My church is discussing disaffiliation. What can I do and where can I get resources?
As The Disaffiliation Process unfolds at your church, what can you do if you are interested in Remaining UMC? If your church is moving toward disaffiliation, there are things to do before the vote is taken, when it is taken, and after it is taken. Here are some steps you might take in each phase of the process.
Before the Vote is Taken
1. See to it that all options are accurately and fairly presented in all church discussions and meetings.
2. Dispel rumors and untruths with facts.
a. Ask The UMC has created a wonderful resource full of factual responses to common rumors and untruths called “Is The UMC Really…?”
3. Do what you can to resist disaffiliation with a good spirit (Ephesians 4:13).
4. Develop an initial email list of folks who want to remain United Methodist, and stay in contact with them.
5. Designate someone to communicate with those who want to remain United Methodist.
6. Email your District Superintendent to let them know that you have created a “remain UMC” group. They will be able to provide you with updated information and ongoing resources as you walk through this challenging and painful process.
7. Provide occasional email updates to your “remain UMC” group about what’s happening.
8. Check out these resources:
- VAUMC Continuing UMC Resources
- Resources from The United Methodist Church
- Take the Lead
- A Word From Bishop Sue regarding disaffiliation
When the Vote is Taken
1. Designate someone to cogently make the case for remaining.
2. Show up and vote, so the record clearly shows how many want to remain UMC.
3. At the end of the meeting, have someone say, “Will those who voted to remain in the UMC meet me here for a brief meeting?”
4. If any new people gather, add them to the email list.
5. Follow up and stay connected with this group of people.
After the Vote is Taken
1. Be sure to care for those who are grieving and hurting.
2. Visit HERE and share your information. You matter to us. Your story matters to us.
3. Let your District Superintendent or someone in the Conference office know that you are interested in pursuing what it might look like to Remain UMC. Communicate to them how they can care for you and support you.
4. Choose a date to meet with others who want to Remain UMC. Prayerfully discern what your next steps might be.