The UMC Schism Unfolds

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Mystic

Well-Known Member
The United Methodist Church is the 2nd largest Protestant church in the USA and, together with the much smaller United Church of Christ, is the American denomination with the closest affinity to UCCan. The expected mass schism has just begun with the formation of the breakaway Global Methodist Church on May 1 and 130+ UMC churches in Florida alone have joined the Global Methodists within a few days of the announcement and hundreds, perhaps thousands more American churches are likely to follow suit. Though my state (Washington) has one of the most progressive UMC conferences, I'm told that many of our churches, including the one from which I retired in 2015 and our largest flagship UMC church, have either already voted to join the Global church or are planning to do so. Thousands have already deserted the US churches in anticipation of how they believe their congregational vote will turn out and many of our churches are seriously divided on the question of gay ordination and marriage.

The conservatives have since 1973 always won the votes on these issues at our quadrennial global conference because United Methodism is greatly expanding flourishing in Africa and other Third World countries and their churches are far more conservative. So the new Global Methodist denomination will be larger than the remaining UMC, but, I think, not in the USA. I think this schism will do great harm to public perception of Protestant rigidity in general and I deeply lament our inability to disagree agreeably. This is unfolding now because the pandemic forced the cancellation of our last global conference and conservatives no longer have the patience to wait for a formal resolution of these differences.
 
Why do you sound so gleeful about the denomination breaking apart?
 
Why do you sound so gleeful about the denomination breaking apart?

Maybe the glee is at the end of faith as some question what they are doing in ignorance of potential evolution away from stoic hate as a winner?

Thus the cogenerations of war over cults and varied a' ʃex (fe mystery)! Thus again another mess ... relations are like that ... should we learn to periodically control our desires ... with MAGA winners something is bound to go down ... usually a bombshell! This without a sense of limits ... mortal failures? Stunning ... maybe logy as dense and dull exposes itself! Bifurcation of ʃ 've OCH mon (a cluster the publisher will render down).

We try to take flight but there is little escaping human ... inhumanity? We are hostile to knowledge ...

Even great powers without room for NU and Nous will not read of the alternate self ... yet claim to know God who in a great fit lost all that ... it occurred in a flash in the dark ... some say panned others say it wa spam ... pam is some traditions was the knave of clubs ... to be carful of how it hits yah ... you might be delusional by Dais liters; the splash ...
 
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The conservatives have since 1973 always won the votes on these issues at our quadrennial global conference because United Methodism is greatly expanding flourishing in Africa and other Third World countries and their churches are far more conservative.
So similar to the Anglicans/Church of England where North America has led on social justice, the mother church in England has kind of slowly followed, and the developing world conferences try to pull everything back. I think we will see this a lot in churches that are global in scope. Churches like the UCCan that are more regional will have their issues, but will ultimately be responsive to their local region's direction. That becomes problematic in a global church where different regions can be pulling in different directions. Really highlights once again how the church is very much a human institution that often has very little to do with what is taught by Biblical figures like Jesus and Paul, eh.
 
Change and evolution is difficult ... thus wisdom is unimpressed! Sophia departed ... another schism? Explains some essence and vapours ... nebulae ... heavenly? Bea's within ...
 
@Mendalla

We had a similar fault line in our denomination over the 1988 decision. I have only heard about it indirectly because I didn't return to church life until the early 90s.

Anecdotally I have heard about congregations having conflict and losing members over 'the issue". I think there were a couple of congregations that either left the United Church or emptied out completely.

It's all history now. Or mostly history, at least.

if we have a fault line now it might be at the liberal/ progressive cusp. Not hearing much at all about this these days though.
 
@Mendalla

We had a similar fault line in our denomination over the 1988 decision. I have only heard about it indirectly because I didn't return to church life until the early 90s.

Anecdotally I have heard about congregations having conflict and losing members over 'the issue". I think there were a couple of congregations that either left the United Church or emptied out completely.

It's all history now. Or mostly history, at least.

if we have a fault line now it might be at the liberal/ progressive cusp. Not hearing much at all about this these days though.
We certainly did. My church had a conservative minister essentially commandeer a largely friendly board to make the decision on behalf of the whole congregation. Dad & I put up a fight for the pro-gay ordination side, though. It didn't lead to us leaving or anything (since the decision went the way we wanted) but it was not long after that that I discovered UU'ism and I can't honestly say that experience did not contribute to my departure. OTOH, I happily had that minister officiate at my wedding and he remained a good friend of the family (Mom was his secretary until she passed away) so I don't think it was a big problem or anything.

However, I think it is a rather different scenario. The Methodist and Anglican splits are more about culture clash than just theological or social justice fault lines. You have the developing world that is still quite conservative on women's rights and LGBTQ+ vs. a liberalizing Western church that has largely accepted women's rights and is starting to move on LGBTQ+ due to shifts in Western culture. So, as an example, you have Canada and the US with female Anglican bishops and a developing world church that doesn't even want women as priests and won't accept those female bishops.
 
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Good points there in your post @Mendalla

But I think we need to keep in mind what a radical, radical decision General Council made in 1988. People outside the church and those within it were absolutely shocked.

I know of one clergy person who came out to his congregation after 1988. Not sure how much later it was but there was a congregational split over the matter.

And my first minister in the early 90s was a gay woman. She basically came out of the closet when she died. Some folks were both surprised and upset about this.
 
