13-2023)

67 Arkansas Methodist congregations get OK to exit” by Frank Lockwood via Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Coverage of the May 13 special session. (Added 5-14-2023)

More Alabama churches leave United Methodist, bringing total to around 500 since December” by Will Blakely via 1819 News. “The waves of disaffiliation are part of an ongoing process for individual congregations to choose whether to remain a part of the UMC, become independent, or join other Methodist denominations.” (Added 5-14-2023)

Vote Passes to Join the Global Methodist Church” via The Woodlands. Following a church-wide vote of 2,110 members, The Woodlands Methodist Church joins the Global Methodist Church, becoming its largest congregation. (Added 5-14-2023)

Suspended bishop moves toward church trial (Updated)” by Heather Hahn via UMNS. “While I regret that my complaint process has reached the place of an expected trial, I continue to have faith in our disciplinary procedures, and even greater faith in our God who does bring forth light in moments of darkness and healing in brokenness,” she said. “I am in prayer for a trial process that is led by our United Methodist commitment to fairness and justice.” (Added 5-14-2023)

Conference highlights Grace UMC as ‘Lighthouse Congregation’” by Josh Cotton via Times-Observer (Warren, PA). “It will still be a month before the Western PA Conference of the United Methodist Church will formally act on requests for churches seeking to disaffiliate. But the regional UMC conference is taking steps to welcome United Methodists impacted by this process.” (Added 5-14-2023)

Arkansas United Methodist conference OKs disaffiliations for all 67 congregations that voted to leave” by Frank Lockwood via Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Coverage of the May 13 special session. (Added 5-14-2023)

Overheard: Amid debate and often narrow voting, all 66 Arkansas disaffiliations were approved at today’s special session. (Added 5-13-2023)

Uncertainty!” by Cindy Hickman via UM Insight. “The United Methodist Church faces fracturing and shifting too as churches consider disaffiliation. Being United Methodist in Iowa once felt as “all in” as the annual church supper. “United” was more than our first name. It was how we felt when we came together at Annual Conference. We are (were?) a big franchise.” (Added 5-13-2023)

Overheard: The group of Arkansas Conference churches who voted over 80% was approved by 83.88%. See livestream. (Added 5-13-2023)

Overheard: An AR special session motion to amend the rules to exclude those congregations with less that 80% church conference vote from the block vote was approved by 61.6%. These congregations will be debated individually. See livestream. (Added 5-13-2023)

Overheard: Litigation costs for the Arkansas Conference to date have exceeded $212K from undesignated funds/assets and that this number may double. Bishop Merrill also reported that “innumerable” staff hours have also been spent on the lawsuits. See livestream. (Added 5-13-2023)

Methodist churches vote to leave UMC conference” by Robert Blankenship via Andalusia Star-News (AL). “Methodist congregations in Andalusia, Florala and Opp will worship together under new names after choosing to officially disaffiliate from the United Methodist Church. (Added 5-13-2023)

Methodists to decide 67 Arkansas churches’ exit” by Frank Lockwood via Texarkana Gazette. Coverage of the May 13 special session. See the original Arkansas Democrat-Gazette article here. (Added 5-13-2023)

[updated] Overheard: The Arkansas Conference of the UMC meets today for an in-person special session in Hot Springs to consider the disaffiliation of some 66 (Frank Lockwood reports 67) congregations. The agenda runs from 10am-3pm and a livestream via the Arkansas Conference YouTube Channel is planned. The last Arkansas special session was on November 19 when it rejected the request of 3 of the 38 churches seeking exit. This led to consternation, ugly lawsuits, and a congregation abandoning its property. None of the rejected churches reappear on today’s list. Jonesboro First remains an open wound with two congregations and two lead pastors vying for the property. Another very large UM congregation in Arkansas, Fayetteville, Central UMC, dropped its disaffiliation bid in favor of a plan for the pastors and staff to launch a new church (with a $500K grant), leaving the building to the UMC and a remnant. A South Fayetteville satellite campus is being spun off as an independent church. Another Arkansas Conference special session (via Zoom) is scheduled for October 15, 2023. (Added 5-13-2023)

2023 Proposed Church Disaffiliations” via Baltimore-Washington Conference (UMC). This list of 22 congregations to be considered for disaffiliation on June 1 does not include those congregations in litigation. (Added 5-12-2023)

Have We Lost Sight of the Middle? [UMC]: A Resolution for Annual Conference Consideration” via by Shelly Walters via Hacking Christianity. Removing language abut human sexuality is actually a via media, shifting the UMC car from reserve into neutral. (Added 5-12-2023)

Post by Jimmy Boone via Facebook. A clergy who tracks disaffiliations puts today’s total at 3,164. (Added 5-12-2023)

A Catechism of Christian Faith and Doctrine for the Global Methodist Church” via Seedbed. “Seedbed is pleased to partner with the The Global Methodist to offer this indispensable resource to the present and future membership of the church.” (Added 5-12-2023)

Are All Divisions of the Devil?” by Rob Renfroe via Good News. Response to a comment by Bishop Graves: “And even Jesus said that divorce is permissible in cases of adultery.” Very few UM pastors would say that divorce (the division of a marriage) in those circumstances is “of the devil.” Sad, yes. A last resort, yes. But, of the devil, no.” (Added 5-12-2023)

Auburn-Opelika churches share stance with United Methodist after 193 churches disaffiliate” by Lauren Johnson via aunow.com. “We do not have kind of a super majority of thinking. So because of the diversity of our membership, and I guess other things like that, that led to the vote for our administrative board,” Smith said. (Added 5-12-2023)

There’s now yet another option for churches leaving the UMC” by Mark Wingfield via Baptist News Global. Coverage of White’s Chapel (South Lake, TX) launching the Methodist Collegiate Church, a new denomination. (Added 5-12-2023)

Overheard: Information on the May 11 online special session of the Texas Annual Conference (Houston vicinity) is difficult to find online at this hour. See here for a screen shot listing twenty churches being considered after massive earlier disaffiliations. While we await a report, the “Pre-Conference Meeting 4.24.23 Recording” offered by the Texas Annual Conference in preparation for their regular annual conference session provides a time capsule of how a UMC AC seeks to move forward after large numbers have departed. (Added 5-12-2023)

Methodist Bishop Wants to ‘Stop Talking About Disaffiliations’ After 2,800 Churches Leave” by Emily McFarlan Millerr via Christianity Today. CT picks up a religion reporters coverage of the recent COB meeting. (Added 5-12-2023)

Post by Vaughn Stafford via Facebook. Important context on the 5/11/2023 North Alabama Conference vote from a key leader among disaffiliating churches. (Added 5-12-2023)

Trust and Obey? Well, Maybe Not So Much…” by Scott Field via Northern Illinois WCA. Broken Trust is the theme of Part Two in a 3-part series on why people want to leave the UMC: Dissent, Disrupt, and Disobey is the playbook of UMC Leadership. (Added 5-12-2023)

Black caucus draws closer to African partners” by John Coleman via UMNS. “The Rev. Antoine Love, chairperson of the Black membership caucus, cited the potential “global-ness” of BMCR’s efforts to connect with African United Methodists, as it participates in “building relationships and connections for greater Kin-dom work.” (Added 5-12-2023)

Cary Stockett Addresses Issue Facing Area Methodist Churches” by Nell Luter Floyd via North Side Sun (Jackson, MS). A pastor recruits folks upset by their congregation’s decision to disaffiliate. (Added 5-12-2023)

A message from Bishop Easterling on Disaffiliation” via Baltimore-Washington Conference (YouTube). “It is hard to fathom that anyone actively participating in the UMC has not had access to disaffiliation information.” Addresses churches that want to leave but cannot afford to. (Added 5-12-2023)

A Response to the Century UMC Narrative” via Alabama-West Florida Conference. “Century UMC states that they were shocked at the increased financial obligation. The Alabama-West Florida Conference Board of Trustees handled this disaffiliation in the same manner they did all other 192 disaffiliations.” (Added 5-12-2023)

Saturday is Sorta Important” by Jeffrey Rickman via PlainSpoken Podcast (YouTube). How will the next Arkansas Special Session go after the last one resulted in lawsuits and contention? “Also, the Heartland TCAT of the Global Methodist Church is going to be holding a two-day event called The Summit, which will end with the ordination of a new class of clergy.” (Added 5-12-2023)

Northwest Arkansas United Methodist Churches discuss disaffiliation” via 4029TV. “United Methodists of Arkansas is hosting an annual conference special session on May 13 to decide if churches looking to separate can do so.” (Added 5-12-2023)

A Church Trial, Not a ‘Just Resolution,’ Will Be Best for Suspended Bishop and the UMC” by Cynthia Astle via UM Insight. “Given what observers have uncovered during 14 months of investigation, a church trial with all its strain probably affords the better solution for the sake of both transparency and accountability. That’s because “just resolution” often functions as a non-disclosure agreement, burying the truth in the UMC’s practice of confidentiality surrounding complaints.” (Added 5-12-2023)

Tweet by Mark Tooley: “I expect 5000 churches to exit United Methodism before this year’s deadline. When denomination officially liberalizes next year I expect another 1000 churches to exit by buying or abandoning their property. There were 30,000 United Methodist churches in 2020.” (Added 5-12-2023)

Another 132 North Alabama United Methodist churches disaffiliate: Trussville, Helena, Gardendale” by Greg Garrison via AL.com. “The North Alabama Conference had 638 congregations at the start of the day on Dec. 10, and 440 at the start of the day on May 11. The departures on Thursday night left 308 churches still in the North Alabama Conference…” (Added 5-12-2023)

Faithbridge Affiliation Vote” via Faithbridge Church (Franksville, WI [Racine County]). One of the largest UM churches in Wisconsin votes by 99% to join the GMC after a 93.7% vote to disaffiliate. (Added 5-11-2023)

Mainline Protestantism vs Christian Nationalism” by Mark Tooley via Juicy Ecumenism. “Climate activist Bill McKibben, in an article for The New Yorker, commends Mainline Protestantism as an antidote for Christian Nationalism. He doesn’t realize that the demographic and spiritual collapse of Mainline Protestantism is partly responsible for the rise of Christian Nationalism.” (Added 5-11-2023)

Bishops call for General Conference in 2026” by Heather Hahn via UMNS. “As they deal with rising church disaffiliations, United Methodist bishops see a need for the denomination’s top lawmaking body to meet three times between 2024 and 2028. In the meantime, the denomination’s finance agency is asking the church court to reconsider its ruling [that another GC is necessary].” (Added 5-11-2023)

Exit, Altar Right. 193 Parishes Ditch the United Methodist Church” by Lincoln Brown via PJ Media. “Since then, I have watched Episcopal churches across the nation, (including the one in which I was baptized and raised) eviscerate themselves because they have chosen to follow the Will of the Woke instead of the Will of God. And it appears that the United Methodist Church may be heading down that same path.” (Added 5-11-2023)

Affirming Methodism Introduction” via Affirming Methodism Podcast (YouTube). Clergy in Light of Christ UMC in Charlotte, NC start a monthly podcast: “Rev. Marianne Romanat and Dr. Brittany Bethel introduce Affirming Methodism and share their vision for the podcast.” (Added 5-11-2023)

These Idaho churches are breaking away from the United Methodists over LGBTQ rights” by Scott McIntosh via The Idaho Statesman (Yahoo News). “In all, four churches in Idaho, one church in Oregon and 11 churches in Washington are leaving the United Methodist Church over the issue of homosexuality.” (Added 5-11-2023)

“‘There’s been a lot of tears’ | A Greensboro pastor explains his decision to part ways with the United Methodist Church” by Itinease McMiller via WFMY News. North Carolina: “Tabernacle United Methodist is one of 72 churches in the Triad to disaffiliate with the UMC over the views on sexuality.” See also on YouTube. (Added 5-11-2023)

Christ Methodist Church in Milton paid $65,000 to disaffiliate with United Methodist” by Brent Kearney via WEAR News. “I was very pleased and proud of our church for taking a stand for the conservative views of the Bible,” Billy Ezell, parishioner said. (Added 5-11-2023)

Methodist Church sets annual conference in Williamsport” by Pat Crossley via Williamsport Sun-Gazette: “The United Methodist Church has been going through some difficulties and it’s our hope that this theme is optimistic and shows that we’re going to be moving on from the division and doing something new, something different, something a little bit better in the coming year,” [Susquehanna Communications Director] Lennox said. (Added 5-11-2023)

Disaffiliations approved by annual conferences” via UMNS. An official tally of UMC disaffiliations: 2996 to date. (Added 5-10-2023)

Interview With Neal Stephenson (Summarily fired from Vici UMC)” by Jeffrey Rickman via PlainSpoken Podcast (YouTube). “After making remarks in frustration against the UMC’s Book of Discipline in worship, he was summarily fired by the conference, locked out of the church, and his family was removed from membership in the local church. It was at that point a couple months ago that I contacted and interviewed him.” (Added 5-10-2023)

What does it look like when my church starts over? | Dr. Oliphint & Dr. Casad” via the More Than Sunday Podcast (First UMC, Richardson, TX) YouTube. “In this episode our More Than Sunday host, Rohini Drake, is joined by Dr. Clayton Oliphint and Dr. Vic Casad, who share their unique experiences and perspectives on some difficult topics. In this episode, we ask, “What does it look like when my church has to start over?” Join us as we discuss what disaffiliation means to the United Methodist Church.” (Added 5-10-2023)

“A Potentially Momentous 2024 General Conference” Webinar Event via United Methodist Association of Retired Clergy. A May 18 webinar featuring Karen Oliveto, Jeremy Smith, Betty Kazadi, Dave Nuckols, and Karen Prudente. (Added 5-10-2023)

193 churches in Alabama, Florida leave United Methodist Church” by Michael Gryboski via Christian Post. “regional body of The United Methodist Church has voted to approve the disaffiliation of 193 congregations in Alabama and Florida, joining nearly 3,000 churches that have recently left the mainline Protestant denomination.” (Added 5-10-2023)

Connecting Local Churches Together” by Walter Fenton via GMC. “Within a year, the Global Methodist Church has witnessed the formation of eight provisional annual conferences in the U.S. and one each in Bulgaria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the Philippines. The North Alabama Provisional Annual Conference and the Alabama-Emerald Coast Provisional Annual Conference are the newest, commencing operations in May.” (Added 5-10-2023)

Conference Intervention in Vici” by Jeffrey Rickman via Substack. “After making remarks in frustration against the UMC’s Book of Discipline in worship, he was summarily fired by the conference, locked out of the church, and his family was summarily removed from membership in the local church.” (Added 5-10-2023)

Dothan church joins new denomination, but mission stays the same” by Aaron Dixon via WDHN. Focuses on Covenant Church in Dothan, a mega-church, joining the GMC. (Added 5-10-2023)

The United Methodist Collective” via Western North Carolina Conference. “A new hybrid (online and in-person) missional faith community of the NC Conference of the United Methodist Church.” (Added 5-10-2023)

Tweet by John Lomperis: “Leading #UMC Bishop who extracted MAJOR concession$ for liberals in “Protocol” now says “This season of disaffiliations must come to a close.” If separation “cannot remain our work” – have #UnitedMethodist bishops considered stopping their bullying that drives people out?” [link] (Added 5-10-2023)

Vote tally nearly complete: United Methodist “separation” headed for passage” by Nancy McLaughlin via Greensboro News & Record. “With 96% approval on Monday and just 50 votes remaining to be counted, the motion approving the breakaway of almost 200 United Methodist churches in western North Carolina appeared headed for passage.” See also WGHP coverage here. (Added 5-10-2023)

Breakaway Texas UMC megachurch reveals plans for new Methodist denomination” by BeLynn Hollers and Emily McFarlan Miller via Religion News Service. “At least 50 churches from six different states already have reached out to White’s Chapel about joining the Methodist Collegiate Church, he said, but the church must wait until its annual conference approves its disaffiliation before the church can invite other churches to officially join the collegium. ” (Added 5-9-2023)

