On Wednesday, January 26, 2022, the Commission on the General Conference met to discuss if there would be a General Conference in 2022. While no official announcement has been made, one can easily surmise what will the message will be when an announcement is released by reviewing the following messages and events that occurred after the meeting:
- The UMC issued a press release saying the issuance of visas, not covid, may be the impediment for a General Conference in 2022. https://www.umnews.org/en/news/debate-about-church-future-heats-up
- The WCA/GMC sent out an email on January 29 begging churches to be patient. https://wesleyancovenant.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/February.2022.Prayer-Guide.FINAL10.pdf
- The Minneapolis Convention Center has announced events in August, September and October of 2022. Yet the General Conference is not mentioned – nor has it ever been noted. https://minneapolis-2021.s3.amazonaws.com/images/Updated-January-2022-January-2023.pdf?v=1643300731
When the UMC cancelled the General Conference in 2020 and 2021, the same messaging pattern occurred. Stories setting forth excuses, blogs demanding patience, and nothing that would lead anyone planning on attending a global event to believe that the event would actually happen occurred. All of the previous messaging led to the conclusion that there would be no General Conference in 2020 and again in 2021. I fear the same is true for 2022.
While we still do not know if the General Conference will be held, there are a number of things your church can do to prepare for the announcement. In this video, Dan Dalton discusses what local churches should do while they wait to see if there will be a General Conference.
Strong leaders with an abundant supply of courage is needed at this time.
As Howard Thurman noted in his classic book, Jesus and the Disinherited, “The movement of the Spirit of God in the hearts of men and women often calls them to act against the spirit of their times or causes them to anticipate a spirit which is yet in the making. In a moment of dedication, they are given wisdom and courage to dare a deed that challenges and to kindle a hope that inspires.”
The act of leaving the denomination is essentially one of civil disobedience. It takes a great deal of courage to move through this process. We are here to help. In 2021, we helped fifty four (54) churches leave the denomination, and in the first month of 2022, we have helped three (3) leave. All of the churches have succeeded and grown greater than they imagined.
One final note. Thank you to the hundreds of you who have reached out with notes of encouragement. We knew the Bishops and other “religious leaders” whose power and influence is threatened by healthy local churches leaving the United Methodist Church would lash out and “blame the lawyers.”
Hurt people do indeed, hurt other people. We, however, take comfort in the gospel message:
“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5, 11-12
Please contact us to discuss your matter in greater detail. www.daltontomich.com