A Fair and Gracious Exit Path

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fair and gracious exit

I once heard a Methodist leader say to a Nazarene friend regarding the split that created the Nazarene church: You took the fire and left us the stove. Ed seems to be all for the stove. Or call it the Jerry McGuire theory of church conflicts...'show me the money' and take the rest. And I say that as one who supports the trust clause and the wisdom of denominational protection against destructive splits for ego-centered or dysfunctional reasons. But not all reasons to depart are necessarily that...

bob 38 days ago

The call for gracious exit

Is no longer restricted to the WCA. How about the number of signatures--I estimated over a thousand a month ago-- on the separate petition calling for a gracious exit plan that originated in the very theological diverse West Ohio Conference? https://um-gracious-exit.com/

betsy 39 days ago

The real problem

There is no longer any essential doctrine for the UMC--it has become a theological free for all right down to everybody can now pick and choose which General Conference decisions they will abide by and which ones they will ignore. Wake up and face the reality--there is absolutely nothing to hold us together. The UMC is in shambles; embracing theological plurality was the beginning of the end and we are quickly approaching The End. Regardless of what happens with this Way Forward debacle, the uninterrupted numerical decline will ultimately make the denomination disappear. We are collapsing like the house of cards we are.

betsy 39 days ago

Memo to file: Never again give to a church building drive unless our local church gets the deed!

All those “building drives” over the years and we givers never thought to ask if we locals who gave the extra money to build or expand our church would hold the deed! Who expected the UMC to turn against our values so that some churches would want to leave? Who knew we do not own what WE paid for? Lessons learned!
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Here’s a lesson for those who want to hold a local church by legal action on the buildings: review the $18 MILLION + in legal expenses spent by the Episcopal Church to hold onto buildings since that denomination turned hard left. The Episcopal church has won most of those lawsuits and now owns lots of empty buildings! Is that winning? Some former churches are now bars/restaurants, antique stores. Many are vacant decaying buildings. Is that winning?
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Perhaps Rev. Womack hasn’t thought this out: By his challenge (some might say “threat”), those who want to leave the new liberal UMC are welcome to do so, but they must leave their building to the UMC. O.K, so with former tithing/offering members gone, whatcha gonna put in the church? A church building has a special design not suitable for much else. Few are worth near what was invested into them. So, the land value is the big part in many cases. Tear the church down and sell just the land? Is that winning?
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If the UMC is roughly 4 times what the Episcopal Church once was, then is it fair to estimate the coming legal expenses to keep the buildings of UMC churches who leave might be over $50 MILLION? Given that the UMC is currently budgeting a 20% decrease in income after 2020, can UMC afford that level of “winning”?

Reese 40 days ago

I think the donors did understand.

While the current turmoil would make a building campaign difficult, historically, Methodists have benefited from the Trust Clause in that you could give knowing in confidence that a small band of local members couldn't run off into a weird theological direction. The trust is placed in your annual conference.

Chad 38 days ago

What they did not anticipate was the new origin of the threat.

Chad, you correctly submit, "...historically, Methodists have benefited from the Trust Clause in that you could give knowing in confidence that a small band of local members couldn't run off into a weird theological direction." Makes sense, or it used to. Now, however, the individual churches are faced with a conference or an entire denomination that could run off into a weird theological direction. We shall soon see which conferences can be "trusted" and which will place their proverbial sandals, and lawyers, upon the necks of the local churches who want to leave the UMC. In other words, "when it comes to the "Trust Clause", who exactly can you trust?"

Reese 38 days ago

Trust clause

The last desperate tactic of the progressive left. Heard the same thing when I was attending an Episcopal church.

kevin 40 days ago

I think the Trust Clause is pretty strong.

I've only looked at the issue casually and its a case of something that would indeed need to be litigated. However, the Trust Clause has been around since Wesley. It's not something we invented after the donations came in. But its also the case, that the owners are the annual conferences, not General Conference.

I had a strategy professor in business school that said the key to strategy is to know all the facts and for the facts you are working off of to actually be true. Then strategy is easy. It's hard to know what the facts are when it comes to this issue.

Chad 40 days ago

But it seems so absurd

To leave a denomination because the church body does not embrace unbridled hatred like the right-wing UMCers do.

George Nixon Shuler 34 days ago

Winner take all.

The basic organizing unit of the United Methodist Church is the annual conference and it is winner take all.

Chad 40 days ago

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