Historian urges bishops: Reclaim ‘vile’ heritage” by Heather Hahn via UMNS. “Our job here is not to set up The United Methodist Church for today or even tomorrow,” she said. “It’s our job to set up The United Methodist Church for 100 years from now. … In 100 years, I don’t want future generations to think, ‘Wow, 2023, they really had a shot if only they would have taken it.’” (Added 5-9-2023)

Special called session approves 13 disaffiliations from the PNW Conference” by Patrick Scriven via Greater NW News. “The Pacific Northwest (PNW) Conference of The United Methodist Church met on May 7, 2023, to consider disaffiliation requests from 13 local churches. The meeting took place over Zoom, with members casting their votes through a separate online voting platform provided by GNTV.” (Added 5-9-2023)

Interview with Jason Sutfin (Preparing For The Arkansas Annual Conference)” by Jeffrey Rickman via PlainSpoken Podcast. “Jason Sutfin is an ordained elder in The United Methodist Church, currently serving in the Arkansas Annual Conference. As the UMs in Arkansas prepare for their next Special Called session on May 13, Jason wanted to help me understand the different dynamics at play there. This obviously intersects with the reporting I did on last year’s session, which refused to ratify the disaffiliations of three churches.” (Added 5-9-2023)

SIE17: Gonna Make You Love Me with Darryl Dayson” via Bar of the Conference Podcast. “Darryl is a face of the current and future UMC. In this episode, we talk about ministry as a young clergy person, race, affirmation of queer inclusion and more. Darryl’s perspective will remind you of God’s abundance and call us to take more risks for the sake of the Gospel.” (Added 5-9-2023)

Rio Texas Annual Conference Calendar: “Disaffiliating churches must submit the required paperwork and payments to their district superintendents on or before Wednesday, May 24, 2023 for those congregations to be considered for recommendation at the June 8 Annual Conference under ¶2553.” (Added 5-9-2023)

A Message from your District Superintendent” by Emily Hotho via Gulf Central District Newsletter (FL). “But lately I’ve been saying to myself, “Disaffiliation doesn’t get to be the headline anymore in the Gulf Central District.” We’re happy to help churches in their discernment process; I love giving presentations, meeting with church councils, or talking with individual members who have questions about disaffiliation. But there’s got to be a deeper “why” beyond the churches’ decisions to stay or leave.” (Added 5-9-2023)

192 North Carolina congregations leave United Methodist Church” by Michael Gryboski via Christian Post. “The 192 congregations represent around 15% of the number of member churches for the conference. The spokesperson told CP that the regional body expects “a lesser number of churches” to seek disaffiliation in November.” (Added 5-9-2023)

Alabama-Emerald Coast Provisional Conference of the Global Methodist Church Website. A September 8-9 convening celebration is planned. (Added 5-9-2023)

The Charism of the Wesleyan Movement” by Ryan Danker via Firebrand Magazine. “Sometimes church battles leave lasting scars that are difficult to overcome. I can see this happening now within the difficulties of American Methodism, difficulties that often are caused by a lack of charity and need not be inflicted.” (Added 5-9-2023)

Pastors react to local congregations leaving United Methodist Church” by Brady Talbert via WSFA. Alabama coverage: “It’s very sad,” Smith said. “These are churches that are near and dear to my heart. These are places where I have worshipped and served and been a pastor in some places, and it’s very sad.” (Added 5-9-2023)

UMC bishops meet, request for 2026 General Conference among other decisions” via COB Press Release. “The bishops responded to the Judicial Council decision…by approving a resolution to propose a 5-day General Conference in May 2026 that would focus on re-establishing connection, lament and healing, celebration, recasting the mission and vision for The United Methodist Church, and considering a more regional governance structure to support the mission and vision of the church for the current and future realities within the world and church.” “The bishops were informed that a task force regarding Paragraph 413 will be reporting to them within a month on its recommendations for criteria and a specific process for how to handle complaints against bishops are held and report on possible legislation regarding the issue.” (Added 5-9-2023)

The Best of Times, the Worst of Times” by Jay Therrell via WCA. A transcript of Jay Therrell’s presidential address to the recent WCA Legislative Assembly. (Added 5-9-2023)

The Third Schism: Reframing the Debate” by David Watson via Firebrand Magazine. “Endless ecclesiastical warfare covers us in shame. If we recognize where the real differences are, perhaps this will not be our fate. Having identified the root of our differences, it would be possible for us to move forward realistically and productively. The disagreements dividing the church are deep and will often necessitate distinct denominational communions. They cannot be smoothed over by political or legal maneuvering.” (Added 5-9-2023)

Post by Bishop Mark Webb (GMC) via Facebook: “Visited Churches in Eastern Slovakia, then trip to Ukraine border, Budapest and finally Vienna. 3 countries (a few meters away from a fourth) all in one day. Inspired by the leaders and members of the Slovak Provisional District of the Global Methodist Church. Heard amazing testimony about the ministry with and among Ukrainian refugees. Thanks to Rev. Gabi Kopas our presiding elder in Slovakia and her husband, Samir for their wonderful hospitality!” [photos] See also Ordination Service. (Added 5-9-2023)

Tweet by Jeremy Smith: “Former UM pastor @JeffreyRickman is taking the #UMC signage off his @ok_umc church that recently disaffiliated. But the speciality screw head used by the previous generation of faithful UMs was intended to never be reversed. There’s a sermon here.” (Added 5-8-2023)

Tweet Thread by Emily McFarlan Miller: “It was a busy weekend for United Methodists…” (Added 5-8-2023)

Tweet by Mark Tooley: “Total number of United Methodist congregations that’ve voted to exit almost certainly over 4000 as hundreds await ratification by their local conference.” (Added 5-8-2023)

Tweet by Mark Tooley: “Hypothesis: United Methodism in Deep South is mostly over.” [link] (Added 5-8-2023)

UMC bishops request 2026 General Conference as hundreds more churches disaffiliate” by Emily McFarlan Miller via Religion News Service. A round-up of a busy news week for the UMC, including the COB meeting and disaffiliations. (Added 5-8-2023)

33 churches split from United Methodist” via Buffalo News. “Today several congregations decided they needed to leave The United Methodist Church. Although we do not desire anyone to leave, I wish nothing but God’s best for them,” Bishop Robert Schnase of the Rio Texas conference said in a news release. (Added 5-8-2023)

The First Disunited Disaffiliated Church of the AR-15” by Richard Bryant via UM Insight. Lamenting gun violence: “So change the signs as we drop the “United” from our name. Instead, why not add something that says, “Welcome to the First Disunited Disaffiliated Church of the AR-15.” Then, at least, we would be honest.” (Added 5-8-2023)

[corrected] “Media Information for the May 7 Alabama-West Florida Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church
Special-called Session
” via Alabama-West Florida Conference. A press package issued by a conference that just experienced the disaffiliation of 193 congregations (37%), representing 35% of the worship attendance. (Added 5-8-2023)

Post by Pat Hatton via Facebook. “Buried deep in the May 21-23 program for the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference is this list of eight churches seeking approval to disaffiliate.” [photo] (Added 5-8-2023)

Bishop Carter shares preliminary results of disaffiliation vote in letter to the Western NC Conference” via Western North Carolina Conference. “The following are preliminary vote totals from the online votes: Approve Disaffiliation for 192 churches – approximately 96% Disapprove Disaffiliation for 192 – approximately 4%. (Added 5-8-2023)

UMC bishops meet; request for 2026 General Conference among other decisions” via UMNS. Among other business, the bishops ask for a five-day General Conference in 2026 and “reflected on the meaning of full communion relationships with other denominations, the essential concept of “mutual recognition”, and the obstacles that misinformation and disparagement place in the way of full communion.” (Added 5-8-2023)

Post by Jimmy Boone via Facebook. Latest disaffiliation totals from a clergy who tracks them. 2817 is his current running total. (Added 5-8-2023)

Covenant among 193 churches out of United Methodist denomination” by Ken Curtis via WTVY. Alabama coverage: “Several Southeast Alabama churches are among 193 that officially split from the United Methodist Church on Sunday. Among those is Covenant, one of Dothan’s largest churches.” (Added 5-8-2023)

NIC Annual Conference Legislation 2023” via Northern Illinois Conference. Petitions include suggested BOD update on LGBTQ policy, “outrage” for the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and the disaffiliation of ten churches: Calvary UMC (Stockton), McConnell UMC (McConnell), Faith Evangelical (Elmhurst), Naperville Korean (Naperville), Fenton UMC (Fenton) Plano UMC (Plano), First Korean UMC (Wheeling), Van Brocklin-Florence UMC (Freeport), La Luz UMC (Elgin), and Willow UMC (Willow). Deadline for considering disaffiliation is June 30. (Added 5-8-2023)

Dozens of Florida churches break ties with United Methodist Church over ordaining LGBTQ+ clergy” by Susan Giles Wantuck via WUSF Public Media. “Churches in the greater Tampa Bay region are breaking away from the United Methodist Church following divisions over beliefs and the ordaining of LGBTQ+ clergy. The break-up has been a long time coming…” (Added 5-8-2023)

LGBTQ leadership & marriage the crux of church member decisions to stay or go from UMC” by Ryan Bailey via MySaline.com. A summary article in an Arkansas news outlet. (Added 5-8-2023)

Church Disaffiliation, Homosexuality & The Methodist Church” by Josh Lloyd via YouTube. An interview clip with UM pastor, Dana McKim. (Added 5-7-2023)

Pacific Northwest Conference Livestream Link. Thirteen disaffiliations approved. (Added 5-7-2023)

Post via Oak Grove UMC (Facebook): “Representatives of the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference met in a special session May 6 to vote on disaffiliation petitions submitted by three churches from our area. Bishop Cedrick Bridgeforth (photo) presided over the session. More than 200 delegates from Oregon and Idaho churches met on Zoom. In a two-hour gathering, the assembly approved disaffiliation petitions from churches in Fossil, Oregon; plus Castleford and Eagle in Idaho by overwhelming majorities – 95+ percent for Fossil and Castleford, and 85+ percent for Eagle. On Sunday, May 7, delegates to the Pacific Northwest Annual Conference will meet to consider disaffiliation petitions from 13 churches there. The churches chose to leave under temporary UMC provisions adopted in 2019. The provisions allow churches to leave for reasons of conscience related to same-sex marriage or the ordination of LGBTQ+ clergy, while retaining their buildings and property. The exit provisions expire at the end of 2023.” Comment: Fossil UMC: Yes 204, No 10; Castleford UMC: Yes 211, No 7; Eagle UMC: Yes 189, No 27 (Added 5-7-2023)

Post by Taylor Watson Burton-Edwards via UM Clergy Facebook Group. “Because we’ve received hundreds of inquiries about this at Ask The UMC, I thought it would be helpful to share how this is SUPPOSED to work per the Book of Discipline…. The bottom line is the ONLY way to be ENTIRELY removed from The UMC is transfer.” (Added 5-7-2023)

Methodist Conference Votes to Allow Churches to Leave over LGBTQ Issues” by Sue Erwin via The Sun (Port Charlotte). Florida coverage. (Added 5-7-2023)

‘Division is of the devil,’ United Methodist bishop says as 193 churches disaffiliate” by Greg Garrrison via AL.com. “This is heavy stuff,” said Bishop David Graves, head of the Alabama-West Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church. “It’s overwhelming and at times it’s paralyzing.” (Added 5-7-2023)

Post by Steve Ricks via Friends of the GMC Facebook Group. Reporting the names of 193 churches approved for disaffiliation from the Alabama-West Florida Conference. The voting margin was about five to one in favor. (Added 5-7-2023)

Hundreds of Churches Look to Separate from the UMC” by Daniel Crews via WFMY. “As I have stated before, we are not enemies,” said Resident Bishop Ken Carter of the Western Conference of the United Methodist Church. “By action of the annual conference you will be free to be an independent church or a global Methodist church or a southern Methodist church or part of some other denomination. That is your work to do.” Voting results expected next week. (Added 5-7-2023)

Methodist North Georgia Conference must let Augusta churches proceed with disaffiliation, judge says” by Andrew Schwartz via Chattanooga Times Free Press. “But disaffiliation advocates describe the Columbia County Superior Court orders Wednesday in favor of Trinity on the Hill United Methodist Church and Mann-Mize United Methodist Church as boding well for the larger suit, which was filed in a different county.” (Added 5-7-2023)

Post via WCA of North Georgia Facebook Page: Additional details on the Trinity on the Hill ruling and what it bodes for the larger lawsuit filed by 186 other churches against the North Georgia Conference to restart the disaffiliation process. (Added 5-7-2023)

Overheard: The lone Alaska congregation seeking disaffiliation at the May 6 AC session was approved by a vote of 42-2. (Added 5-7-2023)

Post by Greg Thomas via Facebook. “The Rio Texas District approved the disaffiliation of 33 churches this morning. Out of the several hundred people voting, only a dozen or so voted against it… The churches were voted on as a group, not individually. The 32 churches on the list below were approved, plus Utopia, which was late getting on the list. The next vote will be in June at the Annual Conference in Corpus Christi. Some of the larger churches will be voted on there. ” [photo] (Added 5-6-2023)

Overheard: Thirty-three churches were approved for disaffiliation this morning from the Rio Texas Conference. Eighty-five more are currently in the process. Of those previously in the process, 14 failed to reach the 2/3 church conference vote needed for exit. (Added 5-6-2023)

The Decline of Mainline Churches in America (2023)” via Ready to Harvest (YouTube). Report on the decline of the American Mainline, including the UMC. (Added 5-6-2023)

Post by John Turner via Facebook. “The VA Annual conference called session just approved the disaffiliation of 64 churches by a vote of 90%. That makes around 107 churches have left the VA UMC since October 2022. It didn’t have to come to that.” (Added 5-6-2023)

Post by Jimmy Boone via Facebook. “I just watched the Western NC Special session. Very peculiar….voting is done AFTER the session is complete via e-mail, with a mail in option also available, so results will not be known until next week.” (Added 5-6-2023)

Overheard: The Illinois Great Rivers Conference approved all twenty-eight disaffiliations by margins ranging from 81% to 94% in a special session held via Zoom at 10 am Central Time today, May 6. The lowest approval margins were for the following churches: Belleville St. Matthew (85%), Champaign New Horizon (83%), Decatur Grace (83%), Geneseo First (83%), Olney First (88%), Troy (86%). Peoria Bradley Epworth (87%), Washington Crossroads (81%), and Marion Aldersgate (85%). The highest approval margins were for some of the smallest churches. (Added 5-6-2023)

www.globalmethodist.world: Wesleyan Network for Global Mission Website. “The Wesleyan Network for Global Mission exists to support local churches on a global level in the the completion of the Great Commission through identifying and calling forth Apostolic leaders, equipping in best practices, aiding local churches in scalable stages of becoming Great Commission Churches, and through fanning the flame of Scripture informed, worship-based prayer.” (Added 5-6-2023)

Methodist Exodus | Christian World News – May 5, 2023” via CBN (YouTube). “…what’s behind the exodus from the United Methodist church.” (Added 5-6-2023)

52 local congregations to leave United Methodist Churches” via WKRG (YouTube). “A third of nearly 600 United Methodist Churches in the southern half of Alabama and western portion of the Florida Panhandle have voted to disaffiliate from the denomination.” (Added 5-6-2023)

United Methodists to vote Saturday on allowing some churches to leave” by Nancy McLaughlin via Greensboro News & Record. “United Methodists are undertaking a historic vote today that would likely mean almost 200 churches would break away from the denomination.” (Added 5-6-2023)

