Commonly asked questions and answers regarding the postponement of General Conference and the Global Methodist Church (GMC):
The United Methodist Church (UMC) is not splitting. The denomination is a large (13 million members globally), vibrant, worldwide witness for Jesus Christ. There may be some churches, likely 10-20%, who may choose to leave the UMC over the next many months to become a part of either a newly created denomination called the Global Methodist Church or to become independent churches
The General Conference (GC) is the once a quadrennium (every 4 years) meeting of the UMC that is the only body capable of speaking on behalf of the denomination and making changes to the UMC Book of Discipline. The GC is made up of up to 1000 worldwide delegates of 50% clergy and 50% laity who have been elected from their previous Annual Conference. The Annual Conference is the foundational organization of the UMC and is a regional judicatory body that oversees a group of UM Churches in a specific geographic area. The Book of Discipline is the official publication of the UMC that contains our doctrine, constitution, and procedures for operation. The General Conference decisions are final, and they supersede an Annual Conference or local church decision. The only challenge that can be made to the decisions of the GC is a ruling by the Judicial Council, which is the equivalent of the Supreme Court to the UMC.
All we know at this point is that the postponement of the 2020 General Conference means that there will not be a GC until 2024. The GC is awaiting a ruling by the Judicial Council if the GC held in 2024 will be a genuine postponement of the 2020 and thus all the previously elected delegates will serve as elected, or whether the GC to be held in 2024 will be a new GC with newly elected delegates from the various Annual Conferences in 2022 or 2023. This ruling by the Judicial Council can not only effect previously elected delegates but the actual agenda of the GC to be held.
The postponement of the 2020 General Conference due to the pandemic has caused anxiety and urgency among those churches that want to disaffiliate. Therefore, the Global Methodist Church (GMC) is being formed and offering churches the opportunity to participate. There is no requirement to disaffiliate. Likewise, there is no requirement for a church to vote whether they want to disaffiliate or for that matter to remain a part of the UMC.
The Global Methodist Church (GMC) is a newly created denomination (to begin May 1, 2022) formulated through the work of the Wesleyan Covenant Association (WCA). The GMC was created in response to the decades long struggle in the UMC over biblical authority, human sexuality, and structural process.
Disaffiliation is the formal process allowed by The UMC Book of Discipline for a local congregation to leave (disaffiliate) the denomination. It is a long, tedious, and costly process for a local church. To learn more about the specifics of the process click HERE. If a church chooses to disaffiliate it can become a part of the GMC, or another denomination, or to become an independent church. That decision is up to the individual church. If a church decides, after following the process described in the link above, the threshold of the vote is at least 67% (or 2/3). There is no intention on the part of Trietsch leadership to disaffiliate.
Trietsch Memorial UMC has a mission—to lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. This mission guides everything we do. Practically speaking therefore, what’s happening in the UMC has little direct impact on Trietsch. We will continue to lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. The elected leadership of the church hopes to continue accomplishing this mission through the witness of the UMC.
If you would like to continue to be a part of the witness of Jesus Christ through the ministry of Trietsch, then the postponement of the General Conference of the UMC, the creation of the GMC and the process of disaffiliation actually has little impact on you. We will continue to lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ in the best way we possibly can.