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Summary of Protocol

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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. 

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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. 
  5. 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: 
    1. For annual conferences, 57% of those voting must support a motion to affiliate with another denomination.
    2. 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.

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