Can’t have 2 First UMCs, lawyer contends” by Keith Inman via The Jonesboro Sun. “A group that claims to be the “real” First United Methodist Church of Jonesboro should not be allowed to intervene in a lawsuit to decide ownership of church property, the plaintiff in the lawsuit contends.” A trial is scheduled for Jan. 29, 2024. (Added 5-6-2023)

Faith & Values: On division” by Brian Sixbey via The Virginia Gazette. UM Clergy: “But for now, I want to point out that what makes this “split” or disaffiliation different is that the United Methodist Church has a trust clause on every church, meaning that this is the first time congregations could leave with their property. Previously, congregations could leave the denomination, but they would forfeit their property.” (Added 5-6-2023)

Group of UMC churches prepare to withdraw from denomination over gay rights Saturday” by Daniel Pierce via Queen City News. Charlotte, NC coverage of the May 6 special session. (Added 5-6-2023)

Arkansas vote set on more Methodist church separations” by Frank Lockwood via Arkansas Democrat Gazette. “We expect to have between 75-100 churches that will have completed the [Arkansas United Methodist Conference] discernment and disaffiliation process and be on the ballot seeking ratification at the May Special Session of the Annual Conference. The Annual Conference will meet next Saturday in Hot Springs in Horner Hall of the Convention Center at 10 a.m.,” conference spokeswoman Amy Ezell said Tuesday. (Added 5-6-2023)

Special Oklahoma Disaffiliation Conference: An Analysis” by Jeffrey Rickman via PlainSpoken Podcast (YouTube). “Jeffrey attended the Oklahoma Annual Conference’s “Special Called” session on April 22 with the lay leaders of the churches he serves in Nowata and Delaware, alongside TJ who attended as press. The four of them gathered to discuss what they experienced on the day of the conference, and what lessons they thought they learned that might be pertinent to people in other conferences struggling to ratify disaffiliations.” (Added 5-6-2023)

Tweet Thread by Brian Felker Jones: Florida Conference cabinet policy against retired clergy “regularly and/or serve[ing] in a disaffiliated church” (5th paragraph) seems particularly hurtful and vindictive.” (Added 5-5-2023)

Live Webstream of May 6 Special Session” via Illinois Great Rivers Conference. “…this is for the live [10 am Central Time] webstream… here for the convenience of visitors and guests. This page will not provide interactive processes (such as voting).” (Added 5-5-2023)

Same-Sex Wedding Prompts Bishop to Act” by Tom Lambrecht via Good News. “It is unknown why Bishop Lewis seems to have taken a firmer stand in the Mississippi case than she did in the Virginia case.” (Added 5-5-2023)

Suspended bishop moves toward church trial” by Heather Hahn via UMNS. “The Council of Bishops has no plans to intervene in the case at this stage of the denomination’s judicial process.” (Added 5-5-2023)

UMC Bishop Demands Clergy Credentials” by Jeffrey Rickman via PlainSpoken Podcast (YouTube). “United Methodist Bishop James Nunn recently sent a letter that has requested that all clergy that have disaffiliated from The United Methodist Church to turn in their credentials or be charged with disobedience to the BOD. According to the Bishop the recent judicial council decision does not impact this request. Clergy who refuse to submit their credentials before May 6th 2023 (The letter was sent on May 2nd), will be charged with paragraph 2702.1d and “do not have the right to a fair process”. Join us as we take a look at the Bishop’s demands and the recent Judicial Council rulings.” (Added 5-5-2023)

Korean leaders voice hope for church, despite exits” by Thomas Kim via UMNS. “He drew the most attention during the webinar when he cautiously projected the possibility of creating a Korean annual conference, even though there is no language for an annual conference based on any ethnic/racial conference because of the pain around the segregated Central Jurisdiction experience in the history of the Methodist Church in the United States.” (Added 5-5-2023)

Conference smaller, more nimble with 365 churches” via Oklahoma Conference (UMC). Summary of a recent special session where 55 disaffiliations were approved. (Added 5-5-2023)

Court rules in favor of Augusta church suing to disaffiliate from United Methodists” by Alexandra Koch via Augusta Chronicle. “These rulings could not have been better for Trinity,“ said Dan Parr, president of the North Georgia Wesleyan Covenant Association. “We all celebrate with Trinity and lift our praises of thanks to God for this development.” (Added 5-5-2023)

[Updated] Overheard: Weekend Special AC Sessions to approve disaffiliations: May 6: Alaska (1), Illinois Great Rivers (28, this is the first of two special sessions and 3 churches exited previously by other means, including the largest), Oregon-Idaho (3. This is the first special session), Rio Texas (33, an additional church left in 2022), Virginia (64, this is the second of three special called sessions this year [one also in 2022] with 44 previously approved 33 at a 2/18/23 special session where one church (New Town) was denied) and Western North Carolina (192, with 41 previously approved for disaffiliation and another session planned for November 4). May 7: Alabama-West Florida (193. this is the second of three special sessions with 35 previously approved) and Pacific Northwest (13. This is the first session with another expected in the fall). See this UMNS Chart of disaffiliations by conference. (Added 5-5-2023)

Post by Bishop Mark Webb (GMC) via Facebook. “Blessed to be in Slovakia and spend time with leaders and members of The Global Methodist Church. [photos included] (Added 5-5-2023)

Global Methodists Take the Gospel ‘Beyond These Walls’” by John Lomperis via Juicy Ecumenism. “In refreshing contrast to various United Methodist conferences I have attended over the years, “Beyond These Walls” was devoid of hijacking the church for political agendas, embarrassed avoidance of challenging but clear Scriptural teachings, and unbiblical theology.” (Added 5-5-2023)

Digital Resource Guide” via Global Methodist Church. “…we send you this digital resource guide to help your local church understand who we long to be as connected congregations of the Global Methodist Church. Please use this, and subsequent guides, and so join with your brothers and sisters all around the world in fulfilling the Global Methodist Church’s mission…” (Added 5-5-2023)

Trinity on the Hill wins injunction to disaffiliate with United Methodist Church” by Susan McCord via The Augusta Press. “An Augusta church won a preliminary legal battle in its efforts to disaffiliate from the United Methodist Church.” (Added 5-5-2023)

Their church is leaving the UMC fold. They found refuge in a nearby ‘Lighthouse.’” by Yonat Shimron and Emily McFarlan Miller via Religion News Service. “The United Methodist Church is turning its attention to taking care of those who want to remain and rebuilding and fortifying its ranks.” (Added 5-5-2023)

52 local congregations to leave United Methodist Church” by Peter Albrecht via WKRG. “[On Sunday] 193 congregations will leave the Alabama – West Florida Conference. More than 50 (listed below) are in the WKRG News 5 viewing area.” (Added 5-5-2023)

Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?” by Scott Field via Northern Illinois WCA. “Inasmuch as United Methodism overall and the Northern Illinois Conference in particular has strongly aligned itself with “Progressive Christianity”, it is a different religion from what St. Vincent of Lérins described as “what has been believed everywhere, always, and by all.”” (Added 5-5-2023)

4 Reasons to Join the GMC” via Iowa WCA (YouTube). “Rev. Tom Shinkle & Rev. Mike Morgan share four reasons for you and your congregation to join the Global Methodist Church. From Consistency of Doctrine to an emphasis on Local Ministry, the future of the GMC is exciting for all churches.” (Added 5-4-2023)

Denomination Update” by Larry Moss via Trinity on the Hill UMC (Augusta, GA). “I am thankful to report that Judge Jolly has found that the Superior Court of Columbia County has jurisdiction to hear Trinity’s case. This is a great and very significant milestone in our effort.As a result of Judge Jolly’s ruling, Rev. Porterfield has been ordered to call a church conference for Trinity in keeping with paragraph 2553 of our Book of Discipline.” (Added 5-4-2023)

Update on the suspension of Bishop Minerva Carcaño upon committee work completion” via California-Nevada Conference. “We regret that a just resolution has not been attained,” said Bishop Dottie Escobedo-Frank, President of the Western Jurisdiction College of Bishops. “The Committee on Investigation has completed its process, has identified five charges per Paragraph 2702.1 and has assigned bill of charges for trial.” (Added 5-4-2023)

WCA Global Legislative Assembly” via Facebook Live. Video recording of the 2023 online legislative assembly of the Wesleyan Covenant Association. New council members elected. (Added 5-4-2023)

GMC Thursday Night Live with Dr. Sterling Allen & Bishop Scott Jones” via YouTube. Bishop Jones interviewed. (Added 5-4-2023)

Contempt” via Baltimore-Washington WCA Facebook Page. “This is the sentiment that we are now experiencing from the leadership of the UMC. We believe it was always there, but we never felt the full force of it until now. It’s serious hatred for traditionalists, but most of all the GMC.” (Added 5-4-2023)

Consent Agenda for May 22, 2023 Special Session” via Tennessee – Western Kentucky Conference (UMC). “During the TWK called Special Session of the 2022 Annual Conference on May 22, 2023, voting members will be asked to approve the requests from 162 churches to disaffiliate from the UMC. There currently are 840 churches in the TWK Conference. (Added 5-4-2023)

North Georgia Conference to Appeal Motions” via North Georgia Conference. “The Columbia County Court has granted motions for injunctions ordering the North Georgia Annual Conference to allow Mann-Mize United Methodist Church (interlocutory injunction) and Trinity on the Hill United Methodist Church (temporary injunction) to proceed with the disaffiliation process. While these decisions are disappointing, they are not final decisions on the merits of these lawsuits.” (Added 5-4-2023)

Almost 200 western NC Methodist churches leaving the denomination over LGBTQ+ issues” by Michael Gordon vial The Charlotte Observer. “A liturgical union irrevocably broken ends in divorce on Saturday when almost 200 United Methodist churches across western North Carolina are expected to leave the denomination.” (Added 5-4-2023)

Letters From Our Viewers – “How Are You Getting Away With This?”” by Jeffrey Rickman via PlainSpoken Podcast (YouTube). “…we’ve been getting some great questions recently that we would like to address. Here is a response to two of those questions from one of our viewers.” (Added 5-4-2023)

Post by Bishop Sharma Lewis via Facebook. Photos of a welcome and anointing service for newly elected UMC bishops. (Added 5-4-2023)

District Clergy Gathering” via Harbor District of the North Carolina Conference (UMC). Bishop Shelton schedules a district clergy meeting on the 5th Avenue UMC property seized and forcibly closed by the conference as the church sought disaffiliation. (Added 5-4-2023)

Churches leaving United Methodist Church over LGBTQ issues” by Ben Singson via Journal Courier (Jacksonville, IL). “However, United Methodist churches have wed gay couples in the past, and some LGBTQ members, including a nonbinary drag queen lay preacher from Bloomington, have been considered for ordination.” (Added 5-4-2023)

Gammon Theological Seminary Embarks Upon a “Brand New Day.” via Gammon. ITC’s President Matthew Williams expressed, “This painful but necessary decision to declare financial exigency was made after a thorough review of the institution’s current financial situation, continued historical challenges, and projections for the future.” (Added 5-3-2023)

New caucus supports African bishops, regionalization” by Eveline Chikwanah via UMNS. “Keynote speaker Bishop Mande Muyombo of the North Katanga Area expressed the views of most African episcopal leaders by vowing that The United Methodist Church will continue on the continent even after next year’s top legislative assembly, General Conference, meets and by resolving not to support any proposed legislations that calls for dividing or dissolving the church.” (Added 5-3-2023)

Tensions Mount Around Bishop Carcaño’s Suspension” by Jeffrey Rickman via PlainSpoken Podcast. A follow-up to a prvious post. (Added 5-3-2023)

Conflicting actions sought on bishop’s suspension” by Heather Hahn via UMNS. “The Book of Discipline’s Paragraph 413 now says that if upon receiving a complaint against a bishop, the college of bishops doesn’t act within 180 days, the Council of Bishops must set up a panel to step in.” (Added 5-3-2023)

Post by Jessica LaGrone via Facebook: On the 1st Birthday of the GMC: “This is not a fledgling. Not a splinter. Not a “wait and see.” This is a move of God. In a single year. One of the biggest challenges right now is the number of major international groups wanting to contact, ask questions, work through logistics, and join with us. I’ll take that over other challenges I’ve faced in connectional work in the past.” (Added 5-3-2023)

Letter by Bishop Jimmy Nunn via Oklahoma Conference (UMC). In spite of recent Judicial Council rulings: “Should you [clergy] elect not to submit your credentials in their entirety or send a statement that you have lost them by May 6, 2023, I will file a complaint against you under ¶2702.1d, “disobedience to the order and discipline of the United Methodist Church.” Since you no longer hold membership or credentials in the United Methodist Church, you do not have the right of fair process.” (Added 5-3-2023)

Interview With Drew Ensz (UMC Elder Under Complaint for 3 Years)” by Jeffrey Rickman via PlainSpoken Podcast. “Rev. Drew Ensz is clergy in the Virginia Annual Conference. Has been awaiting a church trial for years after having been brought up on charges for conducting the legal wedding ceremony of two gay men in his capacity as clergy of a college ecumenical ministry… As another who had drawn the attention of Bishop Lewis, Rev. Ensz is eager to tell his story and to advocate for change within The United Methodist Church.” (Added 5-3-2023)

Global Methodist Movement Turned One Year Old May 1, 2023!” by Marty Boddie via YouTube. A video post celebrating the first anniversary of the GMC. (Added 5-3-2023)

Pastoral Openings” via Florida Provisional Conference (GMC). A list of Florida pastoral openings. (Added 5-3-2023)

Beyond These Walls Conference Propels Missions” by Paul Lawler via GMC. “The Global Methodist Church recently served as the primary sponsor of the Beyond These Walls Conference, drawing over 600 participants from the United States, Europe, Asia, South America, and Africa to the campus of The Woodlands Methodist Church in the Houston, Texas metroplex.” (Added 5-3-2023)

Letter by Cynthia Weems via Florida Conference. Incoming assistant to the bishop: “Retired clergy persons who seek to worship regularly and/or serve in a disaffiliated church are no longer in good standing with The United Methodist Church nor in covenantal relationship with their fellow United Methodist clergy. In these instances, withdrawal from membership in The Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church according to ¶ 360.1 is appropriate.” (Added 5-3-2023)

Bishop Graves Message – May 2023” via South Georgia Conference (Vimeo). A video message from the bishop upon the release of the list of 193 disaffiliating churches. (Added 5-3-2023)

Tweet Thread by Brian Felker Jones. “The #UMC General Superintendents (@UMCBishops) are meeting in-person for the 1st time since COVID & the #GMC founding. Yesterday, I listened to the President’s Address, but couldn’t put my finger on something that seemed odd. Reading this in Heather Hahn’s recap clarified it…” [scant mention of Jesus is Bishop Bickerton’s address]. (Added 5-3-2023)

First round of United Methodist disaffiliation has arrived” by Vicki Hyatt via The Mountaineer. Fifteen percent of churches in the Smokey Mountain District of the Holston Conference have departed the UMC. (Added 5-3-2023)

Michigan United Methodists see more churches depart over LGBTQ+ issues” by Hayley Hardins via Hastings Tribune (originally published in The Detroit News behind a paywall]. “Mark Doyal, spokesperson for the Michigan conference of the United Methodist Church, confirmed that as of Monday — the deadline for churches looking to disaffiliate by June’s annual conference — 58 of the state’s 721 United Methodist Churches would be disaffiliating, or about 8%.” (Added 5-3-2023)

Joint Announcement: The General Board of Global Ministries and the East Africa Episcopal Area Restore Relationship” via Global Ministries. The long GCFA financial embargo against Bishop Wandabula has ended, allowing church funds to flow to that episcopal area once again. [GCFA had previously conditioned the end of the embargo upon the bishop’s resignation. GCFA lowered the bishop’s salary until the Judicial Council ruled in Decision 1298 they must restore the funds. In the stalemate that followed, the fledgling church in four annual conferences had suffered from lack of financial partnership.] David Scott of GBGM has argued that the “Wandabula case represents a surprising point of convergence between American United Methodists’ concerns about episcopal accountability related to gay marriage and gay ordination and Africans’ concerns about accountability related to finances.” (Added 5-3-2023)

