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 Church
Bishop Kenneth H. Carter gives the sermon and benediction during opening worship for the 2019 United Methodist General Conference in St. Louis. File photo by Kathleen Barry, UM News.

Delegates: Use GC2020 delay for new vision

An informal group of General Conference delegates is inviting church members to make use of the postponement to cast a new vision for the church.
The Rev. William B. Lawrence.  Photo by H. Jackson/Southern Methodist University.

When pandemic ends, confusion in church will remain

A former Judicial Council president examines constitutional issues presented by plans for the future of The United Methodist Church.
General Church
Delegates hold hands and pray during the Feb. 23, 2019, opening plenary of the special session of General Conference held in St. Louis. File photo by Paul Jeffrey, UM News.

Q&A: What delay means for General Conference

Organizers answer questions about what the postponement to 2021 means for The United Methodist Church’s lawmaking assembly.