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Options for the local Methodist Church with no vote on the Separation Protocol

Written by Daniel P. Dalton on February 18, 2021 Category: 2021 UMC FAQ Videos, Church Property Disputes/Denominational Splits

It is fairly clear that a vote on the Protocol will not occur in 2021. And it is likely that there will not be any type of action taken on the proposed separation protocol is not addressed until 2024. It is time for local Methodist Church’s to take action to preserve their property and protect their ministries. What happens to a local Methodist Church if they do nothing:

  • People will leave your church.  As you likely know, more people are leaving the denomination than ever before. The issues that divide the UMC were to be resolved in 1972, then 2008, then 2012, then 2016, then 2018 and now in 2021.  The UMC is notorious for kicking the can down the road and never making a decision – because that is the easy thing to do. Meanwhile, over 6 million people in the United States have left the denomination in the past 40 years.  One million have left in the past two years.  Conferences are merging, churches shrinking and nothing changes – except people walking away. Can you risk this?  On the other hand, every church that has left the UMC has increased – substantially – since departing from the denomination.
  • Apportionments will increase.  The most recent data from the UMC confirms that giving is substantially reduced – 43% year over year – and the Episcopal fund (which pays the salary and benefits of the Bishops – will run out of money in just three years. There is no question that apportionments will increase. The only question is how much.
  • The cost of leaving will increase.  The first to leave always pay less than those you leave later. We have found this over and over to be true. We have recently helped a very large church leave, who, had substantial assets and the Conference wanted $10,500,000 to exit. After much work, and extensive negotiations, the final buy out is $675,000.

Watch this video and learn what a local Methodist Church should do in the interim:

Contact Daniel Dalton, an attorney with Dalton & Tomich PLC and learn how your local Church should plan to preserve its property and leave the denomination

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