Time for Decision

The 2024 General Conference of The United Methodist Church will be a watershed General Conference. The disaffiliation of over 7,000 congregations and the resulting loss of over 1 million members will change how the UM Church functions. It is widely believed the denomination will take a much more progressive turn on many theological and social issues.

The Renewal and Reform Coalition is focused on advocating for churches and annual conferences within the UM Church that are still looking for a way to disaffiliate and move in a more traditional direction theologically and regarding social issues. Churches outside the U.S. have been prevented from using the Par. 2553 disaffiliation pathway. Annual conferences outside the U.S. do not have an easy process to disaffiliate. Churches in some U.S. annual conferences cannot afford the draconian costs imposed by their conferences in order to disaffiliate.

All of these unfair situations seek a remedy from the 2024 General Conference. The Renewal and Reform Coalition is supporting the following petitions submitted by African church leaders:

  • A new Par. 2553, which would allow local churches to continue to disaffiliate from the UM Church due to theological differences. The new paragraph maintains the same costs and requirements for disaffiliation contained in the old Par. 2553. It also prohibits annual conferences from imposing extra costs or lengthy procedures on disaffiliating churches. And it clarifies that its provisions apply immediately upon the adjournment of General Conference to all churches in the denomination, including those outside the U.S.
  • A new Par. 576, which provides a pathway for annual conferences outside the U.S. to disaffiliate from the UM Church and align with another Wesleyan denomination (including the Global Methodist Church). The current disaffiliation pathway for annual conferences outside the U.S. requires them to become autonomous, which is not the desire of many annual conferences in the current situation. The autonomous route also is labor-intensive and time-consuming, taking up to four years to complete. The new paragraph allows a process that can be completed within 18 months to two years and relieves some of the bureaucratic hurdles in the autonomous route.

Currently, the Renewal and Reform Coalition is also opposing the proposed regionalization of the UM Church governance. We have heard from our African brothers and sisters that this is not what they want. It is a mechanism for weakening the connectional nature of the UM Church, and it contains provisions that unfairly penalize non-U.S. United Methodists or provides preferential treatment to U.S. United Methodists.

Articles supporting the petitions for disaffiliation and opposing regionalization will be posted on this site as they are written. Thank you for your interest in and consideration of these important issues.