A group of conservative Methodists has announced plans to form a new denomination after the United Methodist Church officially splits over its longstanding debate over homosexuality.
The Wesleyan Covenant Association and the 17-member Transitional Leadership Council released a statement this week announcing the creation of the Global Methodist Church. It now becomes the largest Methodist denomination in the world.
According to the statement, the theologically conservative denomination will not be officially launched until the UMC General Conference, scheduled for 2022, passes a separation measure known as the Protocol for Reconciliation and Grace through Separation. The protocol, which will be up for debate at the general conference, involves allowing conservative churches to leave the UMC to form their own denomination.
The Rev. Keith Boyette, Transitional Leadership Council chairman, said in a statement that the GMC would “make disciples of Jesus Christ who worship passionately, love extravagantly and witness boldly. Over the past year, the council members and hundreds of people who have informed their work have faithfully and thoughtfully arrived at this point. They are happy to share with others a wealth of information about a church they believe will be steeped in the life-giving confessions of the Christian faith.”
Last December, a group of theologically progressive United Methodists announced a plan to create its own denomination as part of the likely separation plan for the UMC. Known as the Liberation Methodist Connexion, its website describes the new church as “a grassroots denomination of former, current and non-Methodist faith leaders working on the unfolding of the ‘kin-dom’ of God.”
The group went on to say that it welcomes all “gender expressions and sexual identity,” “religious or non-religious backgrounds,” “races and ethnicities,” “size” and “monogamous and non-monogamous.”
The UMC General Conference, where the potential separation plan will be debated and possibly approved, is scheduled for Aug. 29 through Sept. 6, 2022, in Minneapolis. Originally, the general conference was supposed to be held last year but was postponed to 2021 because of coronavirus pandemic concerns. The general conference again was postponed this year.
–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice