Disaffiliation per the addendum to the 2016 Book of Discipline following the 2019 Special General Conference

 

During the special General Conference held in 2019, a new paragraph (2553) was added to the Book of Discipline which allows for United Methodist Churches to disaffiliate from the denomination based on their disagreement with the church’s stance on human sexuality.  The provision of this paragraph is in effect until December 31, 2023.

This was not the only paragraph added to the Discipline.  Other paragraphs can be found here.  You will want to update your own copies of the Discipline accordingly.

On April 16, 2021, the Judicial Council of the United Methodist Church affirmed the constitutionality of this paragraph, paving the way for annual conferences to implement processes for disaffiliation.

The Oklahoma Conference Board of Trustees has approved a disaffiliation process for local churches.  Should you want to read the policy or explore any of the aspect therein, you can download it here.

There are two important provisions which a local church will want to know if they are exploring disaffiliation – the amount of apportionment they may owe and their pension obligation to the annual conference.

For a local church to request these figures from the annual conference, the pastor and the chair of the administrative or leadership council must submit a request in writing to the Director of Transitional Ministry.  This will allow the conference staff to be efficient and uniform in the response and to respond in a timely fashion.

In addition, we have provided models for conversation and for discernment as your church begins to think about these decisions.  Please use these or request assistance for the conference staff in leading your church through a discernment process.

It is important to note this:  disaffiliation under paragraph 2553 of the Book of Discipline is only available to churches who disagree with the current United Methodist stance on human sexuality.  For churches who are in agreement with the current stance, the process for disaffiliation is different.  In the latter case, payments are not taken in lieu of the property and a payment for the property needs to be negotiated in addition to the items listed in the disaffiliation agreement.

To contact the office of transitional ministry, reach out to director Rev. Dr. Tish Malloy, tmalloy@okumc.org, 405-530-2027.

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