Schism is a grand bifurcation to support diversity and dissemination ... vast scattering! Light and photons are like that for nurturing trees ...

Some say that is evil information ... affinity carved into to wood? Then wasn't Judah waylaid there for what the widow believed was coming to her?

Feminine mystique is abstract ... you just don't know what to expect ... some wish to be brutal as cave men ... thus reciprocation theory as it goes on in consequence ... contrary to that other ethic about ends! Thus the KISS 'n off someone went ... the statement needs some filler ... thus the fillae ... Philos? Valance is extensive as liberty ... and that was shot down under ...

Word things loosely if you wish curiosity ... some people have no question for the most abstract constructs ... generates alien freedoms intimacies unknown if discrete and out there! Consider the lives of a number of well-done evangels ...

Gee I admire the alien nature of literature said to be feminine in word as dark and penetrating ... a few sweet words from the heart can be pure temptation --- God to Adam as caution! Caution and concern was once a word like Anis that took to Ares thus high feeling ... an essence of quo ... what? Folk familiar with word as an ideal can do that without much note ... flat expression!

Yet a mass are set to mess around with dull and dense ... as registered! Thus the pondering of that sector ... some penetration of the cult may be required as Attica Finch demonstrated ... try not to flatter that bird with matters of racial darkness (unknowing or justly ignorant)! Then if one to know no better ...

How to dress that up for take out ... Mr. Higgs?
 
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Yes, UMCOR has been perhaps the most effective church agent supporting social to help fight poverty, malaria, natural disasters, and social injustice of any any denomination and was widely credited for doing more to help victims of Hurricane Katrina than any U. S. federal agencies. But then conversatives and progrssives began to massively withhold their contributions, pending the outcome of our schismatic fight. This undermined UMCOR's effectiveness.

There has been a slow mass exodus of American UMC churches from the denomonination this past year. Just today it was reported that 439 UMC churches in Texas recentkt left the deomination to join the more conversative Global Methodist Church. The church I formerly pastored also recently voted to leave the UMC.
 
It is sad when churches fight over doctrinal differences in a time when it's critical that churches are needed to foster the development of communities on every level since our governments seem unable or unwilling to act effectively in meeting global challenges.
 
Methodism has an interesting history. Here in Canada there were a number of different Methodist groups which came together in the late 1800's. Two churches in my geographic area were Primitive Methodist before this date. They typically had circuit rider preachers.

Methodism as a whole was part of church union (United Church) in 1925.

In the United States things happened differently. The current United Methodist Church incorporated the Evangelical United Brethren in 1968. The EUB's in Canada came into the United Church at that time.

Anyways it's interesting. Now we hear of splintering over doctrine. Specifically gay marriage and abortion, no?
 
I am curious about where Free Methodists fit in the picture. There are several congregations scattered across Canada in rural areas.
 
I am curious about where Free Methodists fit in the picture. There are several congregations scattered across Canada in rural areas.
Good question because I can see no meaningful distinction between Free Methodist conservativism and theology and the new split-off Global Methodist denomination. Why not just join the already established Free Methodist denomination and avoid all the procedural headaches of starting a new but unneeded Methodist denomination?
 
Free Methodism began as a 19th century protest against the Methodist requirement that families pay for their pews, often having a plaque with their name engraved to indicate family ownership. Visitors and cheapskates were required to sit in the front 2 pews. I learned from my visit to Genesee Country Museum and Village (mid-19th century) what this meant in practice. Watch their Youtube video here:


All the village hosts were robed in athentic early costumes, including the young children. We got to watch children dressed in period costume in actual school classes, dipping their quill pens in desk inkwells, etc. The girls wore cute authentic bonnets, etc. I wondered why historically-minded parents would send their kids to such a school. But the real highlight for me was the early 19th century Methodist church.

The gated (paid for) pews had comfortably cushioned seats, but the front 2 pews for visitors and those refusing to pay not only had hardwood seating, but the backs were so upright that they made for very unconfortable seating! I giggled at this incentive to pony-up the pew money. In the narthex was an attendance register. Every week parishioners were marked "Present" or "Absent" and, if you missed 3 weeks in a row, you were marked "Neglect!" So I appreciated the appeal of the renegade Free (Pew) Methodist denomination!
 
It is sad when churches fight over doctrinal differences in a time when it's critical that churches are needed to foster the development of communities on every level since our governments seem unable or unwilling to act effectively in meeting global challenges.

Yet in winning religions would the light handed rather fight than take flight? Leave the heavies with the mess and observe the excuses expelled ... because thought was exorcised as a vertigo item ... like a alien tree of knowledge ... there may be pros and cons about hanging in that tree!

Evaluation occurs on the other side of the mortal thing as contained and packaged ... can a persistance be discovered ... perhaps an Eire Ide ology ...

Many wouldn't go there or question that! Is inquisitiveness only good when burniing the little folk? I remeber a powerful southern fundamentalists questioning the lack of inquirey of powers. No body even heard the question is my guess'đ! Something of a Theo Ra' Toby analysed ...

Myths tobias looked into ... without doubt?
 
Do we have any idea how many congregations are going to split off from the United Methodist Church? I saw some figures which suggested about 5% of them have departed at this point. More are coming, it seems, but it may not be the full blown schism some were predicting.
 
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