SHORT COMPARISON OF PATHWAYS
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Pathways >
One Denomination, Many expressions
Work within GC to Divide or Dissolve
Work Outside to Divide or Dissolve / Individual Dissaffiliation / Other
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Considerations v US Regional Conference UMNext PlanAll BelongProtocol for SeparationIndianapolis PlanN.E.W. Plan Jurisdictional Re-DrawFederated ChurchesEncourage Local Churches to Dissaffiliatte
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Proposed by Connectional Table UMCNext- Dotson Western Jurisd. delegatesMediation teamInvited group- MillardUM Forward- WilliamsB. Girrell and S. Delmore B. Girrell local movement
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Summary Websitehttps://tinyurl.com/y3twjsuohttps://umcnext.com/proposal/https://allbelongumc.org/https://tinyurl.com/wy6lc24https://tinyurl.com/yxejfxlwhttps://um-forward.org/our-movement-forwardhttps://tinyurl.com/y5lyfq8phttps://tinyurl.com/y236pr7v
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Selling Point Keeps UMC; US contextuality and autonomy strengthens "center/progressive" which is the majority of USRemoves harm and creates inclusivity in the Book of Discipline included people from various caucuses in the drafting; short timeline; offers agreemnt for keeping a version of The UMC and spinning off one or more "traditionalist" or other denominations Short timeline, compromise that progressives, centrists, and WCA agree onfull liberation for one of the resulting denominations Offers an option to be used if GC passes nothing (or nothing helpful to dissolve/divide) keeps local churches together in the event of a need to vote for a particualr denomination/ expression not waiting for GC to change
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Supported by Connectional Table, some centrists UMNext, some centrists, gets big pressProgressives, left-leaning centrists, some LGBTQ, Western Jurid. delegation broad supportmixed group- includes some conservatives and some progressives UM Forward, many of the queer clergy caucusmixed group"New England Discerners," lots of individual churches
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Oppositionprogressives find it wouldn't resolve the problem/allow LGBTQ people to serve; traditionalists may still object to being LGBTQ inclusive in other regions of the denomToo similar to One Church Plan and its limitations; progressives, LGBTQ folks, strong opposition from Our Movement Forward and from traditionalists WCA, Trasitionalist movement, Good News, General Conference small group formed the protocol; did not really include progressive voices; $25M payout deemed too big or too little depending on caucuscentral objection: not developed by a very representative body- no known Central Conference, queer, or POC representationpresumably all traditionalists and most centrists; central objection: long timeline, further fragments the non-traditionalist by dividing liberationists, progressives, and centrists. central objection: what if Judicial Council rules that an AC can't take property with it? What happens to churches isolated from their nearest like-minded neighbors? local churches who choose to do this would need bylaws, agreements, etc., may complicate things unnecessarily central objection: are local churches able to survive alone? does this leave other NEAC alone holding the bill for something they can't sustain? Can any churches afford to dissaffiliate, given the pension costs?
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Brief Pass GC legislation to create a US Regional Conf akin to Central Conferneces in power. Allow Discipline to be regionally amended. Pass legislation to allow for social principles to be included in amending. Similar to One Church Plan, utilizes another called session and another study team. Different regions or expressions decide their position. Dovetails with US regional conferencePass GC legislation to remove "incompatibility," and related discriminatory/chargeable offense sections, undo Traditional Plan, increase inclusivity; includes constitutional amendments Pass GC legislation (not yet written) to create: a) an exit for 1 or more traditional denominations, b) regional conferences within the remaining UMC, c) possibility for other spin-off but affiliated denominations; UMC pays $25-27M to departing denomination(s), holds $38M to use to be redressing racist legacy of the denomination(s); annual conferences affiliate with resulting denominations. Short Timeline. Pass GC legislation to create 3 new denominations. The center/progressive one holds most of the current asset and liability/retains UMC. ACs decide their position with churches free to disaffiliate if they disagree with the AC creates four new denominations: conservative, centrist, progressive, liberative, all part of a worldwide communion. Uses a transitional council and professional arbiter to divide assets etc; imposes moritorium on trials; boards and agencies become independent 501c3sUse Jurisdictional power to redraw conference boundaries, creating conferences that are of one mind as possible. Conferences leave/disaffiliate with property and can re-form into a new connection. Dovetails with missionary conferences. local churches who have to vote to affiliate with a denomination out of two or more options would instead let the member roll divde between those options, and then federate with those two or more denominations.Using the (currently unresolved due to voting irregularity) procesudres created by GC2019 and NEAC2019, have individual churches disaffiliate and be free to do their ministry.
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Needed Legislation Constitutional amendments to create a new Regional Conference, or leg committee dealing with only US issues23 peitions. Commission appointed by bishops reports to a called session in 2023, to approve a plan for denominational restructure. petitions to delete "incompatibility;" peteitions to remove language in candidacy, chargeable offenses, etc In process. Requested review by Judicial Council of constitutionality.Divisions of assets, legislation that dissolves the denomination into new ones-- does that mean constitutional amendment? 1 peition that adds a section to implement the transitional plan and describe the new denominations none needed; prefer to clarify that ACs can dissaffiliate and keep property in trust. none needed. fix dissaffiliation, then only needs to pass votes at the local church and AC level.
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Known legislationhttps://tinyurl.com/y3lp55sehttps://umcnext.com/legislation/https://allbelongumc.org/what-we-proposehttps://tinyurl.com/y3wms5ethttps://tinyurl.com/y2sh3trrhttps://tinyurl.com/yxugpgzsnone needed. none needed, beyond fix to dsiaffiliation.
