Bishops: Please Call Special Online General Conference to Pass Protocol

September 29, 2021


UNITED METHODIST ACTION

UM Action works to defend biblical faithfulness and a disciple-making focus in the United Methodist Church, as sought by the founder of Methodism, John Wesley, and challenge those who would divert our church from the holy mission to which God has called us.


We urge the United Methodist Council of Bishops to call a Special Online General Conference to ratify the Protocol of Reconciliation and Grace through Separation ( https://www.gracethroughseparation.com/) so that all Methodists can move forward. Traditionalists can emerge into The Global Methodist Church. Centrists and liberals can continue with the post-separation United Methodist Church (PSUMC), and progressives can move into the Liberation Methodist Connexion, among other options.


The scheduled physical General Conference of August 29 – September 6, 2022 in Minneapolis will cost over $12 million and require hundreds of people to meet across nine days, debating hundreds of pieces of legislation, much of which will not apply to people not remaining in the PSUMC. Dozens of African delegates and possibly others will be disenfranchised because they cannot get U.S. visas.


An online General Conference, devoted exclusively to The Protocol, will save millions of dollars and allow wider participation especially for overseas delegates. Ensuring all delegates have internet access will be far less costly than a physical meeting. A “distributed” event in which delegations meet to participate online together in their respective region might be the best route.


Methodists across the spectrum are ready to end a 50 year battle over the church’s teachings on sexuality. There is widespread consensus behind the Protocol. Saving millions of dollars and sparing the church an unneeded physical gathering will be a mercy to all. We ask the bishops to call a special online meeting as soon as possible to allow everyone to move forward. Other major denominations have successfully convened online conventions during the pandemic, including with overseas delegates.

We pray this process of separation will occur soon, amid prayer and with good will to all.


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