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With 416 total voters, 83% voted to disaffiliate from the United Methodist Church. This surpassed the 2/3 majority needed, and our decision will therefore be taken to the November 19th Annual Conference meeting for final approval by the West Ohio Annual Conference. The subsequent affiliation vote relating to the Global Methodist Church was 96% “yes” to affiliate with the Global Methodist Church. So, assuming the Annual Conference accepts our request to disaffiliate, by Jan. 1 of 2023 we will no longer be a United Methodist Church but instead will be a Global Methodist Church. Info on this new affiliation is at globalmethodist.org.
𝗥𝗼𝗺𝗮𝗻𝘀 𝟭𝟮:𝟭𝟱-𝟭𝟲 𝘀𝗮𝘆𝘀, “𝗥𝗲𝗷𝗼𝗶𝗰𝗲 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝘁𝗵𝗼𝘀𝗲 𝘄𝗵𝗼 𝗿𝗲𝗷𝗼𝗶𝗰𝗲; 𝗺𝗼𝘂𝗿𝗻 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝘁𝗵𝗼𝘀𝗲 𝘄𝗵𝗼 𝗺𝗼𝘂𝗿𝗻. 𝗟𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝗶𝗻 𝗵𝗮𝗿𝗺𝗼𝗻𝘆 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗼𝗻𝗲 𝗮𝗻𝗼𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿,” and I hope and pray we will live that way in this moment. This was not a competition with winners or losers, and I was very proud of the way our congregation came together and treated each other during the vote. Some of us are joyful at the outcome, some are sorrowful, and some are feeling a mixture of both. Some families and friend groups include people at both ends of that emotional spectrum. So in accordance with the Scripture we really can choose to love others, feel their feelings as well as our own, and come alongside of them in harmony. My heart is with you, and I know that in Christ we can all love each other in spite of our differences of opinion. Let me know how I can serve you in this time!𝐎𝐧 𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐝, 𝐧𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐢𝐦𝐦𝐞𝐝𝐢𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐥𝐲 𝐢𝐬 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐚𝐭 𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐜𝐡𝐮𝐫𝐜𝐡. We’re here together, welcoming everyone to worship with us and participate in our ministries, and doing our same ministries together. Since 1827 we have been worshipping the Lord and making disciples of Jesus through this congregation, within multiple different Methodist denominations and under multiple different names, and we will continue doing so in the years (even centuries?!) to come! You are a part of that, and I hope you will continue together with even greater passion!𝐎𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐝, 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐰𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐮𝐬𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐢𝐧 𝐦𝐮𝐥𝐭𝐢𝐩𝐥𝐞 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐞𝐬. The Global Methodist Church is a newly forming organization of churches that has a rigorous commitment to the traditional biblical Gospel and a passion for warm-hearted world evangelism. Our new association with this group of churches will call us to more passionate disciple-making practices of outreach, mutual support, and accountability in the historic Methodist style that for many of us will be a breath of fresh air and a return to our roots. The impact on our surrounding community will be exciting and tangible. In the weeks to come:a) We will renew our commitment to the Refresh initiative in our church that was exploring how God is leading us to refresh our building and facilities to improve our ministries.b) We will renew our commitment to the Engage initiative in our church that was exploring how God is calling us to a new name and logo for our church.Those efforts had begun before the disaffiliation vote, then were paused to await the vote’s outcome, and now will kick back in to high gear. This is an exciting time!𝐈𝐟 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐰𝐚𝐧𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐲 𝐨𝐟𝐟𝐢𝐜𝐢𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐲 𝐚 𝐦𝐞𝐦𝐛𝐞𝐫 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐔𝐧𝐢𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐌𝐞𝐭𝐡𝐨𝐝𝐢𝐬𝐭 𝐂𝐡𝐮𝐫𝐜𝐡, while our desire is certainly that you would continue with us, our District Superintendent has asked for contact information of any such a person so that his office can help them to join a current or newly forming United Methodist Church, and we absolutely will help in any way we can. We will be compiling such a list in the weeks to come, and you can certainly contact Membership Secretary, Teri, right away to ensure that you stay connected with others who are staying UMC: firstname.lastname@example.org, 937-642-4712.Thank you for your prayers and participation in our church in this time. I feel so incredibly blessed to be a part of such a WONDERFUL congregation. You are a blessing to me and to my family, and I cannot thank you enough. God bless you in this new chapter and new birth! -- Pastor Nathan Custer
Our Church Conference Vote: SEPT. 11 at 4 pm
The vote on whether or not to disaffiliate from the United Methodist Church (and if so, additional vote on whether or not to affiliate with the Global Methodist Church) will be held on September 11, 2022, at 4:00pm, in our BFLC / gym.
