Summary of the Protocol of Reconciliation and Grace Through Separation
(This summary was compiled by the BWC’s Discipleship Council.)
Late last year, a group of denominational leaders representing diverse advocacy groups within the denomination, including Bishop LaTrelle Easterling, negotiated a proposed agreement for an amicable separation within The United Methodist Church. The agreement was reached on December 17, 2019.
- Legislation based on the Protocol was created. This legislation is online at www.gracethroughseparation.com/legislation This legislation must be approved by the General Conference in May.
- The Protocol provides a graceful exit for traditionalists who want to leave The United Methodist Church. Many anticipate that most United Methodists will stay together and continue working on unity with diversity.
- The agreement has the following financial settlement:
- $25,000,000 to the new “traditionalist” denomination;
- $39,000,000 to ensure there is no disruption in supporting ministries for communities historically marginalized by racism; and
- $2,000,000 total for any additional denomination(s) that might be formed subsequent to the implementation of the Protocol.
- The agreement calls for all administrative or judicial processes addressing restrictions in The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church related to self-avowed practicing homosexuals or same-sex weddings, as well as actions to close churches, to be held in abeyance (a temporary suspension) until the separation is completed.
- Congregations and annual conferences that would like to stay with The United Methodist Church will not have to take a vote to stay. Annual Conferences and local churches desiring to leave The United Methodist Church and affiliate with a new denomination created by the terms of the Protocol must meet specified voting thresholds:
- For annual conferences, 57% of those voting must support a motion to affiliate with another denomination.
- For local churches, the church council will determine whether the threshold to affiliate with the new denomination will be a simple majority or a two-thirds vote.
For more information on the Protocol, Who Are We Study, and the BWC Invitation to Prayer and Fasting, visit www.bwcumc.org/GC2020.