8 bishops join in planning new denomination

People who had submitted briefs to the United Methodist Judicial Council pray prior to a May 2018 oral hearing in Evanston, Ill. From left are the Rev. Keith Boyette, Stephanie Henry, Bishop Scott Jones, John Lomperis and Thomas E. Starnes. Boyette, Jones and Lomperis were among 28 United Methodists who signed a statement from a meeting in Atlanta about the formation of a new traditionalist denomination. File photo by Kathleen Barry, UM News.

By Heather Hahn, UMNS

A group of United Methodist leaders, including eight bishops, has issued a statement sharing its vision for a global traditionalist denomination focused on evangelism and the “primacy of Scripture.” Among the group’s essential doctrinal beliefs is defining Christian marriage as between a man and a woman.

Two of the bishops who signed the statement told UM News they would depart The United Methodist Church for such a new denomination. One other said he is considering it.

The Protocol of Reconciliation & Grace Through Separation, endorsed by a range of advocacy groups and some General Conference delegations, is due to be considered at the 2020 General Conference.

It calls for allowing traditionalist churches and conferences to leave with their properties to form another denomination, while also getting $25 million in United Methodist funds.

“Although no one yet knows what The United Methodist Church will look like following the 2020 General Conference, it is clear that our denomination is no longer unified in its beliefs,” the more than two dozen traditionalist leaders said in a press release accompanying their March 12 statement. “Therefore, some sort of separation is probable. As such, we felt it necessary to begin conversations about what the new traditional expression of Methodism might look like.”

Texas Conference Bishop Scott Jones joined the Rev. Keith Boyette, president of the Wesleyan Covenant Association, and Patricia Miller, executive director of the United Methodist Confessing Movement, in convening a recent meeting in Atlanta that led to the statement.

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Comments

  1. Does anyone have any sense as to how many Bishops might opt for a new traditional denomination? It would seem pretty clear cut to me. As a Bishop you either support gay clergy, same sex weddings and take a pro-abortion stance or you don’t.

  2. Dan Stelluto says

    I am a conservative Christian and do believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. If we separate from the Unified Methodist Church and join with other traditional churches/Conferences, how will we then minister to those in the LGBTG community? Is their sin greater than others? Did Jesus die for them also? How would Jesus deal with them? Which side would he be on? …as you do the least of my brethren you do unto Me? So will the new conservative congregations shun “those” people?” Would the mission of the new group of traditional churches be the same as given to us by Jesus in the New Testament? If the calling to ministry is from God, would God choose a LGBTQ person? We are currently a UMC and still have these questions unanswered. So how do we minister to all of God’s people? WWJD?

    • You minister to them the way that you minister to anyone. By not telling them that their sinful actions are holy and righteous.

  3. Dan Stelluto says

    Thank you for your reply, which is similar to the responses I have heard from others. However, our actions speak louder than our words and those that we minister to will know how the congregation really feel about them by those actions. Also, the fact that the church has severed from the United MC and joined a like minded conservative alliance of churches would tacitly convey its stance and possibly its policy towards ” them.” Will they be accepted or recruited as we do with others in the community? Will the outreach ministries openly include all people in the community? I do hope that we can come up with definitive ministry approaches that are well articulated so that conservative churches can attract and minister to all of God’s people inclusively.

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