“Protocol” seeks to resolve United Methodist differences through separation

On January 3, 2020, a statement was released by a diverse team who had been working toward a proposal to resolve the differences between traditional, centrist, and progressive advocates in The United Methodist Church, with regard to how to include LGBTQ persons in its ministry.  The proposal, called the Protocol, is receiving widespread support.  If adopted by General Conference, it would result in a separation between the traditionalist churches into a new Methodist denomination.

Summaries of related news stories are provided below. We encourage you to read the full articles, and continue to remain informed through the news sources linked below.

If you have questions or wish to discuss what’s happening, please contact Pastor Patrick or Trish Catalano, our Lay Member to Annual Conference.

CA-NV Conference UMCBishop Carcaño Statement,
Jan, 3, 2020

This letter from Bishop Carcaño describes the response of the Council of Bishops (90 bishops from around the world) to the “Protocol of Reconciliation & Grace Through Separation.”  She reports that “the response was hopeful and thankful to God for a process that has been done carefully, respectfully, and lovingly.”

The Protocol is the work of a diverse group of United Methodist bishops and other leaders which allows for traditionalist churches to form a new denomination while preserving The United Methodist Church.

UM News“Diverse leaders’ group offers separation plan” by Sam Hodges, UM News, Jan. 3, 2020

The Protocol looks toward a restructuring of the remaining global United Methodist Church into regions, with flexibility to adapt church policies, including on LGBTQ inclusions.

The new proposal would allow other United Methodist churches to form their own denominations, while foreseeing ecumenical agreements and cooperation on some fronts. The Protocol is receiving widespread support that has not been seen with any other proposal.

This article describes the nine key elements of the proposal, including how the pension plans of The United Methodist Church would remain in place for all current clergy and lay employees, even if they affiliate with another Methodist denomination.

Reconciling Ministries Network“An Imperfect Table, a Chance to Perfect” by Jan Lawrence, Reconciling Ministries Network, Jan. 3, 2020

The author was one of the representatives who developed the Protocol.  She describes the initial intent for mediation between the various advocacy groups, aiming to reach mutually agreeable recommendations that could become legislation.  As the process developed, participants maintained their focus on achieving agreement while minimizing harm to the work, witness, and people of The United Methodist Church.


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