Special Edition Newletter-The Future of tThe United Methodist Denomination Has Becomme Clearer

Special Edition Newletter-The Future of tThe United Methodist Denomination Has Becomme Clearer

The future of the
United Methodist Denomination
has become clearer

The wait is over. It is only a matter of time until the ink dries. The church that became the United Methodist Church in 1968 will cleave into two denominations. While the church came to St. Louis in 2018 with the hope of staying together it was never to be.

General Conference in the spring of 2020 was to be the final battle ground between those who believe God’s love and acceptance is for all no matter their sexual preference and those who believe that heterosexual behavior and marriage is the only kind sanctioned by God.

Then a little virus became a world player. General Conference 2020 was delayed until 2021, then 2022 and recently it was decided to skip 2023. General Conference 2024 is now the focus.

Any mother can tell you that when the baby wants to come…… the baby will be born. So deep the desire, so urgent the need for some traditionalists to not be a part of a church that is fully inclusive that a new denomination will launch on May 1st – The Global Methodist Church.

Local churches have over the years had various reasons for wanting to leave the denomination. The first church I served voted one month before I arrived whether or not to remain United Methodist (I don’t believe it was because they heard I was coming). They chose not to leave for the reason that United Methodist Churches have often stayed – money.

Since the days of Wesley, a local church could always disaffiliate (leave the parent denomination) but it came at a high cost. All of the church assets. The church building and the parsonage. To retain the property, the church would have to pay their Annual Conference the determined value of the property, all buildings and contents. Every church that thought they could get out of that and beat the system lost. It was a huge deterrent to leaving.

What’s different now? At the special General Conference held in St. Louis in 2018 the process for disaffiliation was made much easier. Now the ‘cost’ of leaving is two years of full apportionment payments and two years of pension payments. Still often a substantial sum but a far cry from the previous arrangement.

What will happen now? With the postponement of General Conference until 2024 and the new Global Methodist Church going live on May 1st churches that were waiting for the ‘next’ General Conference to make their move will start the process of disaffiliation with the United Methodist Church to join the Global Methodist Church. In good Methodist tradition there still is a process that must be followed carefully or they can still lose the rights to their property.

What does this mean for us? The United Methodist Church will remain the denominational name for those who choose to not join the Global Methodist Church. The First United Methodist Church of McHenry will retain her name. It remains to be seen how many churches in our Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church will choose to join the Global Methodist Church. It is commonly felt that there will not be many.

From an administrative standpoint I can only wonder how large a territory a new District Superintendent of the Global Methodist Church will sometimes have. And while in our conference the vast majority of churches will remain United Methodist I wonder / worry what kind of struggles annual conferences who will be more evenly split will go thru. District Superintendents and pastors will need a special wisdom to help their congregations navigate what will likely be turbulent times.

At our Charge Conference in December this church went on record saying we want to and will go above and beyond to express our love and full acceptance of those in the gay and lesbian community.

Questions? This article could easily be five times longer. And some single sentences could be explained much better in several paragraphs. I have tried to strike a balance in length. If you have a question about anything here or not here, please let me know by responding to this email or call me to converse. If you have a question other likely share it.

Have a great day.
Pastor Kurt

First United Methodist Church | 3717 W. Main St., McHenry, IL 60050
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