Congregations

Church Leadership
The Rev. Jeff Olive, a Texas Conference district superintendent, presides at an Aug. 7 meeting at The Woodlands Methodist Church called to consider disaffiliation. Members of The Woodlands Methodist, in The Woodlands community north of Houston, voted by a 96.3% margin to leave The United Methodist Church. Photo courtesy of The Woodlands Methodist.

Some large Texas churches vote on disaffiliation

The Woodlands Methodist Church and Faithbridge, two large United Methodist churches north of Houston, decide on same day to leave the 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.
General Church
A lawsuit and countersuit between the North Georgia Conference and Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church in Marietta, Ga., has concluded with the megachurch agreeing to pay about $13.1 million to leave the denomination with property. Image courtesy of Google Maps.

Conference, megachurch reach legal settlement

Mt. Bethel Church has agreed to pay $13.1 million to the North Georgia Conference to leave The United Methodist Church with property.
Human Rights
The Rev. Dr. Ron Bell. Photo courtesy of the author.

Mental health and the Black church

Research shows the emotional and mental health issues shouldered by Black leaders and churches have worsened markedly with COVID-19. How will the church respond?

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