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Laying the groundwork to abandon the proposed UMC Separation Protocol

If you are following the news involving the United Methodist Church, you may have heard of the Separation Protocol – a proposal to split the United Methodist Church into three denominations. The proposal was announced with much fanfare one year ago and celebrated by many as this was the first time that all five affinity groups within the Methodist denomination agreed that the different parts of the church could no longer live together within one denomination.

The proposal, however, was never adopted as the General Conference was cancelled in 2020 due to covid. The looming question is whether the protocol will ever be adopted. The answer, it appears, is no. A webinar put on by the Council of Bishops on February 14, 2021 leads to this conclusion. The financial state of the denomination appears to be driving this conclusion.

While the General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) proposes to reduce spending in the next quadrennial by 31% in order to save the denomination, the stark facts is that this will not be enough of a cut to save the denomination.  The GCFA’s own numbers demonstrate the following:

  • There is a projected reduction of apportionments is $466,524,886.00 by 2025
  • The GCFA anticipates a drop of 41% less funding by 2025
  • The Episcopal fund’s reserves have dropped to $14,000,000 and it is anticipated that the fund will be insolvent by 2023
  • There is no plan to stop the financial crisis, and
  • The only way to fund the United Methodist denomination is to significantly increase apportionments.

The institutionalist within the United Methodist Church are looking at a sharp decline in attendance, giving and apportionments. As a result, they appear to have no real intention to advance the Separation Protocol for a vote as they believe most UMC local churches will do nothing and take no steps to leave the denomination.

Is your local church interested in learning more about how to leave the United Methodist Church denomination and retain your property? Contact Daniel Dalton, an attorney with Dalton & Tomich PLC, who will guide you through the disaffiliation process and learn how your local Church should plan to preserve its property and leave the denomination.

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