Retired Clergy and the Ghost of BT Roberts” by Bob Phillips via PeopleNeedJesus.net. Punitive actions against retired UM clergy serving in GMC settings runs counter to sanity and the evangelistic mandates of the Gospel. (Added 5-3-2023)

Finding “Unity in Christ” amidst pains of disaffiliation” via Greater New Jersey Conference (UMC). “On Saturday, October 22, 2022, First Korean UMC in Cherry Hill, New Jersey voted to disaffiliate from the United Methodist Church. It was a decision that left many members heartbroken, disenfranchised, and searching for a new spiritual home. That same day, they reached out to then Central District Superintendent and current Bishop Hector Burgos…” (Added 5-3-2023)

The Troubles” by Jim Ferguson via The Knoxville Focus. “Frankly, I don’t want to know about my minister’s sexuality, nor do I want Church sanctioned gay marriages. I categorically support civil same-sex unions with equality under the law. But that’s not good enough for the truly intolerant who demand I must agree with them. And although the progressive activists have been continually defeated, they have co-opted the “go along to get along crowd,” and now my Church is in full schism.” (Added 5-2-2023)

Legal forum offers guidance for time of schism” by Heather Hahn via UMNS. “Berlin was speaking at a legal forum April 29 that brought together United Methodist conference leaders to discuss best practices in handling church disaffiliations, as the second largest Protestant denomination in the U.S. undergoes a splintering after decades of internal strife over LGBTQ inclusion.” (Added 5-2-2023)

What should a local church do if its leaders have lost hope in the UMC disaffiliation process?” via Dalton & Tomich (YouTube). “Many church leaders are disappointed and frustrated with how the disaffiliation process has played out. In this video, Dan Dalton discusses what your church should do if your leaders have lost hope in the process.” (Added 5-2-2023)

A Movement Away from Denominationalism: What’s It Mean for Us?” by Ben Cachiaras via The Christian Standard. “The trend is undeniable: Churchgoers are leaving denominational churches, and denominational churches are leaving denominations.” (Added 5-2-2023)

Special Guest Chaplain Bob Phillips” via Cedar Grove UMC (YouTube). Bob Phillips addresses a Southern Illinois congregation. (Added 5-2-2023)

“Pick Your Fight, Pastor” The National Council of Churches and the Work Left To Do” by Princeton Theological Seminary (YouTube). “Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie, Interim General Secretary and President of the National Council of Churches, discusses hopes for the future of mainline Protestantism in an era of historic disaffiliation from Christian churches; as well as whether it is possible to build bridges across lines of difference even while staking out prophetic stands on urgent questions of justice.” See also “Does Institutional Christianity Have a Future? | Future of American Democracy Series” with Russell Moore and Adam Russell Taylor. See also “The Church in a Nation Divided: Perspectives on Faithful Leadership Today” featuring Bishop Karen Oliveto and others. (Added 5-2-2023)

Congregational Meeting #1 (4.26.23)” via Lake Magdalene UMC (YouTube). Gulf Central District Superintendent Emily Hotho gives a presentation to a local church. (Added 5-2-2023)

Town Hall” via St. Luke’s UMC (Hartsville, SC) (YouTube). A congregation discusses the direction of the UMC and the possibility of exit. (Added 5-2-2023)

55 Florida Methodist Churches in Florida Refusing To Accept LGBTQ+ People” by Queer News Tonight via YouTube. LGBTQ-focused coverage of Florida disaffiliations. (Added 5-2-2023)

Update on the Oklahoma United Methodist Called Conference to vote on Disaffiliations” by Matt Morgan via YouTube. The pastor of Community Brookside offers analysis of the churches that were voted out of the UMC on April 29. (Added 5-2-2023)

California-Nevada clergy respond to calls to lift their bishop’s suspension” via Hacking Christianity. Sharing an Open Letter: “While there are, without a doubt, those within the California-Nevada Conference who would welcome Bishop Carcaño’s return to active service, we believe that her return to active service as Resident Bishop of the California-Nevada Conference without the accountability required by a Just Resolution agreement or the findings of a trial court, would create a depth of conflict and division that could undermine the mission and ministry of the Annual Conference for years to come.” (Added 5-2-2023)

United Methodist Alliance for Transgender Inclusion (UMATI) Facebook Group. “UMATI exists to challenge the United Methodist Church (UMC) to live into its visionary policy of being a church free from gender discrimination at every level, equipping and empowering people to transform our church and society into places that celebrate gender diversity.” (Added 5-2-2023)

Conversation with the Global Methodist Church” via Christ Church Memphis. Pastor Paul Lawler interviews Keith Boyette as a large disaffiliated Memphis congregation discerns its future alignment. (Added 5-2-2023)

Post via Global Methodist Church Facebook Page: “2400 clergy. 2000 churches + growing: It’s been one year since the Global Methodist Church launched. Today, we are a growing movement of the Holy Spirit making disciples of Jesus Christ who worship passionately, love extravagantly, and witness boldly.” (Added 5-2-2023)

Lawyer: Church lawsuit ‘in chaos’” by Keith Inman via Jonesboro (AR) Sun. On Jonesboro First case: “In summary, this case is in chaos,” attorney Daniel P. Dalton wrote Monday in a brief to Special Judge Gary Arnold, who was appointed by the state Supreme Court to hear the case… Dalton said the Arkansas Conference improperly obtained the Social Security numbers of those individuals and the subpoenas are a form of intimidation. He wants an emergency hearing to quash those subpoenas.” (Added 5-2-2023)

Special Called Session – May 21, 2023” via South Georgia Conference (UMC). On Monday, May 1, conference leadership released the resolution that conference members will be voting on. 193 churches are requesting to disaffiliate from The United Methodist Church. (Added 5-2-2023)

‘This is not right’: Pastor says United Methodist Church decision to close small church was unfair” by Michael Gryboski via Christian Post. “Struthers United Methodist Church, a congregation with a membership of 87 and average weekly worship attendance of around 35 to 40 people, was recently told by local UMC officials that they will be permanently closed on May 21.

A Window Into the Future” by Jay Therrell via WCA. The Minnesota Conference’s “Living and Leading Together” offers a glimpse into the future of the UMC. (Added 5-2-2023)

Michigan United Methodists See More Church Departures Over LGBTQ Issues” via Detroit News [paywall]. “Nearly five dozen Michigan churches plan to disaffiliate from the United Methodist Church amid a rift over LGBTQ+ issues …” (Added 5-2-2023)

Schism or not, what’s next for the huge, disrupted global Anglican Communion?” by Richard Ostling via Get Religion. “The fiercely-worded declaration states that all four entities foster liberalism that undermines the Bible’s “truthfulness, clarity, sufficiency and authority.” Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby is no longer recognized by these Anglicans as their faith’s world leader.” (Added 5-2-2023)

Announcement of Online Special Annual Conference Session” by Day Davis via Arkansas Conference (UMC). “Bishop Laura Merrill, with concurrence of the District Superintendents and in accordance with ¶603.5 of The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church, has called for a Special Session of the Arkansas Annual Conference to be held Sunday, October 15, 2023, from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm via Zoom in the event of a request by the conference Board of Trustees to present disaffiliation agreements for consideration by the Annual Conference.” (Added 5-2-2023)

Amid exits and misinformation, change is a chance for hope and renewal” by Tara Barnes via United Women in Faith. “Know, too, that United Women in Faith is and remains the official women’s organization of The United Methodist Church. This does not mean you must be United Methodist to be a member—it means our theology and practices of faith align with those of The United Methodist Church.” (Added 5-2-2023)

Firebrand Big Read: Theological Bankruptcy: An Open Letter to Traditionalists” by Jason Vickers via Firebrand Magazine. “I cannot help wondering whether those who “piled on” the De La Torre-is-a-heretic bandwagon could actually offer a compelling defense of ransom, substitution, or satisfaction views of the atonement.” | “In recent years, theological education has become a race to the bottom.” (Added 5-2-2023)

United Methodist bishops meet, look to pivot after 2,400+ churches disaffiliate” by Emily McFarlan Miller via Religion News Service. “There’s no doubt in this room that the second wave of disaffiliations has taken a toll. In conversations with many of you, it’s not hard to sense the fatigue, the disappointment, the anger, the sadness, the confusion within us all,” [Bickerton] said. (Added 5-2-2023)

Letter by Bishop John Schol via Eastern PA Conference. “Earlier this week, EPA was notified that fifty churches filed a “writ of summons” against us. This indicates that the churches are seeking more information from us as they consider filing a formal lawsuit.” (Added 5-2-2023)

Amid Rupture, Bishops Called to Renew Church” by Heather Hahn via UMNS. Coverage of Bishop Bickerton’s Address as UMC Council of Bishops convenes for its first in-person meeting since COVID. (Added 5-1-2023)

Creative Congregations Navigate UMC Division” by Chris Ritter via PeopleNeedJesus.net. Some churches are moving beyond “winner take all.” Let’s not forget allowances in our polity for multiple denominational affiliations. (Added 5-1-2023)

Post by Lonnie Brooks via Facebook: Alaska lay leader: “We United Methodists are witnessing a revival of it [the Vietnam War era idea of destroying a village in order to save it] among extreme Progressives in our Church.” (Added 5-1-2023)

Tweet by Emily McFarlan Miller: Quoting Bishop Bickerton: “”We should anticipate less bishops, reconfigured boundaries, reformed agencies and a revised work plan to achieve our mission. We cannot work with what is not there.” #UMC” (Added 5-1-2023)

Monday Mid-Morning Session” via UMC Council of Bishops Facebook Page. Includes an address by COB president Thomas Bickerton. The afternoon session begins at 2 pm central time and is a closed session. (Added 5-1-2023)

Tweet Thread by Emily McFarlan Miller: Religion reporter live tweets from the Council of Bishops morning session. “United Methodist bishops are in Chicago this week for their first in-person meeting since the COVID-19 pandemic began. http://unitedmethodistbishops.org/newsdetail/umc-bishops-to-meet-in-person-april-30-to-may-5-first-since-2019-17410006 Welcome to the city, bishops! Let me know if you’d like to meet or grab coffee while you’re here. #UMC” (Added 5-1-2023)

Tweet by Mark Tooley: “This article proposes Mainline Protestantism as antidote to Christian Nationalism without realizing Christian Nationalism partly resulted from Mainline Protestantism’s implosion.” [link] (Added 5-1-2023)

Post by Jeff Greenway via Facebook: “Happy first anniversary to The Global Methodist Church to those already in, and those coming our way! It is hard to believe it’s been a year! We’ve had many incredible servant leaders (many of whom remain unnamed) helping to midwife, birth, and now form this new expression and movement of Methodism! Much has been accomplished in a very short time! The best is yet to come!” (Added 5-1-2023)

Moss Bluff church votes to not break ties with the United Methodist Church” by Andrea Robinson via KPLC. “Church members held the vote Sunday afternoon, April 30, with about 60% voting to stay with UMC.” (Added 5-1-2023)

TikTok via @firstchurchbirmingham. A progressive church celebrates its inclusivity. See also here, here, here and here. (Added 5-1-2023)

TikTok via @mrsoberger: “Thankfully, most of the UMC is choosing love over doctrine.” (Added 5-1-2023)

TikTok via Kelly Finch: Pastor: “Queer Fear,” Fundamentalism, and a desire for financial control behind what is happening currently in the UMC. (Added 5-1-2023)

Leadership for the Church we’re Called to be with Katie Dawson” via Bar of the Conference Podcast. ““I honestly think a big part of the division in the United Methodist Church right now is…a conversation about what’s essential and what’s not essential.” See also “Creating Hope as We Walk with Rev. Dr. Lydia E. Muñoz“, “A Global Future for the UMC with Mighty Rasing“, “Beyond Performative Allyship with Caleb Parker” and “Laity for All People with Laura Witkowski.” (Added 5-1-2023)

Tweet via Jeremy Smith (Seattle): “I guess we… fill in the blank?” [photo of a church that removed “United” from its name and left the empty space.] (Added 5-1-2023)

Tweet via Scott Knowlton: “An interesting case study about to unfold. Our #UMC in the final stages of leaving and another 4 miles away taking a bold preemptive strike against us staking out their ground.” (Added 5-1-2023)

Schism within Florida Methodist Church over same-sex marriage” by Jolena Esperto via WINK (Ft. Myers). “Alex Shank, the assistant to the bishop of the Florida Methodist Conference, admits the possibility that the conference may allow for same-sex marriage as soon as 2024. “We want all churches to remain United Methodist; that is our hope, and we’ve provided a pathway for that to take place,” Shank said. “But we understand that some have chosen not to. We honor them.” (Added 5-1-2023)

Close to 200 North Carolina churches will ask to leave the United Methodist Church over gay rights issues” by Steve Doyle via Fox 8 (Greensboro, NC). “During a virtual special session on May 6, 192 churches in the North Carolina Western Conference – about 69 of them from the Piedmont Triad – will ask that their requests to leave the denomination be accepted and that they be allowed to continue to meet in buildings where some of them have sung and prayed for decades.” (Added 5-1-2023)

Methodists Moving Forward in South Georgia” by David Donnan. Developments in South Georgia as the GMC conference moves toward a July 27 convening AC session there. (Added 4-29-2023)

Hundreds of congregations exit United Methodist Church at regional conferences” Jeffrey Swindoll via Not the Bee. “Those that left the UMC on Saturday made up approximately 10 percent of churches in the Oklahoma Conference and 21 percent of members in the Holston Conference which spans East Tennessee, Southwest Virginia, and North Georgia.” (Added 4-29-2023)

Methodists Need a Charismatic Upgrade!” by Pete Bellini via Firebrand Magazine. “Many of us Methodists, while being spent fighting for orthodoxy, which is a good thing, have missed out on the outpouring of the Spirit over the last two-hundred years. We have a lot of catching up to do, a charismatic upgrade.” (Added 4-29-2023)

The big tent? – Differences in attitudes among pastors influence church discussions” by Chuck Niedringhaus via Resource UMC. “The State of the Church Report, prepared by the Connectional Table for General Conference, provided a rare glimpse of United Methodist attitudes and perceptions.” (Added 4-29-2023)

A Conversation with Pastor Adam | Part 1 | Rev. Adam Hamilton” via YouTube. at 59:00 he addresses the status of the UMC, signals that the UMC may simply remove all language about homosexuality at General Conference. (Added 4-29-2023)

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Affiliation with the Global Methodist Church” via The Woodlands. A very large Texas church shares materials related to a recommendation to join the GMC. (Added 4-29-2023)

Global Methodist Church Transitional Training” via Forney Methodist Church. A Texas Church offers a series of training videos to manage the transition to the Global Methodist Church. (Added 4-29-2023)

Apportionments in the Global Methodist Church” by Jeff Pospisil via YouTube. The former treasurer of the UMC Dakotas Conference talks about how GMC Connectional Funding is different from UMC apportionments. (Added 4-29-2023)

The World Goes On While the UMC Splinters” by Cynthia Astle via UM Insight. “While the UMC has been in the throes of a nasty break-up combined with concerns about current institutional injustices and future governance, the world has rocketed on, still needing the love of Christ in every moment.” (Added 4-29-2023)

How St. Luke’s Survived Efforts to Thwart Its Exit Plans” by Carla Hinton via The Oklahoman. [paywall] (Added 4-29-2023)

East TN United Methodists finalize split with ‘traditionalist’ churches” by WBIR Staff (Knoxville). “After years of disagreements between members over their views on same-sex marriage, sexuality and biblical authority, the Holston United Methodists held a special conference to finalize a split with 264 congregations to allow them to leave the denomination.” (Added 4-29-2023)

