UMC Next Generation
Next Generation UMC legislation begins with the vision of a reformed United Methodist Church that welcomes everyone into full participation in the life and ministries of the church, addresses the systemic issues of the current institution, relentlessly focuses on making disciples of Jesus Christ, and equips our members to live as salt and light in the world. Reclaiming the spiritual zeal and creativity of our Wesleyan heritage, with its union of both the evangelical and social gospel, this legislation empowers United Methodists to move into the future with new vision, missional alignment, and self-determination.
Recognizing that the people called Methodists may not all think alike, but we may love alike, this legislation keeps intact The United Methodist Church as a denomination while allowing for greater regional autonomy across the entire connection. It eliminates language and policies in our Discipline that violate the First General Rule and its call to do no harm. Additionally, it graciously makes provision for those groups within the connection seeking to birth new expressions of Methodism.
There are four key areas:
Repeals the Traditional Plan
The Next Generation UMC legislation repeals the 2019 Traditional Plan while retaining the current doctrinal standards of The Book of Discipline, including our commitment to the historic essentials of the Christian faith. The legislation:
- Removes harmful language that discriminates against our LGBTQ siblings.
- Includes a moratorium on all new and pending complaint proceedings related to the implementation of the 2019 Traditional Plan.
- Eliminates language added by the 2019 Traditional Plan that makes the complaint process more expensive and that creates the potential for unresolvable conflict.
Opens Opportunity to Form New Expressions of Methodism
The legislation acknowledges that different groups within The United Methodist Church hold divergent views about how the resources of our faith guide us to live the Christian life. There are some who seek the opportunity to form new expressions of Methodism. The Next Generation UMC Legislation:
- Provides a method for groups of churches to form new expressions of Methodism.
- Offers resources to new denominational expressions of Methodism that continue in ecumenical relationships, reflecting and honoring a history of shared support in mission.
- Creates a consistent process for local churches who desire to separate from The United Methodist Church to receive their property and continue to participate in pension plans.
Reforms and Revitalizes The United Methodist Church
The Next Generation UMC legislation creates a Commission on the 21st Century Church designed to lead us into a period of innovation and reform. This:
- Opens a path for reinventing a functional polity that embraces our global character and the need for contextual relevance and governing autonomy.
- Allows Central Conferences to practice self-determination in choosing their future as a part of The UMC and leave behind perceptions that they are extensions of the church in the US.
- Examines structures that perpetuate systemic racism in the UMC and offers ways to center historically marginalized voices.
Ensures No One is Excluded from the Ministry of The United Methodist Church
- Denies every semblance of discrimination and rejects barriers that serve to divide and separate us as members of the body of Christ.
- Removes language that discriminates against a particular group of people, a practice profoundly at odds with the principle of Inclusiveness in Article IV of the Constitution.
- In the Wesleyan tradition, the legislation abides by the admonition to do no harm.
In short, Next Generation UMC legislation removes barriers to ministry, positions our church to reach a new generation of people and ushers in Spirit-fueled new life for The United Methodist Church.