Professing members of the church are the only ones who can vote at a Church Conference, and they must be physically present at the church (this was declared by our District Superintendent).
Professing members are people who have officially joined the church by either completing a Membership or Confirmation class and then reciting the vows of membership in a service, or by transferring membership from another church.
You must be in our data base as a Professing Member in order to be able to vote, so please check with the church office before the vote or look at the printed lists in the lobbies and in the Disciples Hallway on the wall to verify whether or not you are a professing member here.
If you need a ride to the vote, or want to verify your membership, please contact the church office at 937-642-4712 or email@example.com.
Congregations around the world are leaving the United Methodist Church denomination to join another denomination or become independent….but WHY? Since our congregation has been United Methodist since 1968 and the default position if we were to do nothing (not have a vote on disaffiliation), is that we would remain United Methodist -- the 'burden of proof' is on those who would prefer to disaffiliate.
Six information sessions have already been held, on June 12, 15, and 21, and July 6, 10, and 13. These info sessions have included information such as the 7 Reasons to Disaffiliate listed below, as well as most of the information in the first five Updates below. Later the 10 Reasons to join the Global Methodist Church were explained, and also are posted below along with many other helpful resources.
To hear advocates for disaffiliating from the United Methodist, note these links below:
Global Methodist Information Session on Aug. 20, in the BFLC / GYM, at 4:00 with a representative who will explain the benefits of disaffiliating from the UMC and joining the Global Methodist Church as a congregation or individual. Recording of it all (including opening speeches by Leadership Team members Carrie Bremer, Clay Bauserman, Phillip Connolly, Kara George, and Pastor Nathan) is here.
Rev. Rob Renfroe (from 9000+ member church in Texas) explains the UMC divide and why the Global Methodist Church is a good option here.
Rev. Dr. Jeff Greenway (locally leads Reynoldsburg UMC) explains 10 reasons he supports the Global Methodist Church here.
Rev. Greg Stover interview -- retired pastor and former District Superintendent who is helping to launch the GMC explains his motivation in a Zoom interview with Pastor Nathan here.
To hear advocates for staying United Methodist, note these links below:
District Superintendent’s In-Person Visit #2 – Aug. 14, BFLC / Gym, 4:00pm. Rev. Dr. Timothy Bias came with two other members of the Bishop's 'Cabinet' to explain the benefits of staying UMC individually and as a congregation. Video here.
District Superintendent’s In-Person Visit #1 – Aug. 1, Sanctuary, 7pm. Dr. Bias gave an overview of the process of disaffiliation and answered questions. Video here.
Bishop’s Online Town Hall Meeting—July 26, Zoom webinar Video here.
Rev. Adam Hamilton, Pastor of Largest UMC Church advocates staying UMC. Video here.
7 Basic Reasons that a Congregation such as Ours Might Want to
Disaffiliate from the UMC
#1. To have unity around the traditional interpretation of the Gospel. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are all called “Gospel” accounts because they tell of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus and indicate that this historical event of Jesus is what provides for the salvation of His followers. Paul’s writings about Jesus and the Christian faith are the first recorded writings that we have from history, and he unambiguously indicates that without the literal / bodily life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, we are doomed. And yet, many UMC pastors, professors, and Bishops reinterpret the Gospel to be a different message, such as “God loves you as you are. Period,” and “We’re all God’s children and a loving God would never send a child to Hell.” While it’s understandable why people would believe such things as the Gospel, these are not biblical or Christian views -- and according to the New Testament authors, such deviance from the one true Gospel is dangerous, heretical, and inspired by evil.
#2. To have unity around the traditional interpretation of Scripture. Some UMC seminary professors, pastors, and Bishops have a very low view of the Bible as perhaps containing some truth or some words of God, and others have a very high view that it is the written Word of God to direct all of life. This leads to wildly different views of everything from morality to the very purpose of having churches.
#3. To have unity around traditional biblical sexuality. Increased, public pressure from those who want to move away from traditional understandings has progressed from ‘agree to disagree’ to ‘anything short of absolute change of the definition of marriage and traditional sexual morality is unacceptable’ for those who want the change. The situation has led to perpetual, unhealthy fighting.