United Methodist Church split over LGBTQ+ marriage and ordination” by Shannon Clowe via WTSP (Tampa). St. Petersburg coverage. Andy Oliver: “”We are a church that officiates same-sex marriages and we do so because it’s the right thing to do,” Oliver added.” (Added 4-29-2023)

Florida churches split from Methodist denomination over LGBTQ+ inclusion” by Juan Carlos Chavez via Tampa Bay Times. “While the biggest sources of contention have been the bans on same-sex marriages and ordaining openly LGBTQ+ clergy, local pastors and spiritual leaders told the Tampa Bay Times that there are more fundamental divides.” (Added 4-29-2023)

This and That: Church Separation is a Matter of Concern” by columnist Jeff Wallace. “We are supposed to be spreading the word of Christ throughout the world, not bickering with one another.” (Added 4-29-2023)

Moss Bluff United Methodist Church holding vote to break away from UMC over same sex-marriage” by Devon Distefano via KPLC7 News. Louisiana local coverage. (Added 4-29-2023)

Methodist Exodus Gets Ugly: Judge Rejects Case by 71 FL Churches, PA Conference Sues Local Church” by Steve Warrren via CBN News. “”But despite all this and the weight of impending court proceedings, the church is still surviving. Isn’t it ironic that a church organization like the UMC wishes to keep people from worshiping? It really comes down to power and money. They hold the power and want the money,” Yetter continued.” (Added 4-29-2023)

Methodist churches share thoughts on disaffiliation decisions” by Matthew Sasser via Laurinburg Exchange. North Carolina local coverage. (Added 4-29-2023)

More Methodists Leave UMC Over Liberal Theology, LGBTQ Issues” via Decision Magazine. “The United Methodist denomination (UMC), torn by liberal theological drift and an increasing acceptance of LGBTQ-affirming churches, continues to lose waves of conservative congregations.” (Added 4-29-2023)

Bitter Medicine: Conservatives Lack Of Connectionalism” by Jeffrey Rickman via PlainSpoken. The second installment of a series aimed at correcting problems among conservative Methodists. See also “Realities of Church Membership (in Depth)” (Added 4-28-2023)

‘Our best days are ahead’: Hope follows somber disaffiliation vote” by Annette Spence via via The Call (Holston Conf.). Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett stepped before the surprisingly still full grand sanctuary of Central United Methodist Church and smiled. “I remind us that today the sky has not fallen.” (Added 5-13-2023)

Methodism’s Messy Divorce” by John Lomperis via National Review. “How deception collapsed a big tent.” (Added 4-28-2023)

Struthers Methodist Church forced to shut its doors” via WKBN27 (YouTube). Youngstown, Ohio coverage of a forced church closure in the East Ohio Conference. See also here. (Added 4-28-2023)

United Methodist Bishops Can No Longer Hold Complaints in Abeyance” by John Lomperis via Juicy Ecumenism. “This pulls the rug out from under a main tactic that bishops have recently used to protect liberal activist clergy who choose to violate the UMC’s biblical standards on marriage and sex.” (Added 4-28-2023)

It’s All in the Attitude” by Nan Smith via UM Insight. Retired Iowa Clergyperson: “The question becomes, what are people hearing and how are people reacting to this new understanding of the United Methodist Church.” (Added 4-28-2023)

Bishop James Swanson Named Bishop-in-Residence at United Theological Seminary” via United Theological Seminary. “As Bishop Swanson began his new role at United on April 1, Bishop Emeritus J. Michael Lowry continues to serve as a member of the Board of Trustees and will serve as Bishop Emeritus at Large for United Theological Seminary.” (Added 4-28-2023)

Two Churches, Two Faiths” by Rob Renfroe via Good News. “So, if we have fundamentally different views of Jesus within the UM Church, we don’t simply have different theologies within one church, we have different faiths.” (Added 4-28-2023)

Ethicist speaks to disaffiliation struggle” by Sam Hodges via UMNS. “He weighed in on specifics, such as whether a pastor committed to leaving the denomination should help decide annual conference matters, but offered his overall hope that the different sides in the conflict will “leave the judgment to God and let each other go in peace.” (Added 4-28-2023)

UMC Bishops to meet in person April 30 to May 5” via COB Press Release. “In their first in-person meeting since 2019, the Council of Bishops (COB) will meet April 29 to May 5, 2023, to tackle the future of The United Methodist Church, welcome new bishops who were elected in November last year, and work on other topics such as disaffiliations and fighting racism.” (Added 4-28-2023)

GCFA Requests Reconsideration on Judicial Council Decision No. 1472” via GCFA Press Release. “Part of the request invites the Judicial Council to consider a differing interpretation of the Book of Discipline.” (Added 4-28-2023)

Open Letter to the Council of Bishops” via MARCHA. “We write to you today to express our continued pain and deep disappointment for the extended and unprecedented suspension of Bishop Minerva Carcaño.” (Added 4-28-2023)

Urgent request from GCORR Board regarding Bishop Carcaño’s suspension” via GCORR. “The Board of Directors for the General Commission on Religion and Race is deeply troubled by the Western Jurisdiction’s ongoing suspension and treatment of Bishop Minerva Carcaño, the first female Latina bishop in the UMC, regarding complaints filed against her.” (Added 4-28-2023)

Leadership body reconsiders restructuring plan” by Heather Hahn via UMNS. “The Connectional Table, which has stewardship of the denomination’s mission, ministry and resources, is now re-examining its proposed restructuring.” (Added 4-28-2023)

United Methodists ‘crushed’ after being left behind by disaffiliating churches” by Greg Garrison via AL.com. “As conservative-leaning churches leave, the denomination is expected to eventually change the language and rules restricting LGBTQ members of the United Methodist Church.” (Added 4-28-2023)

As split looms, Forsyth UMC pastor move seen as ‘hard ball’” by Will Davis via My MCR (Forsythe, GA) “Some members of Forsyth United Methodist Church (UMC) say they think their denomination is replacing their pastor of the past two years to try to keep the church from breaking away from the increasingly liberal hierarchy.” (Added 4-27-2023)

UMC top court rules disaffiliating clergy don’t automatically lose credentials” by Emily McFarlan Miller via Religion News Service. “A Wisconsin bishop had required clergy whose churches were disaffiliating to give up their jobs or their credentials.” Picked up by ChurchLeaders.com. (Added 4-27-2023

Fact From Fiction: UMC Trust Clause – A Case Analysis” via GCFA. “The trust clause, first envisioned by John Wesley over 200 years ago, continues to be regularly enforced by courts.” (Added 4-27-2023)

Embodying Hospitality in Public Witness, Allendale UMC Seeks to Build a New Kind of Faith Community” by Cynthia Astle via UM Insight. (Added 4-27-2023)

Churches Grow More Vocal about Staying or Leaving UMC” by Jessica Brodie via UM Insight. (Added 4-27-2023)

Philippines Bishop Ousts Disaffiliating Leaders” via UM Insight. (Added 4-27-2023)

United Methodist Africa Forum Sets Priorities, Names Leaders” by Press Release via UM Insight. “The UMAF also affirmed and approved the election of the leadership team of UMAF, which includes Rev. Lloyd Nyarota as the General Coordinator, Regional Coordinators, General Secretary, Associate Secretaries, Treasurer, and Advisors.” (Added 4-27-2023)

Church and Society Spring 2023 Board Meeting Highlights” by Jeffrey Corey via Church & Society. “Church and Society’s board approved 36 petitions to General Conference to readopt resolutions that would expire under the Book of Discipline’s eight-year rule (¶510.2a). The resolutions, which had been adopted by the 2016 General Conference but without action, would expire due to the delay in holding the 2020 General Conference.” (Added 4-27-2023)

Global Ministries meetings focus on mission in Africa” by Jim Patterson Von a UMNS. “Roland Fernandes, who leads Global Ministries, said the board received “some very honest and open feedback” on efforts to move the church in Africa toward greater self-sustenance. (Added 4-27-2023)

In a time of division, two United Methodist Churches become one in Memphis” by Katherine Burgess via Commercial Appeal. “uerst founded Bluff City Church about five years ago at the direction of McAlilly, after Fuerst was fired from Christ Church Memphis. Christ Church has since voted to disaffiliate from the denomination.” (Added 4-26-2023)

Harvest Church scores huge victory in Methodist dispute” by Ken Curtis via WTVY (Dothan, AL). (Added 4-26-2023)

The GM Church Beyond the US” by Keith Boyette via GMC. “Whether in Africa, Asia, Europe, or the U.S., too many local churches find themselves locked in the UM Church because their bishops and annual conferences are not acting on their disaffiliation requests or the terms offered them are so onerous and financially prohibitive it makes an exit – with their property and assets –nearly impossible. Nevertheless, they continue to prayerfully persevere as they explore every possible pathway to the Global Methodist Church.” (Added 4-26-2023)

Tweet by Mark Tooley: “Rather than destroy congregation, a creative solution: traditionalist majority keeps building & leaves United Methodism while funding new United Methodist congregation led by its pastor.” [Link] (Added 4-26-2023)

Intense Discussion Challenged Exit Plan for United Methodist Churches” by Carla Hinton via The Oklahoman.

Disaffiliation Reporting Guide” via Virginia Conference (UMC). Churches up for disaffiliation on May 6. (Added 4-26-2023)

Court: Bishops can intercede in complaints” by Heather Hahn via UMNS. (Added 4-26-2023)

Rulings address LGBTQ resolution, Congo special session” by Heather Hahn via UMNS. ““It is only in the context of ongoing or imminent civil or criminal proceedings that abeyance can be contemplated,” the decision said.” (Added 4-26-2023)

Court rules on exiting clergy and churches” by Heather Hahn via UMNS. “Clergy who leave The United Methodist Church do not surrender their clergy credentials unless they are facing some other disciplinary action, the denomination’s top court ruled.” (Added 4-26-2023)

Post by Matthew Conover via Facebook. Shares a letter by Iowa Bishop saying the conference should be the only source for disaffiliation information. (Added 4-26-2023)

Family-friendly Drag Show at Christ United Methodist Church in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Added 4-26-2023)

Waiting for General Conference 2024: What I see as an African” by Simon Mafunda via WCA. (Added 4-26-2023)

Optimism rings as Alcoa United Methodist Churches approved to disaffiliate over deep theological divide” via WVLT (Knoxville). (Added 4-26-2023)

My Churches Disaffiliated from the UMC” by Jeffrey Rickman via Plainspoken Podcast (YouTube). (Added 4-25-2023)

On Invasions of the Church” by Aaron Edwards via The American Reformer. (Added 4-24-2023)

Learning from the UMC’s Mistakes” by John Lomperis via First Things. (Added 4-24-2023)

Rifts between conservatives, progressives intensify at United Methodist Church” by Abby Walton via News Channel 9 (Knoxville). (Added 4-24-203)

UMC conference approves disaffiliation of 264 Tennessee churches” by Anugrah Kumar via The Christian Post . (Added 4-24-2023)

Letter from Bishop Jimmy Nunn. “We have received questions about United Methodist clergy participating in ordination services for clergy who have joined another denomination.” (Added 2-24-2023)

Florida Methodist Conference to vote Saturday on potential exits of 55 churches” by Gary White via The Ledger (Lakeland, FL) (Added 4-23-2023)

New pastor appointed to FUMC-Jonesboro” via KAIT. (Added 4-23-2023)

Letter to the editor: Reasons for Methodist disaffiliation” by Victoria Gregory via Tribune-Review. (Added 4-23-2023)

264 United Methodist churches seeking disaffiliation in the Holston Conference” by Kayla Hackney via Johnson City Press. (Added 4-23-2023)

264 United Methodist churches leave Holston Conference” by WJHL (YouTube). (Added 4-23-2023)

Amid national wave, 264 East Tennessee and Virginia churches leave UMC following vote” by Liam Adams via The Tennessean (Yahoo News) (Added 4-23-2023)

In East Tennessee, United Methodist split is now official” by Andrew Schwartz via Chattanooga Times Free Press. (Added 4-23-2023)

Bishop Files Charges Against Clergy for Performing Non-binary Wedding” by Jeffrey Rickman via Plainspoken Podcast (YouTube). (Added 4-23-2023)

Post by Jimmy Boone via Facebook. An updated tally of disaffiliated churches. (Added 4-22-2023)

May 2023 Local Church Disaffiliations” via Alabama-West Florida Conference. A list of 193 churches to be considered for disaffiliation on May 7. (Added 4-22-2023)

Overheard: As of December 31, 2021, the average attendance at all weekly in-person worship services by the 55 disaffiliating Florida Conference churches was 12,094. This is 20% of the total weekly in-person worshiping attendance of the Florida Annual Conference of 59,568.

Overheard: In special sessions today, 264 Holston AC churches were approved for exit. The Florida and Oklahoma AC each approved 55 exits. (Added 4-22-2023)

How do United Methodists use pronouns and names for God and for people?” via UM Communications. (Added 4-22-2023)

Post via Laity Sharing Network 1 Facebook Group. Shares that 242 Holston Conference churches are seeking exit, with others not making the list due to the intricacies of the process. (Added 4-22-2023)

‘Real’ 1st United Methodist Church intervenes in conflict” by Keith Inman via Jonesboro Sun. (Added 4-21-2023)

Ahead of next United Methodist vote; which Oklahoma churches will exit, which must stay?” by Carla Hinton via The Oklahoman. “St. Luke’s, the largest United Methodist house of worship in the state, and three other churches — First United Methodist-Altus, Antlers United Methodist and Claremore United Methodist — had hoped to formally sever denominational ties at a disaffiliation meeting set for Saturday in Oklahoma City.” (Added 4-21-2023)

Tweet by Mark Tooley: “In 2021 USA United Methodism, before 1000s of churches exited, lost over 500,000 members, 6.2 mil to 5.7 mil, having lost 200,000 members annually in 2020 & 2019. With exits 2022-2023, UMC now surely below 5 mil. In 10 yrs UMC may not exist except as endowment & property.” (Added 4-21-2023)

Reflections of a Former FUMC Pastor by Dr. Karl K. Stegall to members of First United Methodist Church, Montgomery, Ala., Wednesday, April 19, 2023” (PDF) see also here. (Added 4-21-2023)

Departing from the Faith” by Rob Renfroe via Good News. (Added 4-21-2023)

Different Trajectories of Separation “ by David Scott via UMNS Commentary. (Added 4-21-23)

Tweet by John Lomperis: “This article hints at a very important, under-reported back story in the #UMCsplit : the BIG role official #UnitedMethodist campus ministries + higher-education schools have had in “anti-discipling” students AWAY from the faith of historic #UMC doctrine” (Added 4-21-2023)

Finding community in The Most Unlikely Place” by David Burke via Great Plains Conference. (Added 4-21-2023)

Conversation with the Global Methodist Church” via Christ Church Memphis) (Added 4-21-2023)

Tweet by John Lomperis: “I keep seeing #UnitedMethodist bishops + #StayUMC types claiming “there’s no need to rush” 2 disaffiliate from the #UMC before Paragraph 2553’s exit option expires. But who can cite public examples of any of them strongly advocating for #GC2024 adopting any new clear exit option?” (Added 4-21-2023)

Preparing Conference Voting” by Jeffrey Rickman via Plainspoken Podcast (YouTube) (Added 4-20-2023)

Exiting Florida Churches Lawsuit Dismissed” by Heather Hahn via UMNS. (Added 4-20-2023)

Candler Students Show Support for Mississippi Pastors Under Complaint. (Added 4-20-2023)

Norwegian authorities will recognise same-sex marriage in Methodist Church” via CNE News. (Added 4-20-2023)

Post via WCA Facebook Page. (Added 4-20-2022)

Disaffiliation Updates with Jay Therrell (4.19.23)” via WCA’s Holy Conversations Podcast. (Added 4-20-2023)

