Court OKs Part of Traditional Plan, Exit Plan



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LGBTQ weddings

Under the new disciplinary rules, local church lay leaders cannot be brought to trial for holding LGBTQ weddings in their sanctuaries. If lay leaders want to protect their appointed clergy from disciplinary sanctions, let retired clergy colleagues perform the weddings. After going through the charade of thousands of trials for retired clergy, there is very little they can do except defrock them after their second infraction. Clergy pensions can't be attacked. Not yet!

Wayne more than 2 years ago

Not so simple

Don't think retired clergy can't be charged and defrocked. Also, pastors under appointment have authority and responsibility for the oversight of all worship in their charges. Marriage ceremonies are acts of worship. As such, no one is to conduct a marriage in a local church building without the permission of the pastor in charge. Acting like Sgt. Schultz while someone else does the officiating (I know nothing!) doesn't show a lot of integrity, and will only lead to tighter restrictions in the future.

Clergy pensions can't be attacked. Period. That's basic labor law. And a straw man.

John more than 2 years ago

A sane solution

Traditionalists are not going to give up and change. They have the votes and will only strengthen in the future. There are two options. Fight again next year and the rest of the tp will be passed. Or take the offer for a mutual separation where there is no winner or loser. Continue the battle or negotiate a peaceful separation that allows both sides to move forward. Which solution sounds Christian?

Scott more than 2 years ago

Exit petitions approved

The exit petitions were ruled constitutional? Why isn't that an acceptable path for dissenters?

td more than 2 years ago

The Exit Plan

Your comment has a "We won, you lost, if you don't like it... Leave!" attitude. This is the modern political attitude that infects our country. Jesus taught us to love those that our different (sorry I cannot call progressives enemies, even if I disagree with them on almost all theological points and hate their tactics). We need to treat eachother as children of Christ made in the image of God, even if we can't live together. The problem with the exit plan is two fold. First it is expensive for a church to leave and the AC can say no to a church leaving. Therefore liberal churches may not be allowed to leave traditional conferences and traditional churches in liberal conferences (and yes I used to serve in one and there are many in hiding) may not be allowed to leave. Secondly it is very expensive and small struggling churches, especially after losing traditional members in the liberal AC's probably can't afford it. The other reason is due to the fact that we have entire regions of the country that are progressive and there is no provision for entire AC's or even a jurisdiction to leave the UMC. Plus we are stuck with many progressive agencies that do not align with the traditional agenda. This includes the majority of our seminaries. If the liberal churches left in mass under the current exit plan in mass we would be left with hollowed out AC's and stuck with many agencies that we would have to purge and or close down. It makes much more sense to fairly split the church, allow AC's to choose sides, let institutions choose sides, split property equally, and any cash reserves. Indidvidual churches that disagree with their AC's choice (there will be many in all areas) can switch to the nearest AC they agree with. Since trust is transfered to the new denomination, there are no trust issues. Each group will be free to write their own discipline and make their own rules. Agencies that can be spun off like
Wespath and be self sufficient should be. This way there is no winner and no loser. No spiking the ball. This is the decent, peaceful way to solve our problems. We can have more unity as relatives in nearby houses than relatives fighting daily in the same house. As Jesus said, blessed be the peacemakers. WCA has already offered to help progressives with the logistics of forming a new denomination, using what they have prepared. The goal for me is to have a traditional, scripture based, evangelical Methodist denomination. We may have the power to force progressives to either fall in line or leave, but do we really want to go through years of drama. I doubt I will live that long!

Scott more than 2 years ago

The Exit Plan

The only 'winner'in this horror is EVIL. "The modern political attitude that infects our country." is lamented by the sentence; "Jesus taught us to love those that our{sic} different (sorry I cannot call progressives enemies, even if I disagree with them on almost all theological points and hate their tactics)". .Labeling, pigeon-holing continues to assure that we will not get beyond the 'us vs them/right vs. wrong/black vs. white' approach. When we are able to view every other
one of our Fellow Astronauts on Spaceship Earth as equally created by God, equally loved by God, we may be able to start to seek common ground and hopefully find it before we are all in common ground (the cemetery). "My way or the highway' is forcing others to 'either fall in line or leave'. May we walk arm-in-arm even if we don't see eye-to-eye. Or as John Wesley challenged us; "If your heart is with my heart, give me your hand". We are all hurting and falling short.

wil more than 2 years ago


I agree with you, but i just don't think we will get to a better exit solution than this one. Yes, there may be some financial arrangements that have to readjusted, but the basic exit requirements are reasonable: 2/3 approval by local church; majority approval by annual conference for local church to disaffiliate.

Personally, while i prefer a managed splitting, i don't think honest negotiators exist within our leadership to broker a plan that gets to 2/3 of general conference and 2/3 of anmual conferences. Yes, it's worth a shot, but at some point those who do not have the majority at GC will have to realize that they don't have the votes and either choose to follow the rules or choose to leave (whether that leaving is through current mechanisms or a managed process).

At some points it appears that dissenters are disproportionally interested in keeping the umc name and institutional framework. Truly, traditional believers are getting stuck with an institution they don't like and progressives are having to start a new institution when they would prefer to keep the existing one.

td more than 2 years ago