The Global Methodist Church
by Pastor Tom Anderson
Behold I am doing a new thing, now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
The Global United Methodist Church is the name of the new Methodist denomination that will begin official operations as a church upon the passage of the Protocol of Reconciliation by Grace through Separation. The logo, transitional leadership team of bishops, laity and clergy and transitional book of Doctrine and Discipline are available online at www.globalmethodist.org.
It’s estimated that 7 million members will join once it becomes a legal entity.
The mission statement of the Global Methodist Church reads: “Our Mission is to make disciples of Jesus Christ who worship passionately, love extravagantly, and witness boldly.”
The timeline for separation has been complicated by COVID-19 which forced a postponement of this summer’s planned General Conference until 2022. The Council of Bishops announced a special one-day “virtual General Conference” in May to address needed legislation to help the church function until 2022. It is possible that ⅔ of the delegates to the virtual meeting could call for a vote on implementing the Protocol for Separation, thus moving the timeline up.
Once the Protocol passes this year or next, a time of decision-making will come for Annual Conferences, local congregations and pastors. The choice will need to be made over membership in one of the two denominations: United Methodist or Global Methodist. There will also be a provision for congregations to become independent--although this option carries a price tag, the payment of pension liabilities from previous decades of pastoral service.
Here’s a chart I prepared of key differences between the two denominations:
The separation is a God-send. It allows for a graceful resolution to a painful dispute over fundamental differences in theology and ethics. If we can pull it off, it will be a vibrant witness to recognizing differences, resolving conflict and moving forward with good will towards one another. Along with our Bishop David Bard, I am praying for the success of this plan of separation. I am enthusiastic and filled with hope--it’s like being pregnant, a new life is about to be born. Revival and re-awakening to the Methodist movement is in the air.
Bishop Robert Hayes of the Global Methodist Church offers this advice for us about what we can be doing in this season of waiting: 1) Pray! Let the foundation for the new Global Methodist Church be laid in prayer as in the days before Pentecost. 2) Make Disciples of Jesus Christ--do not hesitate, pause or relent in your efforts to invite others into the faith and to share the love of Jesus in every way you can. 3) Stay informed--take the time to read carefully about the Global church on its website, www.globalmethodist.org