Author: Rev. Dr. Mark Holland, Executive Director, Mainstream UMC
Mainstream UMC celebrates the unanimous, negotiated protocol that has just been announced to restructure the church through separation. Mainstream UMC is honored to have been a part of these negotiations and our Board has unanimously endorsed the document. We believe this protocol lays out great hope for the United Methodist Church.
Mainstream UMC continues to be committed to the Spirit at Pentecost breathing life into a theologically diverse denomination. We acknowledge that this diversity is not possible for some of our most conservative brothers and sisters. This protocol allows this group to fulfill their decades-long goal of spinning off a very conservative brand of Methodism. We grieve this loss and yet, in the spirit of Christian charity, we bless them in their new endeavor.
Mainstream UMC sees this as a moment of transformation for the United Methodist Church that frees our global church for mission together. Here are the most promising pieces of the Protocol:
- The United Methodist Church remains intact and allows those who would like to leave to do so.
- No Annual Conference or Local Church will need to vote in order to remain United Methodist.
- There is an immediate abeyance (moratorium) on all complaints, charges and trials against LGBTQ clergy and clergy who perform same-gender weddings
- There is a generous $25 million set aside for the new very conservative denomination to form.
- All pensions will be honored and kept whole
- This protocol provides a clear path towards regional governance for the global church that allows each region to adopt relevant legislation around human sexuality.
- The protocol was unanimously endorsed by individuals representing Mainstream UMC, Uniting Methodists, UMC Next, Reconciling Ministries Network, Methodist Federation for Social Action, Affirmation, Wesleyan Covenant Association, Institute on Religion and Democracy, Good News, Confessing Movement, and Bishops from the US, Africa, Europe, and the Philippines.
There is much work that remains to draft this protocol into legislation. That legislation will be placed in the very capable hands of the 2020 General Conference Delegates to move the church forward. Mainstream UMC calls on all of our Bishops to honor the abeyance (moratorium) of complaints, charges and trials related to LGBTQ persons. The work of Mainstream UMC will continue in advocating for the passage of this legislation at General Conference. This is only the beginning of a very important five-month stretch in the life of our church.
Stay tuned as Mainstream UMC will continue to listen and work to help move the church forward. Please continue to pray for the church during these difficult and exciting times.
Please consider a donation for the ongoing work of Mainstream UMC: www.MainstreamUMC.com/donate Thank you.
Here is the UM News Article: https://www.umnews.org/en/news/diverse-leaders-group-offers-separation-plan
Here is a link to the protocol: https://cdnsc.umc.org/-/media/umc-media/2020/01/03/15/48/Protocol-of-Reconciliation-and-Grace-through-Separation