UMC clergy reportedly face complaint, church trial after marrying nonbinary couple” by Emily McFarlan Miller via RNS. (Added 4-20-2023)

The Ministry of Building a New Connection” by Walter Fenton via GMC. (Added 4-19-2023)

Reconciling Ministries Network stands in support of Rev. Elizabeth Davidson, Rev. Paige Swaim-Presley, and the couple they married” via RMN. (Added 4-19-2023)

Global Methodist Church recognizes university as a ‘recommended educational institution’” by Michael Gryboski via Christian Post.(Added 4-19-2033)

Two MS Methodist ministers face being defrocked. See why” by Ross Reily via Clarion Ledger. (Added 4-19-2023)

Tweet by Stephen Fife: “First Shreveport’s Vote Totals – 940 – Disaffiliate 166 – Stay 14 – Abstain 84% in favor of disaffiliation. This vote comes after a lawsuit to prevent the vote and a targeted political ad campaign of upwards of $1Million” LINK (Added 4-19-2023)

Court Dismisses Disaffiliation Lawsuit Against the Florida Conference” via Florida Conference (UMC). (Added. 4-19-2023)

Splinter explainer: Why defectors have
resorted to lawsuits against UMC officials
” by Liam Adams via The Tennessean (PDF). (Added 4-18-2023)

Letter by Stephen Bell: Shreveport First UMC Pastor: “First United Methodist Church of Shreveport has just experienced our April 16th Church Conference. A vote has been taken by our professing church membership on whether to remain United Methodist or disaffiliate from the UMC. I hope you attended the Church Conference, and I hope you voted. The result of the Church Conference is that FUMC of Shreveport has made a choice to disaffiliate from the UMC. The ballots were cast as follows: 166 votes to remain in the UMC, 940 votes to disaffiliate from the UMC, and 14 votes to abstain. 84% percent of the present and voting membership of our congregation voted to disaffiliate, and this secured the required two-thirds supermajority.” (Added 4-18-2023)

An Update on Lawsuits Across the USA” by Jay Therrell via WCA. (Added 4-18-2023)

Tweet by Tom Lambrecht: “So the North Georgia Annual Conference promotes voting rights, while at the same time blocking the right of its members to vote on disaffiliation? They undoubtedly do not see the tragic irony of this situation. Nearly 200 churches want to vote on disaffiliation, #NGAUMC says no.” (Added 4-17-2023)

Tweet by Becky Miller: On Bishop Lewis upholding BOD marriage standards: “I am so sorry this is happening. She did this to a clergy member here in Virginia and kept him in limbo for 2 years refusing to take any action. We were thrilled when she left. She really needs to be forcibly retired.” (Added 4-17-2023)

Mississippi Bishop Moves Forward with Trial, Involuntary Leave for Tw Clergy Who Officiated Wedding” via Press Release. Report of Bishop Sharma Lewis pursuing action against two clergy for performing a same-sex wedding. (Added 4-17-2023)

Tweet by Jeremy Smith: “UMC Bishop Lewis is alleged to have failed to uphold due process by misgendering two people who were married, and abruptly pulling out of a just resolution process, opting to act to immediately remove two clergywomen from active ministry. http://Bit.ly/justice-in-mise-in-mississippi @Mississippi_UMC [link] (Added 4-17-2023)

Steering Stewardship and Generosity through the Storms of Disaffiliation” via Discipleship Ministries (UMC). A May 11 Webinar: “The buzz about churches and leaders leaving The United Methodist Church through process of disaffiliation is only going to grow as we move through 2023, and as we approach a General Conference in April of 2024. Join Ken Sloane, Director of Stewardship and Generosity as we discuss realities and myths around this time in the church, and how we can keep stewardship and generosity on-course as we navigate through some rough weather.” (Added 4-17-2023)

How To Go From Good to Great in Church: Leading Through a Disaffiliation Vote” by Richard Bryant via UM Insight. “Here are a few ideas on leading a local* congregation through a season of disaffiliation, inspired from Jim Collins’ leadership classic “Good to Great.” (Added 4-17-2023)

Historic Shreveport Church Votes to Leave Denomination” by Mike Martindale via KEEL. “There will be a special session of the LCUMC on May 27, 2023 where conferees will vote on whether to allow FUMC, along with two dozen other churches, to disaffiliate. If the measure passes, FUMC will be an independent Methodist church beginning May 31, 2023.” (Added 4-17-2023)

Tweet by Drew McIntyre. “Mainline clergy often talk a big game about God siding with the powerless over the powerful, until the powerful are leaders in their own ecclesial structure. Then they become rather docile prophets.” (Added 4-17-2023)

Changes ahead for local Methodists” by Sandra Clark via KnoxTNToday. “A reporter has estimated as many as 25% of Holston Conference Methodists will disaffiliate.” (Added 4-17-2023)

Three Reasons to End Itineracy” by Stephen Fife. “The frontier isn’t the same. It doesn’t require you to keep throwing multiple men at it until the west is won. The new frontier requires stability, patience, intentional community formation, and consistency. In other words, the exact opposite of itineracy model.” (Added 4-17-2023)

Why Defectors Have Resorted to Lawsuits Against UMC Officials” via The Tennessean (paywall). (Added 4-17-2023)

What’s Driving the Methodist Exodus | Prayer Link April 11, 2023” via CBN News YouTube [08:33]. National report drawing from Houston area churches. Keith Boyette featured. (Added 4-16-2023)

Does the Church of England Need Evangelicals?” by Carl Trueman via First Things. “LGBTQ-affirming churches are simply doing what the pro-slavery churches of the nineteenth century did: giving specious blessing to the values of the world in which they find themselves.” (Added 4-16-2023)

First United Methodist Church votes to leave denomination” by Johnette Magner via KTBS. “Close to 900 church members gathered at the Shreveport church at 3:00p.m. on Sunday to cast their vote on whether to stay or leave. Although vote totals were not revealed, church members were notified a little before 5:00p.m. that the vote to disaffiliate had passed.” (Added 4-16-2023)

Overheard: Shreveport First UMC in Louisiana voted today to disaffiliate from the UMC. The district superintendent did not announce the vote totals. (Added 4-16-2023)

Overheard: Buncombe Street UMC in Greenville, South Carolina voted 587 to 69 in favor of the Downtown Campus separating from the UMC via the conference Par. 2549 Separation Process, with the Trinity Campus being formed as a separate United Methodist congregation. See the April 11 discernment meeting. (Added 4-16-2023)

Courageous Conversations on Disaffiliation” via Discipleship Ministries. Registration link for a May 4 webinar. (Added 4-15-2023)

UMC Split: The Cause & Cost of Disaffiliation | The Rage Podcast” via YouTube. “Pastors Tim & Parker share their reasons for leaving the United Methodist Church. From the disconnect between the average congregation member and the wider UMC, to how much it costs to be a part of the UMC and how little support churches actually get in return. Tune in to hear their arguments for disaffiliation!” (Added 4-15-2023)

Divisiveness & Prayer” by Larry Davies via the Amelia Monitor. A pastor’s column on disaffiliation in a Virginia newspaper: “There must be a better answer for churches and communities than divisiveness and a “win at any cost” attitude. As Christians we should be setting the example of how to handle difficult conversations with compassion and grace but instead, we all too quickly become just like everyone else.” (Added 4-15-2023)

As Chasm Widens, Traditional Anglicans Plot Faithful Future” by Jeffrey Walton via Juicy Ecumenism. “Faithful Anglicans from around the world gather this April in Kigali, Rwanda for the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON), a renewal movement within the family of churches descended from the missionary activities of the Church of England.” (Added 4-15-2023)

Tweet Thread by Stephen Fife. On the StayUMC billboards and TV ads prior to Shreveport First vote: “How do you expect those on the other side to feel after you have publicly shamed and bashed them in the community? Do you expect next week they will just show up as normal? There’s no going back from nuclear war.” (Added 4-15-2023)

Fifth Avenue UMC Property Seized By Conference” by Jeffrey Rickman via PlainSpoken Podcast. An episode devoted to North Carolina Conference seizing the assets of a church before they can complete disaffiliation. (Added 4-15-2023)

Bishop Kennetha calls for a special session of the Iowa Annual Conference on May 23, 2023” via Iowa Conference (UMC). “The special session shall be held for the sole purpose of voting on the Iowa Annual Conference Board of Trustees’ recommendations for the churches disaffiliating per Paragraph 2553 of The Book of Discipline.” Gets disaffiliations over with, “then… the regular Iowa Annual Conference session, June 2-4, will be centered on mission, ministry and hope.” The November 2023 special session is still on. (Added 4-15-2023)

Correlating disaffiliations from the UMC (2019-2023) and the 2020 Presidential Election” by Kirk Sims via UM & Global. “The correlation between disaffiliations and Trump voters will likely be reinforced as this process is resolved later this year.” (Added 4-14-2023)

Christianity’s Uncanny Habit of Renewal” by Thomas Kidd via Public Discourse. “But the Asbury renewal echoed a theme woven deep in American history, and in the history of Christianity: the outbreak of religious awakening in unexpected times and places.” (Added 4-14-2023)

GMC Thursday Night Live with Dr. Sterling Allen & Bishop Mike Lowry” by GMC Thursday Night Live. A conversation with bishop emeritus of the GMC and bishop in residence at United Theological Seminary. (Added 4-14-2023)

What does Methodist church split foreshadow for the nation?” by Mike Buffington (Commentary) via Main Street News (GA). “The slow-moving break-up happening within the United Methodist Church could just be another chapter in a multi-chapter book of minor religious schisms, or it could be the harbinger of darker days to come in the country.” (Added 4-14-2023)

First Methodist church members vote on disaffiliation on Sunday” by KTBS via News-Press Now. Billboards and TV ads in the lead-up to Sunday’s big vote at Shreveport First UMC. (Added 4-14-2023)

What’s Going On In The Florida Annual Conference?” by Jeffrey Rickman via PlainSpoken Podcast (YouTube). Continues a series that looks at disaffiliation-related events conference by conference. (Added 4-14-2023)

United Methodist mother of trans child shares story” by Heather Gee-Thomas via UMNS Commentary. “My faith teaches us as parents, we are to care for our children and their well-being and treat them as God treats us, His children, with love, care and compassion. I believe this is what my family has done and what Jesus would do.” (Added 4-14-2023)

Tweet Thread by Brian Felker Jones. Response to the Minnesota Conference’s Living and Leading Together document. (Added 4-14-2023)

Our Collective Mission and Witness” via the Indiana Conference Cabinet. Proposed AC Resolution: “…we called into account all clergy members active and retired within and related to the Indiana AC of the UMC, whose convictions no longer align with UMC yet they continue to receive the benefits of the connection while not living out the covenant to either withdraw their membership from the Indiana Conference UMC, United Methodist Church, or withdraw from the ordain ministerial office.” See also related Tweet Thread by Chris Roberts. (Added 4-14-2023)

An Easter Blessing by Bishop Cedrick Bridgeforth” via Pacific Northwest Conference (UMC) Facebook Page. One of United Methodism’s two openly LGBTQ bishops shares a status update. (Added 4-13-2023)

Tweet by Eric Huffman: “Since leaving the #UMC, The Story Church experienced 31% growth, doubled down on deep discipleship groups, and raised 10x our annual budget to purchase a huge, new (75 y/o) church property. Sometimes I miss being UM, but God has been so kind and His blessings are new every day!” (Added 4-13-2023)

John Wesley Initiated the ‘Trust Clause!’” by Wil Meikeljohn via UM Insight. “The deeply disappointing saga of negativity in the denomination is very damaging. The options seem to be narrowed to being a church and worshipping God or being a cult and worshipping buildings and pastors.” (Added 4-13-2023)

Critiquing IRD” by Mark Tooley via Juicy Ecumenism. “Such criticisms [as from Willam Lawrence and the Picklin’ Parson] of course are a compliment.” (Added 4-13-2023)

FAQs: Living and Leading Together” by Minnesota UMC Conference. The MN conference is not waiting on General Conference as an estimated 10% disaffiliate: “In those places where pastors will not perform a same-sex marriage, they will, out of pastoral concern for the couple involved, seek out a pastor who will perform the ceremony and a setting in which their wedding can be celebrated.” (Added 4-13-2024)

It May Happen to You, Too: Bishop Connie Shelton Shows Danger of Staying United Methodist” by John Lomperis via Juicy Ecumenism. “Now, liberal Bishop Connie Shelton has made an unforced choice to escalate things by effectively telling a conservative congregation, If I cannot control you, I will end you, very quickly.” (Added 4-13-2023)

Miss-Lou congregations vote to leave United Methodist Church” by Sabrina Sims Robertson via The Natchez Democrat. Local round-up of disaffiliation activity along the Mississippi/Louisiana border. (Added 4-13-2023)

Local church considers disaffiliation from United Methodist over gay marriage, ordination” by Wex Hodge via WLOS (North Carolina). “Long’s Chapel leadership spoke with News 13 Wednesday, April 12, saying at the moment, they’re in a period of discernment over the issue of disaffiliation.” (Added 4-13-2023)

Methodist church controversy continues after no ruling on lawsuit” by Robert Smith via WDHN. “The UMC and conference claim the church wants to take their property but they did not follow all of the procedures of the Book of Discipline — which is the law for methodist churches in the denomination to follow including Harvest.” (Added 4-13-2023)

IRD and the ‘Methodist GAP’” by Riley Case via Juicy Ecumenism. IRD as a response to Mainline Christianity’s dalliance with armed leftist political ideologies. (Added 4-12-2023)

From The Mouths Of Our Bishops” by Jeffrey Rickman via Plainspoken Podcast via YouTube. “Our bishops are elected to provide general oversight to the worldly and spiritual interest of the Church. With 46 active bishops in the US alone there are going to understandably be a wide range of different personalities and believes on different topics. In this video we are trying something different, we look at three of our bishops in the United States and evaluate some of the things they have said.” (Added 4-12-2023)

Congregational and Clergy Applications Move Online” by Keith Boyette via GMC. “Since the online system was launched, more than 500 churches and clergy have completed applications and are in the process of being reviewed by a team of persons under the supervision of the Rev. Angela Pleasants, the GM Church’s Clergy and Church Relations Director. Prior to the launch of the online system, more than 1,550 churches and more than 2,150 clergy had submitted applications manually via email and been approved. Applications submitted manually before March 20 continue to be processed; however, the online system has improved the accuracy and speed with which applications are being processed.” (Added 4-12-2023)

Hope for Regeneration” by Mark Davies. “Members of the Christian tradition who insist on adhering to a theology of substitutionary atonement that requires the shedding of Jesus’s blood to take way the sins of the world would do well to remember that violent shedding of blood by an oppressive empire does not redeem us.” The person who sent in this link commented: “This was written by an elder in good standing in the OKUMC. While [Bishop] Jimmy Nunn is busy going after the credentials of pastors who have already left the conference, he’s allowing this heresy to happen.” (Added 4-12-2023)

Tweet by Mark Tooley: ““Mark Tooley may or may not be a member or an active participant in any local United Methodist congregation.” I’ve been in UM church nearly every Sunday since 1970.” link. (Added 4-12-2023)

Tweet via LeaveUMC. “This is rich. So the @ConnectNGUMC supports voting rights? Their actions, arbitrarily blocking hundreds of Churches from disaffiliating after those churches voted to leave #UMC, says otherwise. #Methodist #UnitedMethodist #beUMC #GMC” Link (Added 4-12-2023)

Rethinking the Metrics of Congregational Success” by Martin Thielen via UM Insight. “…it would be refreshing for churches to boldly proclaim a countercultural message that love, compassion, community, service, and justice matter more than institutional survival.” (Added 4-12-2023)

