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. 


Like what you're reading? Support the ministry of UM News! Your support ensures the latest denominational news, dynamic stories and informative articles will continue to connect our global community. Make a tax-deductible donation at ResourceUMC.org/GiveUMCom.

Sign up for our newsletter!

UMNEWS-SUBSCRIPTION
General Church
Attendees stand for singing and prayer at the Wesleyan Covenant Association’s Global Gathering, held at Frazer Memorial United Methodist Church in Montgomery, Ala. Photo by Sam Hodges, UM News.

WCA plans new denomination

The traditionalist Wesleyan Covenant Association met in person and online to shape a proposed Global Methodist Church and to blast certain United Methodist bishops for appointments decisions.
Bishops
The Virginia Conference’s Bishop Sharma D. Lewis (upper right corner) leads the devotional during the April 30 session of the United Methodist Council of Bishops spring meeting. The bishops maintained that no elections of bishops or agency board members would be held this year, despite some delegates urging otherwise. Screengrab courtesy of the Council of Bishops via ZOOM by UM News.

Bishops: No episcopal elections until 2022

United Methodist bishops declined General Conference delegates’ calls for episcopal elections this year but opened the door to a vote on new leaders in 2022.
General Church
United Methodist Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey gives the presidential address during an online meeting of the denomination’s Council of Bishops. Harvey challenged both bishops and General Conference delegates to focus on shared mission, not frustrations. UM News screenshot via Zoom.

Bishops, delegates called to mission focus

At a time when many United Methodists feel stuck, Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey challenged church leaders to focus on what they can do instead.