Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church

Comparison of proposals to General Conference 2020

1/10/2020

The upcoming General Conference made national headlines this month when the Council of Bishops shared a press release regarding a proposed plan of separation for the United Methodist Church.

Although several news media outlets reported the story as if the proposal was conclusive, the proposed protocol is far from being finalized. If delegates do vote to consider the protocol, it will be one of many plans brought before General Conference delegates in May.

Ask the UMC and UM News developed the following summary to compare reorganization proposals that were submitted by Sept. 18, 2019, the deadline for consideration.

Plans are listed in alphabetical order, and plans from individuals were not included in the comparison. All plans will be open to amendments during General Conference and may be subject to Judicial Council review.

For details, visit www.resourceumc.org/en/content/gc2020-proposed-plans.

 


“NEW DENOMINATIONS” (INDIANAPOLIS PLAN)

PLAN DOCUMENTS

NUMBER OF DENOMINATIONS

• 2-3 or more global denominations - traditionalist and centrist/progressive
• The UMC continues through the Centrist UMC.
• Other denominations may be formed by 50+ local churches or an annual conference(s).

WHO DECIDES WHAT

• Annual conferences, central conferences, clergy and bishops choose to join any new denomination.
• Central conferences may become autonomous.
• Local churches may choose a different denomination than their annual conference and retain property, assets and liabilities.

REQUIREMENTS

• Sets interim exemption from LGBTQ prohibitions for Centrist conferences, churches and clergy.
• Sets interim suspension of complaints and disciplinary actions related to LGBTQ bans for Centrist conferences, churches and clergy.
• Mandatory retirement for U.S. bishops waived until 2022.
• U.S. bishop elections may be postponed until 2021 or 2022.
• Central conferences elect bishops as determined by General Conference 2020.
• Trust clause suspended for denominations other than Centrist.

FINANCES/ASSET DIVISION

• Continuation of clergy pensions through each new denomination.
• Apportionments paid by all denominations through 2020.
• All denominations support funding for central conference ministries through 2024.

STRUCTURE
& AGENCY RELATIONSHIP

• All denominations develop their own structures, polity and governance.
• Wespath, UMCOR, UMW, UM Men, UMPH become independent to serve any denomination.

• Archives and History retains assets and liabilities and financially supported by each denomination. • All other agencies become part of the Centrist UMC with the option to serve other denominations. • Jurisdictional or annual conference institutions may change affiliation or become independent.

TIMELINE

• Effective at the close of General Conference 2020.
• Aug. 1, 2020 - Interim new alignment begins.
• Jan. 1, 2021 - Default alignment with Centrist UMC if no choice made by an annual conference. • Fall 2021 - Inaugural General Conferences held.
• Jan. 1, 2022 – New denominations fully established.
• 2028 - Opportunity to choose a denomination remains open.

 

“NEW EXPRESSIONS WORLDWIDE”

PLAN DOCUMENTS

NUMBER OF DENOMINATIONS

• 4 global denominations - traditionalist, moderate, progressive and liberationist • The UMC dissolves.

WHO DECIDES WHAT

• A transitional council develops a plan of separation.
• Annual conferences, central conferences, clergy and bishops choose to join any new denomination.
• Local churches may choose a different denomination than their annual conference and retain property, assets and liabilities.

REQUIREMENTS

• Establishes an immediate moratorium on charges, complaints and trials related to LGBTQ prohibitions.

FINANCES/ASSET DIVISION

• General church assets divided equitably.
• Provides for arbitration.

• Establishes financial investments in historically marginalized and vulnerable churches.

STRUCTURE
& AGENCY RELATIONSHIP

• New denominations determine their own policies, structure and processes. • General agencies become independent 501(c)3 organizations.

TIMELINE

• Effective at the close of General Conference 2020.
• Prior to 2024 - Special General Conference held to approve a plan of separation. • Transition time for local churches extends until the Special General Conference.

“NEXT GENERATION UMC”

PLAN DOCUMENTS

NUMBER OF DENOMINATIONS

• 1 or more - The UMC remains intact with options for new Methodist denominations that continue in relationship with the UMC.

WHO DECIDES WHAT

• Congregations, clergy and conferences determine affiliations.

REQUIREMENTS

• Removes LGBTQ prohibitions and Traditional Plan additions.
• A moratorium on new or pending complaint proceedings and trials related to LGBTQ prohibitions takes effect at the close of General Conference 2020.

FINANCES/ASSET DIVISION

• General Conference includes grant funding for new denominations in relationship with The UMC in the 2021-2024 budget.

STRUCTURE
& AGENCY RELATIONSHIP

• Creates a U.S. regional conference and a U.S. Regional Committee of the General Conference. • A special commission proposes a new constitution and governance structures.

TIMELINE

• Aug. 1, 2020 - Commission on a 21st Century Church begins work. • Fall 2023 - Special General Conference meets.
• 2025 - Local church disaffiliation provisions expire.

 

“U.S. REGIONAL CONFERENCE”

PLAN DOCUMENTS

NUMBER OF DENOMINATIONS

• The UMC remains intact.

WHO DECIDES WHAT

• Until a U.S. regional conference is formed, an interim committee of the General Conference handles U.S. matters.

REQUIREMENTS

• Requires constitutional amendments (2/3 majority vote by General Conference and annual conference members).
• Amends Part VI, Chapter Four, of the Discipline to authorize and organize a U.S. regional conference.

FINANCES/ASSET DIVISION

• N/A

STRUCTURE
& AGENCY RELATIONSHIP

• N/A

TIMELINE

• 2021-2024 - Interim committee plans a new U.S. Regional Conference. • 2024 - New U.S. Regional Conference convenes.

 

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