A Baptist’s guide to disaffiliation in other Christian traditions” by Mallory Challis and Mark Wingfield via Baptist News Global. “It’s relatively easy for a Baptist church to leave or be removed from its denomination because there are no property or ordination entanglements. That’s why it’s hard for most Baptists to understand how difficult it is for Methodist congregations to exit the UMC.” (Added 4-12-2023)

This church is divided on LGBTQ+ rights. The split may hit Idaho, the Northwest” by Scott McIntosh via Idaho Statesman. “As many as 30 churches out of 400 churches in what’s known as the Greater Northwest Area that includes Idaho, Washington, Oregon and Alaska have considered or are considering leaving the United Methodist Church.” (Added 4-12-2023)

Disaffiliation or Disruption?” by William Lawrence via UM Insight. “The IRD and its president have been forces of disruption in The United Methodist Church for a long time. When the authors of the church’s history write in the future about disaffiliations in the denomination, they need to include careful analyses of the disruptions that intruders have left behind. Until then, United Methodists need to acknowledge that there are figures and forces whose purposes are rooted in something other than faith when they pick a fight with us.” (Added 4-12-2023)

Liberal United Methodist body sues PA church over exit from denomination, asks for control of cash, property” by Jon Brown via Fox News. The Susquehanna Conference’s lawsuit against Cortez UMC near Scranton, PA. (Added 4-12-2023)

Community reacts to closing of Fifth Avenue United Methodist Church” by Zach Solon via WECT. The Wilmington, NC reaction to the seizure and closure of a church planning disaffiliation. (Added 4-12-2023)

Fifth Avenue UMC Press Release” by Congregation. “The church asks that the Bishop reconsider this ill made decision and return the church to it’s congregation who have loved and supported the church for many decades and allow them to move forward with the disaffiliation process that the United Methodist Church itself put in place.” (Added 4-12-2023)

Marshall Ward: Not about sexuality- about what God said” via Independent Tribune (North Carolina). “Andy Langford said the United Methodist Church schism is about sexuality, but the core of that argument is the original question, “Did God say…?”” (Added 4-11-2023)

Keep First United – Don’t Let Our Church Be the “Mean” Church” via Stay United Methodist YouTube. A TV ad purchased by a Stay UMC group at Shreveport First in Louisiana. See also “Keep First United – Reputation Means Something To Us” and “Don’t Let Disaffiliation Become a Stone” (Added 4-11-2023)

Live from Wespath Event” via Wespath. A May 17 live event features information related to disaffiliations and Wespath’s General Conference legislation. (Added 4-11-2023)

Andy Langford: What’s happening in the United Methodist Church” via Independent Tribune (North Carolina). “I suspect that 85% of all United Methodist congregations in the U.S. will remain. In Cabarrus County, about 70% will remain. The names of the churches will stay the same. The local organizational structure and links with other United Methodist congregations will continue. The cross and flame logo will remain, and bishops will appoint their pastors. We may grow more progressive or conservative; time will tell.” (Added 4-11-2023)

Learn what a church should do when its Conference will not process any more disaffiliations in 2023” by Dan Dalton via Dalton & Tomich YouTube. A law firm representing exiting churches answers an FAQ. (Added 4-11-2023)

Former bishop who pastored in Dothan to testify in church dispute” by Ken Curtis via WTVY (Dothan, AL). “Lawson Bryan will take the stand Wednesday when Harvest Church of Dothan and UMC leadership have their first courtroom showdown on Wednesday.” (Added 4-11-2023)

Post by Suzzanne Bright via Facebook (as shared by Jimmy Barnhill). On Shreveport First’s disaffiliation vote: “Think what could happen down the line if our church disaffiliates. First United Methodist ministers who are currently appointed to the church may chose not to relinquish their hard-earned credentials as would be required if they continue to serve a church which is no longer United Methodist. Those ministers world then be appointed to another United Methodist Church.” (Added 4-11-2023)

Voting Yes to Disaffiliate” by Emory Bradford via First Methodist Church of Collierville (TN) Traditional Disciples. “I am convinced that remaining affiliated with the United Methodist Church is a slippery slope that will only lead to a distortion of truth and a watering down of the gospel. I am not suggesting that every Christian must have the same beliefs on every theological matter.” (Added 4-11-2023)

Bishop: Who is at the table with Jesus?” by Rae Yost via Keloland.com (Sioux Falls, SD). Bishop Plambeck on church unity: Plambeck estimated that 8% to 10% of church congregations will leave Minnesota. “In the Dakotas, it will be a higher percentage than that,” she said. (Added 4-11-2023)

Black clergy, laity share perspectives on church’s future” by Barbara Dunlap-Berg via UMNS. “Gammon Research Institute, part of Gammon Theological Seminary, gleans insights from online survey of more than 650 participants.” (Added 4-11-2023)

We Disaffiliated from the UMC: Here’s Why” via The Rage Podcast via YouTube. Wayne Street UMC’s (St. Marys, Ohio) overwhelming vote to disaffiliate. (Added 4-11-2023)

United Methodist conference sues Pennsylvania church for trying to leave denomination” by Michael Gryboski via Christian Post. “The UMC Susquehanna Conference filed a lawsuit against people tied to Cortez Community Church of Jefferson Township, formerly known as Cortez United Methodist Church” for not properly disaffiliating. (Added 4-11-2023)

The Ancient Faith I Never Knew: Discovering the Protestant Heritage” by Stephen Fitch via Firebrand Magazine. An invitation for Methodism to view itself as “patristically” Protestant. (Added 4-11-2023)

Chaos in Carolina: Seizing Assets and Closing a Church” by Jay Therrell via WCA. Analysis of Fifth Avenue UMC’s property being seized by the conference before disaffiliation could be completed. (Added 4-11-2023)

GMC Pastors, Churches, Take Note!” by Chuck Griffin via Holston WCA. Pension transfer information. (Added 4-10-2023)

Post by Rob Renfroe via Facebook. On the De La Torre article: “We are told by centrists in the UMC that they will not let the UM Church drift from its historical, biblical roots. But they already have. No one is holding professors or pastors who deny the central claims of the Gospel accountable. Not centrist leaders or bishops. It’s time to be honest.” (Added 4-10-2023)

Exploring Wesleyan Theology and Asbury Revival” by Kenneth Collins via Juicy Ecumenism. Sharing a podcast interview on Wesleyanism in light of the Asbury Revival. (Added 4-10-2023)

The Task Before Us” by Art Collins. “We must attract those who never knew the struggles we went through over yonder, but who only see the power of God in where we are now. We must not settle for being the not-UMC. The people who need Christ don’t care about that, nor should they.” (Added 4-10-2023)

Warren Lathem Responds to the March 31 Letter by Bishop Dease of the UMC North Georgia Conference” by Warren Lathem via PDF. “The loss of assets and perhaps more significantly the loss of apportionment income would have been horrifying, especially for so many in the institution who had shown no significant production of new churches, new assets, or new members.” (Added 4-10-2023)

Hope Springs Eternal: Positive Conversations about the UMC (This week featuring Rev. Rachel Billups)” by Natalie Justice via YouTube. A series promoting a positive future vision for the UMC. See also conversations with Mike Slaughter and Matt Rawle. (Added 4-10-2023)

The North Texas Annual Conference’s Support of the UMC Social Principle on Abortion in the State of Texas 2023” via Facebook. A resolution to the North Texas UMC Conference to opposed abortion bans in the state. (Added 4-10-2023)

187 United Methodist churches sue North Georgia Conference to re-start exit process” by Cynthia Astle via Baptist News Global. “North Georgia Conference is unique in U.S. Methodism as the only regional UMC unit to suspend the disaffiliation process. In addition, while other conferences have acknowledged, lamented and tried to counter misinformation, North Georgia is the only conference publicly alleging defamation of leaders and the denomination.” (Added 4-10-2023)

These Hall churches listed as part of Methodist disaffiliation lawsuit” by Nick Watson via Thee Gainesville Times. Local Georgia coverage of lawsuit against North Georgia UMC Conference aimed at reopening disaffiliation process. (Added 4-10-2023)

As some vote to disaffiliate, remaining United Methodist churches examine future” by Julia Maruca via Trib Live. Western Pennsylvania coverage: “About 260 churches in the 800-church Western Pennsylvania Conference are taking steps to leave the United Methodist denomination over debates around same-sex marriage and ordaining gay pastors.” (Added 4-10-2023)

Annual Conference Of Global Methodist Church Launches – OH And Western PA” via minafa.com. “The Allegheny West Provisional Annual Conference (AWAC) of the Global Methodist Church officially launched on Saturday, April 1, 2023. Annual Conferences of the Global Methodist Church are formed for the purpose of connecting clergy and congregations for shared ministry and accountability across a geographic region. The Allegheny West region includes all of Ohio and the Western third of Pennsylvania.” (Added 4-10-2023)

Post by Eddie Brossette via Facebook. Shows a TV ad paid for by a Stay UMC group in First UMC Shreveport, LA. (Added 4-8-2023)

Post by Paul Black via Illinois Great Rivers Conference Facebook Group. 28 churches to be voted on for final disaffiliation at the May 6 special session. Another special session is called for December 2. (Added 4-8-2023)

The Next Methodism Disaffiliation Project” via Facebook. An project to track where former UMC congregations are going following disaffiliation. They are asking for help. See also here. (Added 4-7-2023)

186 Georgia UMC Congregations Sue Regional Conference for Blocking Their Exit” by Steve Warren via CBN News. “It’s also the largest number of congregations that so far have banded together in a single lawsuit against a regional body of the United Methodist Church (UMC) as liberal policies and LGBT issues continue to splinter the UMC, the second-largest denomination in the U.S.” (Added 4-7-2023)

Tweet by Andrew Thompson. “Mainline Christianity shows us how catastrophic the consequences can be when generations of bad theological education are inflicted upon the church. (The #UMC is the prime example of this.) I’m determined to spend the rest of my career figuring out a new path.” (Added 4-7-2023)

Leaders say Methodist split creates uncertain future” by Jeff Keeling via WJHL.Third in a series of reports that include conversations with local leaders. (Added 4-7-2023)

Disdaining the Crucifixion?” by Mark Tooley via Juicy Ecumenism. “Just in time for Holy Week and Easter, a prominent professor at a United Methodist seminary has derided traditional views about Christ’s crucifixion. He even faults them for centuries of “crusades, religious wars, pogroms, inquisitions, witch trials, colonialism, the genocide of ‘pagans,’ the enslavement of ‘infidels’ and the Holocaust. Christianity’s fascination with blood made it the cause for most of the world’s bloodletting.” (Added 4-7-2023)

Irving church joins Global Methodist Church after splitting from United Methodist Church” via Dallas Morning News. Coverage of Irving First joining the Global Methodist Church. (Added 4-7-2023)

[Updated] “A church divided: Region’s United Methodists days from official split” by Jeff Keeling via WJHL. “A long-running rift within the UMC culminates that day in the UMC’s Holston Conference when representatives from the East Tennessee/Southwest Virginia conference’s 800 or so churches will gather for a special called session. When it ends, around 220 congregations who have voted to “disaffiliate” from the conference that stretches from Chattanooga to Wytheville, Va. won’t be UMC member churches anymore.” See also “Painful road to parting: UMC church leaders say differences over LGBTQ issues have frayed relations” by the same author. (Added 4-6-2023)

What if Crucifixion Is Not Salvific?” by Miguel De La Torre via Good Faith Media. Professor at UM Iliff School of Theology: “Christianity’s fascination with blood made it the cause for most of the world’s bloodletting… Crucifixion’s only signification is the unjust death of a just person at the hands of religious and political leaders.” (Added 4-6-2023)

Misinformation? Disinformation? These Concepts Undermine the UMC” by Karen Alford House Morrison via UM Insight. “Disinformation is lying intentionally—literally making things up to further a cause or an agenda. The conservative wing of our church has been working on “disinforming” and deconstructing our UMC for 30-40 years.” (Added 4-6-2023)

The Injustice of ‘Just Resolution’ in the UMC” Darryl Stephens via UM Insight. “Without a formal process, power differentials are maintained, secrecy is encouraged, and victims suffer re-victimization. Thus, in this article, I focus on the injustice of the process of seeking “a just resolution” in the UMC. When there is credible evidence of sexual misconduct by clergy or other ministerial leaders, an informal process of resolution is inadvisable and unjust.” (Added 4-6-2023)

United Methodist Church Marriage Schism: Churches Sue Regional Body to Keep Property Amid Split” by Hannah Claire Brimelow via Timcast. “In recent years, the Christian denomination has been unable to reconcile increasingly conflicting factions of theology among its parishes — largely over LGBTQ issues. In 2019, the UMC General Conference voted 438-384 to maintain its ban on officiating same-sex marriage ceremonies and its prohibition on the ordination of LGBTQ clergy.” (Added 4-6-2023)

Networks Not Denominations with Shane Bishop” by Andy Miller III via More to the Story Podcast. “Shane Bishop serves as pastor at Christ Church in Fairview Heights, IL. That church has disaffiliated from the United Methodist Church but is not joining another denomination. Instead, Christ Church is connecting to several other large churches in the Foundry Network.” (Added 4-6-2023)

What is a Pastor’s Role in Disaffiliation?” via Ministry Matters (UMC). “Maybe it feels like, as the appointed pastor, it is your place to be the neutral party in your congregation’s discernment process. But as trained mediator Charles Pillsbury pointed out in his conversation with the Lewis Center for Church Leadership, you can’t actually be neutral or impartial. It’s just not possible.” (Added 4-6-2023)

Churches disaffiliate with United Methodist” by Joe Curtis via Concordia Sentinel (Louisiana). “Congregations in Vidalia, Ferriday and Jonesville unanimously agreed to disaffiliate from the United Methodist Church. Dr. Steven McDonald, pastor of Vidalia, Sevier Memorial and Jonesville United Methodist churches, said the official disaffiliation date will be May 31. On June 1, the churches will be called Ferriday, Vidalia and Jonesville Methodist churches.” (Added 4-6-2023)

From Methodist Despair to New Hope of a Great Spiritual Awakening” by Australian Prayer Network. “The culture we’re in, it seems as if a lot of clergy feel as if they should be able to practice their sexuality whatever way they desire and the church should have no bearing on that,” Palmer said. “We just don’t believe in that.” (Added 4-5-2023)

Tweet by Drew McIntyre. “Liberation theologies that downplay or jettison the cross on behalf of the marginalized are in actuality a theology of the privileged that has little to do with the theological views + liturgical practices of marginalized Christians.” (Added 4-5-2023)

CoE Bishops fearful about the consequences of gay blessings vote, leak shows” by George Conger via Anglican.ink. “The private admission the LLF process has landed the Church of England on the rocks, was not shared in the official press release.” (Added 4-5-2023)

Remaining & Thriving United Methodists Webinar” via Mountain Sky Conference (UMC). April 20 event “Sponsored free for laity and clergy by the United Methodist Association of Retired Clergy & Friends (UMARC). (Added 4-5-2023)

Lifelong United Methodist Helps New Church Start” via Alabama-West Florida Conference (UMC). “Now, over 50 years later, Mrs. Crews is once again a founding member of another new faith community. Following the vote to disaffiliate at First United Methodist Prattville, the Alabama West-Florida Annual Conference has planted a new church in Prattville with Reverend Chris McCain as their pastor and Rebecca Crews as one of its first members.” (Added 4-5-2023)

On becoming a beacon of safety” via Oklahoma Conference (UMC). “Lighthouse congregations come together as a group to pass a resolution pledging to be a welcoming, loving, and nurturing community for people whose churches have closed or disaffiliated.” (Added 4-5-2023)

Retired pastors step up amid disaffiliations” by Jim Patterson via UMNS. “This year, Skarda will be leading the Easter service for members of First United Methodist Church of Jonesboro in Arkansas who wish to remain United Methodist. They are meeting at First Presbyterian Church of Jonesboro for now.” (Added 4-5-2023)