#4. To have unity of theology and ministry. Various UMC leaders, seminary professors, Bishops and pastors use similar words but define them differently. So, we are to make disciples…but what is a disciple, eternal life, and the Gospel? What is a disciple to do and not do? Was Jesus just a man or man + God? And, are all humans just saved automatically? We wildly disagree at all leadership levels on all of these things in the UMC, which means there is no predictability in going from one UMC to another UMC church on any of these essentials of our beliefs and ministry.
#5. To have more accountability of leaders. Currently Bishops are elected for life, and oversee our property and pastors…but are not able to easily be held accountable when they do not uphold church doctrine and rules. We’d like to submit to leadership that in turn is accountable for their actions.
#6. To have more say over choosing our pastors. Currently we are supposed to accept whoever the Bishop appoints, with only a little input. We’d like to have a lot of input and better partnership.
#7. To own our property. We don’t own our own property – we hold it ‘in trust’ for the UMC. We’d rather own and direct it than keep it for the denominational leaders to ultimately own and direct.
Top Ten Reasons to go with the newly forming
“Global Methodist Church”
rather than other options IF we
Disaffiliate from the United Methodist Church
(extensive info is at globalmethodist.org)
#1.Custom-built by trusted leaders specifically for disaffiliating UMC’s who want to faithfully adhere to the biblical Gospel and traditional interpretation of Scripture, theology, and ministry
#2. Corrects the most obvious flaws of the current UMC structure by including greater collaboration with local churches for appointing clergy, term-limits for Bishops and efficient path for removing them when necessary, and elimination of clergy guaranteed appointments
#3. Has checks and balances and lots of decisions already established that would take months to years of effort to establish if we went totally independent
#4. Retains our church’s general history and DNA as a Methodist / Wesleyan type of church and its history of care for its clergy via healthcare and retirement
#5. Retains our name identity in the community as “The Methodist Church” without us having to remain UMC or even use “Methodist” in our name (we could still name ourselves anything else)
#6. Retains the basic organizational structure that our congregation is used to living into
#7. As a newly forming denomination, provides for easier transition and partnership than the ‘hoops’ that would be needed to be jumped through to join an existing denomination
#8. Provides instant local and global connections for partnership and assistance
#9. The destination of choice by other trusted leaders such as Jessica LaGrone (Dean of the Chapel at Asbury Seminary) and David Watson (Academic Dean of United Seminary)
#10. We would own our own property – so even if it didn’t work out, the next change would be easier than this one.
Here are more reasons and the church's updates and statements on this matter. Click on each item and it will link you to the resource
United Methodist resources that encourage STAYING in the UMC and clarify its future direction:
2021 Declaration of the Entire Council of Bishops -- The Bishops' declaration includes the statement: "All of our members, clergy, local churches, and annual conferences will continue to have a home in the future United Methodist Church, whether they consider themselves liberal, evangelical, progressive, traditionalist, middle of the road, conservative, centrist, or something else." This was reiterated by a letter from our District Superintendent that declared "we believe there is room for all within the UMC."
Bishop Gregory Palmer's support of the above declaration -- clarifies that our current Bishop explicitly supports the Council of Bishop's declaration.
Bishop Gregory Palmer's acceptance of multiple Bishops' declaration that they will explicitly disobey the Book of Discipline and the General Conference vote -- This illustrates the extent of the word "all" in the statements in UMC literature such as "all are welcome." After the 2019 General Conference vote, multiple Bishops worked together within their Jurisdictions to declare they would not obey or enforce that vote. Their defiance persists, and Bishop Palmer has explicitly declared he would not criticize or oppose them (this reference is around minute 51:00 in the video).
* Pastor Nathan's Interpretation of this UMC data: The links above illustrate that the most powerful leaders in the United Methodist Church have declared that their intention into the future is to ensure the denomination embraces all versions of Jesus and the Gospel, as well as embraces adherence to and disobedience of the Book of Discipline at their discretion. The Bishops' declaration clarifies that into the future, people are free to interpret the Bible and Book of Discipline as they see fit. The Conference website FAQ's state that the Articles of Faith (on paper in the Discipline) are not changing, and this is absolutely true. However, the Bishops have clearly shown that one can accept or deny them and interpret them however one wants to and still be welcomed in the UMC into the future. If you see this as a positive direction, you will likely want to stay United Methodist and our District Superintendent will help you to remain so regardless of what the outcome of our future vote is (see Update #5 below). If you see this as a negative direction (as do our current Leadership Team and pastors), then you will likely want to disaffiliate from the UMC.
Comparisons between other Methodist/Wesleyan Denominations including the newly forming 'Global Methodist Church' that is welcoming disaffiliating churches: