Video archive: UM News interviews protocol developers

Other Manual Translations: français 한국어

Editor’s Note: The above video is an archive of the livestreamed panel discussion with members of the team that developed a new proposal for The United Methodist Church’s future. The discussion was taped Monday, Jan. 13.

The panel interview, conducted by UM News, was streamed on UMNews.org beginning at 9:30 a.m. Eastern U.S. Time. It can be viewed at https://youtu.be/YyK6ZGAWVQw.

The panelists described how they developed the Protocol of Reconciliation & Grace Through Separation, a proposal that they are working to have drafted as legislation and sent to General Conference. The proposal, announced Jan. 3, would provide a means for traditionalists to leave The United Methodist Church and form their own denomination, as well as a way for others to leave the denomination within a specified time. Proponents emphasize that no one is being asked to leave the church.

The proposal is the latest effort to move the church past a decades-long debate over inclusiveness and interpretation of Scripture with regard to same-gender weddings and the ordination of LGBTQ clergy. The United Methodist Church’s official positions are that all people are of sacred worth; the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching; “self-avowed practicing homosexuals” shall not be ordained as clergy; and same-sex weddings shall not be performed in the denomination’s churches nor by its clergy.

When The United Methodist Church’s General Conference meets May 5-15 in Minneapolis, delegates from around the world will consider a number of proposals for splitting or restructuring the church.

The protocol document was developed by people from centrist, progressive and traditionalist perspectives, as well as bishops from the United States, Africa, Europe and the Philippines. The group was led by mediator Kenneth Feinberg, who worked on the federal September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, the Agent Orange Victim Compensation Fund, and programs to compensate victims of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the Boston Marathon bombing.

Panelists included:

  • Bishop John Yambasu, co-convener, mediation team
  • Janet Lawrence, executive director, Reconciling Ministries Network
  • Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey, president-elect, Council of Bishops
  • Kenneth Feinberg, mediator
  • The Rev. Junius Dotson, co-convener, UMC Next
  • The Rev. Keith Boyette, president, Wesleyan Covenant Association
  • Bishop Thomas Bickerton, co-convener, mediation team

The moderator was Tim Tanton with UM News.

The livestream originated from Tampa, Florida, where the mediation team was meeting that day.

Read more about the discussion: Panel offers peek behind scenes of separation plan process.

News media contact: Tim Tanton, [email protected] or 615-742-5473. To read more United Methodist news, subscribe to the free Daily or Weekly Digests. 

Sign up for our newsletter!

umnews-subscriptions
General Conference
The North Texas Conference voted at its Sept. 19 annual meeting to submit legislation to General Conference 2021 that would begin the process of changing the church’s Cross and Flame insignia. Logo courtesy of United Methodist Communications.

Conference backs replacing Cross and Flame

North Texas Conference joins pastor in saying the insignia of The United Methodist Church is, inadvertently, racially insensitive.
Local Church
Asbury Memorial Church in Savannah, Ga., is leaving The United Methodist Church in support of LGBTQ inclusion. The church, with more than 300 members, is the first since 2016 to leave expressly in opposition to the denomination’s bans on same-sex weddings and “self-avowed practicing” gay clergy. Photo courtesy of Asbury Memorial Church.

Church exits denomination for LGBTQ equality

The United Methodist Church has seen multiple disaffiliations lately, but a Georgia church is the first in recent years to leave expressly in support of its LGBTQ members.
Local Church
A view of the Granger, Ind., campus of Granger Community Church, which has left The United Methodist Church. It has been one of the denomination’s largest and best-attended churches, but leaders wanted to control who would be the next pastor. Photo courtesy of Granger Community Church.

Indiana megachurch leaves denomination

Granger Community Church, wanting to choose its own pastor, agrees to pay about $2.6 million to Indiana Conference.