Congregations around the world are leaving the United Methodist Church denomination to join another denomination or become independent….but WHY? Since our congregation has been United Methodist since 1968 and the default position if we were to do nothing (not have a vote on disaffiliation), is that we would remain United Methodist -- the 'burden of proof' is on those who would prefer to disaffiliate.
Six information sessions have already been held, on June 12, 15, and 21, and July 6, 10, and 13. More will come in the future after the District Superintendent clarifies the process during his Aug. 1 visit and gives us a date for the vote. These info sessions have included information such as the 7 Reasons to Disaffiliate listed below, as well as most of the information in the first five Updates below. Later the 10 Reasons to join the Global Methodist Church were explained, and also are posted below along with many other helpful resources.
To hear advocates for staying United Methodist, note these opportunities and the West Ohio Conference links below:
Bishop’s Online Town Hall Meeting—July 26, Zoom, 7pm You can view
that recording through this link: Link
to Bishop Palmer's Town Hall Recording
District Superintendent’s In-Person Visit – Aug. 1, Sanctuary, 7pm. You can view that recording through this link: Link to DS Reverend Dr. Tim Bias In-person Visit Recording
7 Basic Reasons that a Congregation such as Ours
Might Want to
Disaffiliate from the UMC
(from easiest to understand to
#7. To own our property. We don’t
own our own property – we hold it ‘in trust’ for the UMC. We’d rather own and
direct it than keep it for the denominational leaders to ultimately own and
#6. To have more
say over choosing our pastors. Currently we are supposed to accept whoever
the Bishop appoints, with only a little input. We’d like to have a lot of input and better partnership.
#5. To have more accountability of leaders.
Currently Bishops are elected for life, and oversee our property and
pastors…but are not able to easily be held accountable when they do not uphold
church doctrine and rules. We’d like to submit to leadership that in turn is
accountable for their actions.
#4. To have unity of theology and ministry.
Various UMC leaders, seminary professors, Bishops and pastors use similar words
but define them differently. So, we are to make disciples…but what is a disciple,
eternal life, and the Gospel?
What is a disciple to do and not do? Was Jesus just a man or man + God? And,
are all humans just saved automatically? We wildly disagree at all leadership
levels on all of these things in the UMC, which means there is no
predictability in going from one UMC to another UMC church on any of these
essentials of our beliefs and ministry.
#3. To have unity around traditional
biblical sexuality. Increased, public pressure from those who want to
move away from traditional understandings has progressed from ‘agree to
disagree’ to ‘anything short of absolute change of the definition of marriage and
traditional sexual morality is unacceptable’ for those who want the change. The
situation has led to perpetual, unhealthy fighting.
#2. To have unity around the traditional
interpretation of Scripture. Some UMC seminary professors, pastors, and
Bishops have a very low view of the Bible as perhaps containing some truth or
some words of God, and others have a very high view that it is the written Word
of God to direct all of life. This leads to wildly different views of
everything from morality to the very purpose of having churches.
#1. To have unity around the traditional
interpretation of the Gospel. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are all
called “Gospel” accounts because they tell of the life, death, and resurrection
of Jesus and indicate that this historical event of Jesus is what provides for
the salvation of His followers.