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Can it Pass? unclear. Passed GC before, but failed constitutional amendment process. Maybe, maybe not; vote might be similar to One Church Plan (47/53) Almost definitely not. Possibly. Initial high and broad-based support. High probability in some form, given broad support, short timeline, negotiated with WCA, centrist, and progressive.probably not - seek non-legislative means to implement; needs amendment to moritorium section Does not need to pass GC. Does not need to pass. Doesn't need to pass.
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Trials? moritoriumeliminatedmoritorium recommended; agreed to by the signatories.silentmoritoriumdepends on resulting denominationdepends on resulting denominationnot for those who leave
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Ordination? eventual hope that criteria to be set by US Regional conferenceProhibition removed; Every annual confernece decides criteria Prohibition removed each new denomination decides- centrists and progressives remove incompatibility and restrictionseach new denomination decides- centrists remove incompatibility and restrictionsmay not discriminate (in liberative church); depends on resulting denomination depends on resulting denominationdepends on resulting denominationunclear what happens to credentials of clergy if they leave too
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Marriage? eventual hope to be set by US Regional conferenceomits "between a man and a woman" from church-wide definition of marriagechanges definition of marriage to include same sex partners as well each new denomination decides- centrists and progressives alloweach new denomination decides- centrists and progressives allow may not discriminate (in liberative church); depends on resulting denomination depends on resulting denominationdepends on resulting denominationyes, for those who leave/form new denomination
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Funding Ban?determined by regionremoves ban removes bansilentsilent may not discriminate (in liberative church); depends on resulting denomination silent silentpreumably yeas for those who leave/form new denomination
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Disaffiliation? yes of churches, no for annual conferences no provisionseparation, not disafiliation; pathway provided for ACs and local churchesyes- ACs decide which denom to join, local churches can vote otherwise for themselves. dissolution, with individual ACs and churches able to vote to decide their outcome. provides pathway for ACs and churches to dis/affiliatenot needed; be part of 2 or moe resulting denominations yes
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Financial Considerations "unburdens" the GC from US-specific matters; GC could meet for shorter times; working with Wespath to have all the calls for multiple special sessions, mediators, and commissions. Uses Wespath prefered proposal and if disaffiliating churches stay with Wespeth, minimizes disruption to benefit pool. cost of traditionalist churches seeking dissafilliation$25-27M for exiting denominations, $38M for racial reparations. Special session of the post-split UMC at unknown cost. Retirement and benefits funds stay with the plan sponsor (AC) or member (church and its clergy person), thereby minimizing instability in the poollegal fees? special sessions? unfunded liability transfers to new denomination. see asset allocation at: https://peopleneedjesus.files.wordpress.com/2019/09/2556.12.d-asset-allocation-proposal.pdf transitional council, called session, realignment of investment to address harms of colonialism etc JC special sessions if needed, liberating "stuck" churches or clergycosts of drawing up bylaws, incorporating, etc. funding pensions and other benefits, loss of shared liability, potential need to pay back or fogive loans, relief, etc.
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Impact on NEACMight work for a majority of NEAC local churches; preserves the known but allows LGBTQ people here. Might work for a majority of NEAC local churches; preserves the known but allows LGBTQ people here. Widespread loss of traditionalist churches makes denomination even more topheavy/ unsustainable; this financial burden filters down. possibly allows much of NEAC to stay together; would some churches in NEAC want to join a liberationist denomination or at least federate with that denomination? Might work for a majority of NEAC local churches; minimizes change but allows LGBTQ people here, and allows conservative churches an outMight work for a majority of NEAC local churches; congregations and clergy would be able to affilaite as needed, but we'd lose some conenction to each other Might work for a majority of NEAC local churches; minimizes change but allows LGBTQ people here. Might work for a lot of churches in NEAC, resolving conflict for those churches that feel divided or caught in the middle Concern that this works for the churches that disaffiliate only if they are large enough and sustainable enough. Churches that don't disaffiliate are potentially exposed to increased liability, pension costs, apportionments, etc. Loss of connection in the movement.
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Impact on local churches On the outset, it may not seem like much changes. The downside to that is that the infighting continues within the US Regional Confernece On the outset, doesn't look like much change for centrist and progressive churches; traditionalist churches presumably disaffiliate overall structure of denomination wouldn't changelocal churches have to vote on where they will affiliate/what to do if they don't agree with their annual conference's choice local churches have to vote on where they will affiliate/what to do if they don't agree with their annual conference's choice local churches will have to vote on where they affilliate local churches have to vote on where they will affiliate/what to do if they don't agree with their annual conference's choicelocal churches DO NOT NEED TO VOTE and pick one side, can continue in ministry together despite differences currently, large cost to local churches seeking to disaffiliate; remaining churches then support a more top-heavy, unsustainable denomination
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Impact on clergy Continued internal strife in denomination. Unclear how many traditionalist churches would find this untenable and leave, weakening retirement stability. widepresd loss of traditionalist churches impacts retirement stability if they do not continue with Wespath Widespread loss of traditionalist churches weakens retirement stability. unclear if clergy have a smooth pathway to transfer conferences/denominations as well as the churches do. unclear if clergy have a smooth pathway to transfer conferences/denominations as well as the churches do. clergy are free to affiliate where they can practice ministry more freely some clergy may find themselves more free to practice their ministry some celrgy may find themselves serving churches where they are more or less free to practice their minsitry as they are now loss of conenction with colleagues, loss of churches/entering a new denomination or lack thereof weakens retirement stabilty. Uncelar what happens to clergy serving churches that disaffiliate.
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credits: Information compiled by Rev. Becca Girrell
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New England Annual Conference
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Delegation, Open Spirit Task Force
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(opinions are mine)
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Some summary information found from Chris Ritter:
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https://peopleneedjesus.net/2019/09/26/gc2020-nine-plans-and-what-to-think-about-them/
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