United Methodist were scheduled to meet in May of this year for their 2020 General Conference. In a letter released on March 18th, the UMC said the “Executive Committee is announcing that the General Conference will be postponed and will not occur May 5-15, 2020 as planned.”
Sadly this only delays resolution of the denominations great divid on the issue of gay clergy and same sex weddings in the church. The UMC has other issues to contend with, membership has been on a steady decline, tithing is down and some churches and conferences are no longer paying apportionments.
The UMC defines apportionments as “Apportioned giving is a term which describes how the money you give to your church each week is divided and distributed throughout the United Methodist Church. Through your support of apportioned giving, we are able to participate in the ministry and mission of the United Methodist Church both locally and around the world.”
The UM is a fractured denomination, split along divided lines. The “Protocol of Reconciliation and Grace through Separation,” which is the latest plan to split the denomination has received wide support from all sides and parties. There is still much to be ironed out though.
Because the divide is along sexuality lines, the denominations split will create new de facto “straight” and “gay” denominations. Progressives who are leading the charge for gay clergy and same sex weddings would keep the UMC name under the proposal. After the split, the UMC name would become associated with being the gay denomination. Traditionalist who adhere to scripture on this issue and do not allow gay clergy or same sex wedding would in fact be associated with being the straight denomination.
The UMC Book of Discipline (Church Law) has provided that gays have been welcome in the denomination for decades and encouraged to participate in the life of the church. However, the Discipline does prohibited the ordination of gay clergy and same sex weddings in the church. Many bishops however have not followed their church law, and ordained gay clergy, appointed a gay bishop and allowed same sex weddings in the church … all in violation of church law.
Lawlessness among the denominations tops leadership is indicative of its decline in membership, tithing and standing in the community. Only time will tell what will remain of the split denomination, and though we are not affiliated with the UMC, we hold hope that those walking with Christ will prevail and some semblance of true methodism survives.