FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 3, 2022
Contact: Rev. Ginger E. Gaines-Cirelli, 202.332.4010
Contact: Rev. Jasmine R. Smothers, 404.524.6614
UMCNEXT affirms General conference delay
and recommits to the Work Ahead
UMCNext extends our deep gratitude to the Commission on the General Conference for their thoughtful consideration and hard work. We know the postponement of the General Conference is not an easy decision, but we believe that it is the right one to ensure the full, fair, and safe participation of United Methodists from around the world.
As we keep our work focused on the future of our connection, we recommit ourselves to the most important work ahead of us – to be passionate followers of Jesus Christ, committed to a Wesleyan vision of Christianity, anchored in scripture and informed by tradition, experience and reason as we live a life of personal piety and social holiness. We recommit to resist evil, injustice and oppression in all forms and toward all people. We wholeheartedly give ourselves to the mission of The United Methodist Church as a diverse body of believers making disciples of Christ and transforming the world.
We are saddened when churches or clergy desire to leave our historic connection. We recognize that some have already taken steps to hasten separation with the creation of the Global Methodist Church and others depart to join other denominations or become independent congregations. We recognize that the delay of the General Conference means the goal of amicable separation will need to be met without new legislation. We call on Bishops and Annual Conferences to work with churches and clergy seeking to leave the connection using existing provisions of the Book of Discipline in a spirit of mutual blessing and grace. Our deep desire is that the delayed General Conference will be a time to move out of this season of separation and disruption and into a future of vigorous service to the mission of Christ and the church.
As we move forward, we urge upholding the abeyance of trials and continue to support the principles of Resist Harm. We strongly encourage the election of an appropriate number of bishops in each jurisdiction in 2022. We will set our sights on preparing legislation for the 2024 General Conference that supports the strengthening of the United Methodist Church with commitments that include matters of regionalization and restructuring such as the Christmas Covenant and a revised 21st Century Church petition.
As the United Methodist Church has already begun to live into the future, UMCNext will focus our efforts on a 2024 General Conference that orients us toward mission and is organized and led by those intending to remain in the United Methodist Church.
Four Commitments of UMCNext
We believe these commitments are essential to a hope-filled future for the global Methodist movement as we make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world:
We long to be passionate followers of Jesus Christ, committed to a Wesleyan vision of Christianity, anchored in scripture and informed by tradition, experience and reason as we live a life of personal piety and social holiness.
We commit to resist evil, injustice and oppression in all forms and toward all people and build a church which affirms the full participation of all ages, nations, races, classes, cultures, gender identities, sexual orientations, and abilities.
We reject the Traditional Plan approved at General Conference 2019 as inconsistent with the gospel of Jesus Christ and will resist its implementation.
We will work to eliminate discriminatory language and the restrictions and penalties in the Discipline regarding LGBTQ persons. We affirm the sacred worth of LGBTQ persons, celebrate their gifts, and commit to being in ministry together.
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