Annual Conferences

General Church
The Rev. Andrew C. Kjorlaug, an Arkansas Conference elder and U.S. Army chaplain, presents a resolution at the Arkansas Annual Conference that calls on the state’s congressional delegation to act on “Responsible Fire-Arm legislation.” In a year that has seen multiple mass shootings, Arkansas was among a number of United Methodist conferences urging elected leaders to do more to regulate guns. Screengrab courtesy of the Arkansas Conference via YouTube by UM News.

Conferences take action on gun violence

Even as United Methodist conferences deal with mounting church exits and disagreements over LGBTQ inclusion, they are bearing a shared witness on gun violence. And they are urging actions beyond thoughts and prayers.
General Church
UM News is the official news gathering agency of the 13-million member United Methodist Church. Map courtesy of Pixabay; graphic by UM News.

106 Florida churches sue to exit denomination

The Florida Conference is facing a lawsuit filed by more than 100 churches that want to leave The United Methodist Church with property and transfer to a breakaway, theologically conservative denomination.
General Church
With no formal separation plan in place, the handling of church disaffiliations in the U.S. is now up to each United Methodist annual conference. While the Book of Discipline’s Paragraph 2553 offers a roadmap, the measure does allow for variation in what routes conferences can choose in parting ways with some of their churches. Road photo by Jonathan Billinger, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons; graphic by Laurens Glass, UM News.

Conferences diverge in handling church exits

With no formal separation plan, United Methodist annual conferences have a lot of leeway in administering church disaffiliations. At the same time, the number of church departures is climbing.
Mission and Ministry
United Methodist Bishop Bob Farr. Photo by Schaefer Photography, courtesy of the Missouri Conference.

Have the courage to walk the messy middle

Division is always a choice. If an annual conference and its churches can figure that out, it can return to doing God’s mission and be amazing for God’s people.

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