Update: Options/Organization – October 25, 2019

The Options/Organization Team has met three times.
Our work is currently focused on three different areas.
First, we are gathering information and studying the various plans, proposals and approaches that are emerging regarding a way forward for the UMC. We are seeking to fully understand these plans and proposals with an eye to which of them represents a viable, faithful and just path for New England churches to consider.
Second, we are gathering information about initiatives that are taking place in other Annual Conferences and Jurisdictions with an aim to learn from them and to discover areas where we may be able to connect our efforts with theirs.
Third, we are following initiatives within our own Annual Conference and seeking to get a read on what our own churches, clergy and laity are yearning for and how we can provide information, options xxx so that
In gathering information and studying the various plans, proposals and approaches that have been put forward, we created a framework within which to categorize different options. Please note that this list includes all options, including those that we do not considerable viable or wise for New England to consider.

  1. Continue as is under the 2019 Book of Discipline (BOD) and then the more restrictive 2020 BOD.
    1. Connectional Table US Regional Plan
    2. UM Next Generation Plan
    3. Creation of Missionary Conferences
  2. Advocate for changes to the BOD at GC 2020 that will enable the UMC to remain one denomination with different expressions (practices).
    1. Bard-Jones Plan
    2. Indianapolis Plan
    3. N.E.W. Plan (UM Forward)
    4. Communion Plan (Chris Ritter)
  3. Advocate for action at GC 2020 to dissolve the denomination and create two or more new denominations.
  4. Advocate for action outside of the General Conference prevue.
    1. Jurisdictional Redraw Plan – redraw Annual Conferences to accommodate differences within the Jurisdiction – would not require GC action
    2. Encourage churches to federate with churches of other denominations
  5. Take action as an Annual Conference to leave the denomination and become one/two/three new Wesleyan bodies.
    1. Lovett Weems Autonomous Annual Conferences
  6. Advocate for and/or support individual churches (and/or groups of churches) that chose to disaffiliate with the United Methodist Church
    1. New England Discerners are exploring this possibility

We aim to get as full a picture as possible to provide NEAC to move forward in ways that allow us to maintain integrity, allow those with varying viewpoints to be free to practice as they believe, while at the same time remaining in some form of connection with one another.

We await with interest the ruling of the Judicial Council in October about whether the disaffiliation legislation that was passed at GC 2019 will stand or will be ruled invalid.

Annual Conference and regional initiatives that have particularly piqued our interest thus far are as follows:

  • Greater New Jersey Annual Conference
  • Northern Illinois Annual Conference
  • Greater Northwest Episcopal Area

10.25.19 KJJ

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