Paul’s writings about Jesus and the Christian faith are the first recorded
writings that we have from history, and he unambiguously indicates that without
the literal / bodily life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, we are doomed. And
yet, many UMC pastors, professors, and Bishops reinterpret the Gospel to be a
different message, such as “God loves you as you are. Period,” and “We’re all
God’s children and a loving God would never send a child to Hell.” While it’s
understandable why people would believe such things as the Gospel, these are
not biblical or Christian views -- and according to the New Testament authors,
such deviance from the one true Gospel is dangerous, heretical, and inspired by
Top Ten Reasons to go with the newly
“Global Methodist Church”
rather than other options IF we
from the United Methodist Church
(extensive info is at globalmethodist.org)
by trusted leaders specifically for disaffiliating UMC’s who want to faithfully
adhere to the biblical Gospel and traditional interpretation of Scripture,
theology, and ministry
the most obvious flaws of the current UMC structure by including greater
collaboration with local churches for appointing clergy, term-limits for
Bishops and efficient path for removing them when necessary, and elimination of
clergy guaranteed appointments
checks and balances and lots of decisions already established that would take months
to years of effort to establish if we went totally independent
our church’s general history and DNA as a Methodist / Wesleyan type of church
and its history of care for its clergy via healthcare and retirement
our name identity in the community as “The Methodist Church” without us having
to remain UMC or even use “Methodist” in our name (we could still name
ourselves anything else)
the basic organizational structure that our congregation is used to living into
#7. As a
newly forming denomination, provides for easier transition and partnership than
the ‘hoops’ that would be needed to be jumped through to join an existing
instant local and global connections for partnership and assistance
destination of choice by other trusted leaders such as Jessica LaGrone (Dean of
the Chapel at Asbury Seminary) and David Watson (Academic Dean of United
#10. We would
own our own property – so even if it didn’t work out, the next change would be
easier than this one.
Our local church's updates and statements:
Our Leadership Team's Disaffiliation Statement
Officially United Methodist resources that encourage STAYING in the UMC and clarify its future direction:
West Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church Disaffiliation Page
2021 Declaration of the Entire Council of Bishops -- The Bishops' declaration includes the statement: "All of our members, clergy, local churches, and annual conferences will
continue to have a home in the future United Methodist Church, whether they consider
themselves liberal, evangelical, progressive, traditionalist, middle of the road,
conservative, centrist, or something else." This was reiterated by a letter from our District Superintendent that declared "we believe there is room for all within the UMC."
Bishop Gregory Palmer's support of the above declaration -- clarifies that our current Bishop explicitly supports the Council of Bishop's declaration.
Bishop Gregory Palmer's acceptance of multiple Bishops' declaration that they will explicitly disobey the Book of Discipline and the General Conference vote -- This illustrates the extent of the word "all" in the statements in UMC literature such as "all are welcome." After the 2019 General Conference vote, multiple Bishops worked together within their Jurisdictions to declare they would not obey or enforce that vote. Their defiance persists, and Bishop Palmer has explicitly declared he would not criticize or oppose them (this reference is around minute 51:00 in the video).
* Pastor Nathan's Interpretation of this UMC data: The links above illustrate that the most powerful leaders in the United Methodist Church have declared that their intention into the future is to ensure the denomination embraces all versions of Jesus and the Gospel, as well as embraces adherence to and disobedience of the Book of Discipline at their discretion. The Bishops' declaration clarifies that into the future, people are free to interpret the Bible and Book of Discipline as they see fit. The Conference website FAQ's state that the Articles of Faith (on paper in the Discipline) are not changing, and this is absolutely true. However, the Bishops have clearly shown that one can accept or deny them and interpret them however one wants to and still be welcomed in the UMC into the future. If you see this as a positive direction, you will likely want to stay United Methodist and our District Superintendent will help you to remain so regardless of what the outcome of our future vote is (see Update #5 below). If you see this as a negative direction (as do our current Leadership Team and pastors), then you will likely want to disaffiliate from the UMC.
Organizations relating to churches who want to disaffiliate:
globalmethodist.org the official website of the newly forming denomination
wesleyancovenant.org the communication-focused association of traditionalist / evangelical Wesleyan church leaders
Comparisons between other Methodist/Wesleyan Denominations including the newly forming 'Global Methodist Church' that is welcoming disaffiliating churches:
A Comprehensive Comparison Chart of United Methodist Church and Global Methodist Church
Chris Ritter's GMC - UMC Comparison Chart
Overview of comparison of GMC and other denominational and independent church options
Another church's comparison chart created for discernment of disaffiliation
Other Churches' Webpages that relate to their Pro-Disaffiliation Stance:
Reynoldsburg UMC in Ohio
Troy UMC in Illinois