Tweet by Mark Tooley: “United Methodist seminary professor: “Jesus’s death neither pays a ransom nor is a substitution for us. Crucifixion is an act of radical solidarity, specifically, Jesus’ choice to accompany in solidarity those dying on the crosses of religious and political oppression.” [link: “What if Crucifixion Is Not Salvific?” by Miguel De La Torre] (Added 4-5-2023)

Bishop’s Column: We are in a Holy Saturday Moment” by Bishop Dan Schwerin via Northern Illinois UMC Conference. “Sure, we are living in post-Christendom, days that the culture is not filling our churches with citizens who wish to make a missional contribution, but rather days our culture seethes with white Christian nationalism. We are facing powerful monied interests that seek to divide us for political gain, both in the culture and the mainline churches.” (Added 4-5-2023)

Amarillo United Methodist Community group begins sharing facilities with St. Luke Presbyterian Church” by Mya Clark via MyHighPlains.com. Quotes from UMC and GMC folks in this article on a new UMC worshipping community of disaffiliation dissidents that hopes to become a church. (Added 4-5-2024)

Online Course: Life Together in the United Methodist Connection“via UMC.org. “What will happen at General Conference 2024? What is happening in the United Methodist connection now, and with the new Global Methodist Church? This session of the official U.M.C. polity course will include structural realities and principles affecting our annual conferences and local churches right now and in the future.” (Added 4-5-2023)

The United Methodist Church moves across Congo River” by Fiston Okito via UMNS. “According to Aberi Luzenze, West Congo Conference lay leader, the Brazzaville United Methodist Mission will begin with John Wesley United Methodist Church, a congregation of about 150 members. Although the first efforts to plant the church in Brazzaville date back to 2012, it was in 2020 that efforts were relaunched to get there, he said.” (Added 4-5-2023)

Disaffiliations effective November 30, 2023” by Trustees President Elizabeth Bell via Iowa Conference. Timeline set for final disaffiliations in Iowa. (Added 4-5-2023)

United Methodist Church Renounce Disaffiliation Process, 186 Churches Filed Lawsuit” by Bernadette Salapaer via Christian Daily. Outside coverage of the suit in North Georgia. (Added 4-5-2023)

Nearly 200 churches sue to leave liberal United Methodist body and keep property amid split over sexuality” by Jon Brown via Fox News. National coverage from a conservative perspective. (Added 4-5-2023)

Denomination In Turmoil: 186 churches sue UMC North Georgia Conference for halting disaffiliation process” by Michael Gryboski via Free Republic. Picked up from Christian Post. (Added 4-4-2023)

Lighthouse Congregations offer hope amid schism” by Sam Hodges via UMNS. “Lighthouse Congregations declare themselves to be solidly United Methodist and provide a safe, supportive place for people who mean to stay in the denomination after their local church has voted to disaffiliate.”(Added 4-4-2023)

A review of what happens to a local church after they leave the UMC (as of March 2023). They grow!” by Dan Dalton via Dalton & Tomich (YouTube). “In this video, Dan Dalton discusses how local churches have fared since leaving the United Methodist Church (as of March 2023).” (Added 4-4-2023)

African Bishop Promises Being Renegotiated” by Jeffrey Rickman via PlainSpoken (YouTube). “…financial realities have resulted in those in authority openly speaking about reneging on this commitment in order to continue siphoning money to areas on the denomination that are shrinking. I explore the ethics and implications of such a decision, sharing some additional resources to see just how much influence (or lack of influence) African United Methodists have been given in the denomination.” (Added 4-4-2023)

Finding God’s ‘New Thing’” by Tom Lambrecht via Good News. “Some are part of starting a whole new congregation. Others are revitalizing an existing congregation with new mission or programs or priorities. Some are even forming new annual conferences, districts, and a whole new denomination. Wherever we find ourselves, where can we see God working? What is God doing in the arena where we serve?” (Added 4-4-2023)

Methodist Pastor Slams Churches That Oppose Abortion: They’re ‘Simplistic and Extreme‘” by Michaiah Bilger via Life News. Ohio pastor criticized evangelicals. “Last year, the United Methodist Women, an organization within the denomination, issued a statement criticizing the Texas heartbeat law, which has saved thousands of unborn babies from abortion. The group vowed to “pray” for abortions to become legal again in Texas. Some UMC pastors also “bless” new abortion facilities in special ceremonies.” (Added 4-4-2023)

UMC: Clergy Ethics” by Steve Harper. The author consults an ethicist who says clergy who lead their congregations out of the UMC are behaving unethically. (Added 4-4-2023)

Seminaries Are Not The Problem” by C. Don Jones via Patheos. “Seminaries get blame for not training clergy appropriately. The blame comes from a certain segment of society which claims all that higher education does is make good people liberal. The recent approval of two southern Baptist seminaries for training clergy in the Global Methodist Church reflects this prejudice.” (Added 4-4-2023)

Political ideology among members of the United Methodist Church” via Pew Research. Demographic research related to UMC members and political ideology. (Added 4-4-2023)

A Bible Belt rift over gay marriage in the Methodist Church just landed in Upstate New York” via Syracuse.com. “Upstate New York’s former bishop Mark Webb left the church in January and joined the new, more conservative Global Methodist Church, which he helped create. He’s the first bishop north of the Bible Belt to do so. A handful of Upstate New York congregations, too, have decided to leave in recent months.” (Added 4-4-2023)

Faith Convictions Spur United Methodists to Protest Anti-Trans Bills” by Cynthia Astle via UM Insight. “Those “nasty bills,” as Ms. Mallis terms them, have galvanized United Methodists in multiple states to travel to their legislatures to testify against anti-LGBTQ bills. Proposed legislation has ranged from outlawing drag queens reading to children in public libraries to criminalizing parents who seek gender-affirming care for their children and teen-agers.” (Added 4-4-2023)

Wichita area churches uniting to celebrate UMC” by David Burke via Great Plains Conference (UMC). “We are redefining The United Methodist Church,” Sander-Chali added. “I want that redefinition to be reminding us of the key core components that do unite us.” (Added 4-4-2023)

186 churches sue UMC North Georgia Conference for halting disaffiliation process” by Michael Gryboski via Christian Post. “While many congregations have been allowed to disaffiliate, others have faced financial roadblocks or have had their disaffiliation votes outright denied, which has led to several lawsuits impacting various conferences.” (Added 4-4-2023)

United Methodist Disaffiliation Success Stories” by John Lomperis via Juicy Ecumenism. “Even congregations that are theologically divided have reached strong consensus to pursue United Methodist disaffiliation as members, through ongoing discernment, learn the facts about the UMC’s worsening dysfunction and decline as well as the increasingly unchecked liberal extremism and intolerance of its leaders.” (Added 4-4-2023)

Tweet by Brad Aycock. “Up, up, and away! Official launch of Beloved UMC of Marysville, OH! Honored to celebrate both Palm Sunday as well as this lovely new faith community who offers an experience for those yearning for something different. THX to all who have been praying! @revmamamcswords” See also here and here. (Added 4-3-2023)

187 churches sue North Georgia Conference” by Heather Hahn via UMNS. Coverage of the lawsuit against the North Georgia Conference for ending its disaffiliation process. (Added 4-3-2023)

Post by Derek Russell via Facebook. “My church became part of The Global Methodist Church on January 1st. This year, our denominational payments are 27% of those we were expected to pay last year. That is a savings of over $27,000, which is a big deal for the financial outlook for us in 2023.” (Added 4-2-2023)

Overheard: Eddie Bromley has been named the pastor of the new “First Methodist Church of Collierville” (Memphis area) following a 64% (773-493) disaffiliation vote at Collierville UMC. Bromley was the Executive Pastor of Worship & Witness at Collierville UMC at the time of their February 2023 vote. See a 1/23/23 statement from him here in which indicated he would resign from the UMC. The new church had a worship attendance of 324 at the local funeral home the week after the vote, larger than that of Collierville UMC. Bishop McIllily came to Collierville UMC on March 26 to support Pastor Debra Suddarth (See here at 1:06:10]. The SPRC Chair announced Eddie’s earlier-than-expected resignation at the same service (see 30:15) along with the resignation of the leader of modern worship. Collierville First Methodist Church’s Facebook Page can be found here. See a Mark Tooley article mentioning Collierville here. (Added 4-3-2023)

Methodist Mitosis 2.0: New Thoughts on a Needed Direction” by Bob Phillips via PeopleNeedJesus.net. “A Roman conquest approach by the GMC, the UMC, or individuals in authority will bring a bleeding loss to the Wesleyan way. A renewed vision of a Methodist Mitosis process truly can end the journey toward… lived grace for the 21st century church.” (Added 4-3-2023)

When Institutions Fail You, Start Listening” by Angela Pupino via Yet Alive. “In my disaffiliating hometown church, allies have emerged in places I never expected. They’ve assured me that I can go to church with them, somewhere new, whenever I’m back in town. It’s not all rainbows and sunny days, but it’s the kind of future I never imagined in 2019.” (Added 4-3-2023)

The Crosses We Bear” by Abby Holcombe via Yet Alive. UMC elder candidate: “And remember that there is something salvific and holy about bearing the sufferings of another simply to take the load off for a while. May the LGBTQIA+ community continue carrying the legacy of showing up for one another in mighty ways, carrying crosses for one another—not knowing what the end will be and doing it anyway.” (Added 4-3-2023)

If you Cannot be United, Be Holy” by Dylan Parson via Yet Alive. Western Penn. provisional elder: “Holiness—in our current context in the United Methodist Church—requires us to take a stance on the full inclusion of LGBTQIA+ people. Lukewarmness in the hope of ensuring the center will hold is not holiness. It is not holy, because it is not rooted in love of God and neighbor, but in institutional self-preservation. And, frankly, its pragmatic viability is long past anyway.” (Added 4-3-2023)

Called Unto Holiness” by Keegan Osinski via Yet Alive. The author of Queering Wesley on a new understanding of holiness: “Traditionalists feared that changing the terminology or interpretation of holiness would result in a complete crumbling of the doctrine that elevated human work and will and rendered God only marginally engaged in sanctification….But… there had always been a diversity of understandings at play in the tradition.Where this becomes useful, particularly in our complex postmodern society, is the insistence of love to be contextual. Love is singular. It’s individual. It changes from year to year, moment to moment. It changes person to person, place to place.” (Added 4-3-2023)

Tweet by Drew McIntyre. “No doubt misinformation (&, more often, exaggeration) has been shared by churches + leaders re: disaffiliation. But without specifics, leaders who claim misinformation as a reason to keep churches from leaving is suspect. Who decides what constitutes misinformation? #umc (Added 4-3-2023)

We Should Know Better” by Jeffrey Rickman via Substack. “Any conference that adopts the Arkansas strategy is signaling its desire for emotional dysfunction and the trampling underfoot of the free will of local congregations. They are doing this to their own peril, as this will engender deeper resentment among victims and victors alike, it will result in lawsuits, and it will effectively signal to the mission field that we are a body motivated more by the culture war than for love of Jesus Christ and his family.” (Added 4-3-2023)

The United Methodist Church Schism” by Elliott Andrews via More Spock. “But what is happening in the United Methodist denomination represents what is great about America. With no state-sponsored or national religion, congregations of like-minded individuals can assemble with whomever they wish and adopt whatever tenets or belief systems they choose. ” (Added 4-3-2023)

St. Luke Presbyterian Church to share space with Amarillo United Methodist Community Group for services” by Caden Keenan via KAMR/KCIT (Texas) “After weeks of meeting for services and bible study at The Craig Senior Living Center in the wake of a number of churches disaffiliating from their denomination, members of the Amarillo United Methodist Community Group will share space with St. Luke Presbyterian Church to host services beginning this Sunday.

One of SC’s largest churches has decided to leave Methodist denomination. Here’s why” by Bristow Marchant via Yahoo! News, “The congregation at Mt. Horeb United Methodist Church in Lexington has voted to separate itself from the United Methodist Church over what the church sees as a theological and scriptural divergence between the conservative Lexington church and a denomination that has become more accepting of LGBTQ people.” (Added 4-3-2023)

After United Methodist Split, Churches Experiencing Spiritual Refreshment” by Abby Trivett via Charisma News. “While this initial split has been difficult, it has brought the churches who left the United Methodist Church hope for the future.” (Added 4-3-2023)

If Paul Wrote a Third Letter to Timothy …” by Tim Sergeant via UM Insight. The pastor of St. James UMC in Greenville, NC writes an imagined letter from Paul to Timothy in light of UM divisions. (Added 4-3-2023)

Kenyan Methodists Storm Offices, Oust Rogue Bishop” by Cynthia Astle via UM Insight. This is not a UMC-affiliated denomination, although there is a UM presence in Kenya. “A delegation from the church visited Bishop Ntombura in his office and declared that it was time he relinquished his position. The bishop was accused of refusing to hand over power to his successor.” See video. (Added 4-3-2023)

Why are some Louisiana churches leaving the United Methodist denomination?” by Matt Bruce via The Advocate. Louisiana coverage. (Added 4-3-2023)

United Methodist annual conference special sessions in 2023” via UMC.org. Holston and Florida have special sessions in April. An Oklahoma special session on April 22 is not listed but is scheduled. (Added 4-3-2023)

Which United Methodist Churches will Seek a Formal Exit on April 22?” by Carla Hinton via The Oklahoman. Reporting on the churches up for disaffiliation at a special called session of the OK conference. You can find the information here without the article and paywall. More may be added to the 55 listed: “How the churches requesting ratification will be presented to the conference will be determined at the April 17 CBOT meeting and announced following that meeting.” (Added 4-3-2023)

Court rules in favor of Louisiana Methodist congregations seeking to disaffiliate” by Willie R. Tubbs via FISM. “A judge in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has ruled that the state’s court has no jurisdiction to interfere if churches in the state’s Methodist Conference wish to leave. Late last month, District Court Judge Kelly Balfour rejected a group of nine clergy who sued the Louisiana Conference and the organization’s board of trustees to prevent numerous Methodist churches from casting disaffiliation votes. (Added 4-3-2023)

Alaska Conference Petition to Prohibit Alaska UMC Funds from Being Used for Added GC Conference” via PDF. “The Judicial Council’s requirement that there be an additional session of the General Conference is a usurpation of the legislative authority of the General Conference, and the expenditure of funds required by such an act would be an irresponsible and unnecessary use of money contributed for mission and ministry by the people of the UMC.” (Added 4-1-2023)

After disaffiliation halt, North Georgia Methodist churches sue the denomination” by Andrew Schwartz via Chattanooga Free Times Press. “Yet many churches leaning toward disaffiliation perceive a disconnect between the direction of the denomination as a whole and their own congregation, Carolyn Moore, who pastors Mosaic Church in Evans, Georgia, said in a phone interview Friday.” (Added 4-1-2023)

Tweet by Mark Tooley. “North Georgia is only United Methodist area w/complete ban on church exits. Ironically North Georgia was denomination’s only USA growth area under previous traditionalist bishop. Now its sad spiral will accelerate.” (Added 4-1-2023)

Tweet by John Lomperis. “Most #UnitedMethodist s do not practice syncretism as overtly as #UMC congregation’s promoting “Buddhism for Lent.” But problem = UMC’s “big tent” keeps stretching beyond bounds of biblical Christianity, while increasingly marginalizing Wesleyan faith https://fumcpittsburgh.org/spiritual-formation-opportunities-for-lent-at-fumc/” [link] (Added 4-1-2023)

I had hoped things would be different: A Totalitarian UMC” by Stephen Fife. “There is one side in this division that is refusing to play by the rules. They are being punitive and even ugly to anyone who disagrees with them. They close churches without warning. Shut down meetings. Silence pastors. They gaslight churches and clergy repeatedly by proclaiming everything is great and the best is yet to come while they sit in secret cabals planning on how to maintain their power.” (Added 4-1-2023)

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 to 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.