Since 2015 the church has received information regarding the dissonance and now splintering of the United Methodist Church. In 2019 the General Conference of the United Methodist Church provided pathways for churches who felt in faithfulness the necessity to disaffiliate from the denomination.
Following the 2019 divisive General Conference, a consortium of leaders within the United Methodist Church came together to construct a “Protocol of Reconciliation & Grace Through Separation” which would be fully supported at General Conference 2020. However, with COVID and the ultimate postponement of General Conference to 2024, the progressive supporters of the Protocol have discerned they will no longer support it. Thus, a simple separation from the denomination allowing a church to take their property and assets with them has evaporated.
This left the provisions of the 2019 General Conference known as paragraph 2553 the only option for churches to disaffiliate from the United Methodist Church to become independent or affiliate with another denomination. The “sunset” to begin the process of that paragraph is December 31st of this year.
That background to say this. The Church Council has considered the issue at their past meetings, and over the past week each member has attended information sessions to further prepare them. Monday evening, September 19th at their regularly scheduled meeting these two options were put before the council:
- Option 1 – remain a United Methodist Church
- Option 2 – disaffiliate from the United Methodist Church and become independent (paragraph 2553 Book of Discipline United Methodist Church) with the possibility of affiliating with another Wesleyan denomination.
Option 2 was unanimously selected by forty-two members of the Church Council. This is important because as elected representatives, the members of the council felt that every member in good standing should have the opportunity to vote via a Church Conference, on the future of Marion Methodist. The request to convene a Church Conference, to hold the vote, will be made to the District Superintendent after we have made appropriate arrangements to plan and organize opportunities for members of the congregation to learn more regarding all the benefits and difficulties of disaffiliation from the United Methodist Church.
Every member and friend of the church is encouraged to pray and become informed regarding the background of why we have come to this point and investigate the groups involved. Links to a great deal of information are below:
Tim Atwood, Church Council Chair Mike Morgan, Pastor