Frequently Asked Questions

Why have we decided to pursue disaffiliation from the United Methodist Church (UMC)?

Although there are many reasons, the most straightforward response is that the vision for our church does not align with the future vision of the United Methodist Church (UMC). Please read this covenant passed by 80% of delegates in our Jurisdiction in November 2021 to get a picture of their vision of the future UMC.

Other reasons include:
  • Theological drift – The UMC has become increasingly accepting of clergy, including bishops, who denigrate the authority of Scripture, leading to a wide variety of beliefs about core doctrine such as the divinity and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the necessity of Christ’s atoning death on the cross for our sins, the mission of the church, and other essentials of historic Christian faith. Understandably, these theological disagreements have led to tremendous decline and dysfunction in our denomination.
  • Ongoing conflict over human sexuality in the UMC has cost millions of dollars and distracted the church from its mission of making disciples.
  • Future direction – As many traditionally leaning United Methodist Churches and clergy are choosing to disaffiliate from the denomination, the well of orthodox pastors will eventually run dry leaving our church vulnerable to theological leadership in conflict with our stated beliefs. Furthermore, when our current bishop retires or is reappointed (possibly as soon as January 1, 2023), we will receive a theologically progressive bishop.  

Why have we decided to pursue disaffiliation now?

Our transition team has spent a significant amount of time considering this over the past seven months. Our primary reasons for choosing to leave now are as follows:
  • We thought General Conference 2019 in St. Louis would settle the conflicts in our denomination. Instead, they’ve only intensified. We hoped that General Conference 2020 would provide a pathway to amicable separation, but the conference has been delayed multiple times and now won’t meet until 2024 at the earliest. Furthermore, the compromise plan for separation (the Protocol) is now considered “dead” as non-traditionalists have removed their support.
  • Currently, there is a process for disaffiliation in our Book of Discipline (governing policies for the United Methodist Church). This pathway out is only available through the end of 2023. Waiting until General Conference 2024 may mean that window of opportunity completely closes.
  • Although the current pathway to disaffiliation appears to be costly, it seems likeliest that it will only get more costly, and we feel our congregation is ready to find resolution sooner rather than later.
  • By acting now, we feel we are being most responsible with the church’s finances to fulfill our mission for generations to come.

What is the Transition Team?

The Transition Team was formed by the Church Council in 2021 and was charged with the task of discussing various options for our church related to the impending UMC split and recommending to the Church Council strategic courses of action, including both gathering and sharing important information from and with the congregation.

After sharing recommendations with the Church Council on June 14, 2022, the Council redeployed the Transition Team to create a plan for communication about the Council’s reasons for seeking disaffiliation from the UMC and affiliation with the GMC.

Transition Team members include:
  • Mickey Jackson
  • Deb Ellis
  • Deb Inman
  • Jason Wickersham
  • Sheila Hall
  • Mike Loftus
  • Tim Price
  • Andy Adams

How much will disaffiliation cost?

The short answer is, we don’t yet know. Our conference has made the process such that we cannot have a clear answer to that question until after we officially begin the process with an inquiry phase. It is this phase that our Church Council unanimously approved on June 14, 2022. The next step is for representatives from our church (our Disaffiliation Team) to meet with representatives from our conference to begin negotiations and arrive at a mutual agreement.

Although we do not know the exact costs, we know they will come in three categories:
  1. Apportionments – We will have to finish paying the current year of apportionments ($119,208 already budgeted), plus one additional year.
  2. Unfunded Pension Liability – Our conference pensions plan is partially unfunded. Disaffiliating churches must pay their fair share of that unfunded liability to ensure retired clergy are cared for. We technically owe this already but pay into it slowly over time. If we leave, we must pay all our share up front. Depending on the current state of funding, this could be anywhere from $500,000 to $1,000,000.
  3. Property and Assets – United Methodist Churches only hold their property and assets in trust for the denomination. If we leave the UMC, the property and assets belong to the denomination. We will negotiate with our conference for a fair buyout. This is an opportunity for us to officially own our facilities, which this congregation has sacrificed greatly to provide as a tool for our ministry.

What is the Disaffiliation Team?

The Disaffiliation Team was formed by the Church Council on June 16, 2022, to represent our congregation in negotiations with the Illinois Great Rivers Conference to seek an amicable agreement for our departure from the UMC.

Disaffiliation Team members include:
  • Tracy Kennett – Church Council chairperson
  • Eric Brault – Trustee chairperson
  • Jordan Buck – Finance chairperson
  • Mickey Jackson – Lay Leader
  • Isabel Ososki – Church Council member
  • Don Satterlee – Lay Representative to Annual Conference
  • Deb Inman – Transition Team member

What is the timeline?

We do not know how long the disaffiliation process will take. Our church’s Disaffiliation Team will begin formal conversations with the conference in late August at the earliest. We hope to have an agreement reached before the end of the year, and then our church membership will be called upon for an official vote to disaffiliate. The disaffiliation will not technically be complete until our Annual Conference votes in June 2023.

Will we need to get a lawyer?

Our conference has assured us they will make this a fair process and encourages us not to get a lawyer. We intend to come to the negotiation table without legal representation but will reevaluate as needed to protect the interests of our congregation.

Isn’t this just about gay marriage?

Divisions within the UMC are about much more than human sexuality. We encourage you to watch these short videos that give a succinct overview about the critical issues at hand and some reasons why the GMC is the best option for us:
Another resource is a message series our church walked through at the beginning of 2020, titled Holy Sexuality. Watch the series here.

Why did we choose to pursue affiliation with the Global Methodist Church (GMC)?

Although there are many reasons, the short answer is that the Global Methodist Church (GMC) represents the most hopeful vision that aligns with our preferred future. This short video captures many of those reasons.

Our leadership was particularly encouraged that this new denomination (launched on May 1, 2022) takes the best parts of our Methodist heritage, while correcting some of the governance and structural issues that have perpetuated dysfunction in the UMC.

Although there are many highlights about the GMC, here are some notable ones:
  • Return to the accountable discipleship which the early Methodist movement embodied and that we are implementing already in our church.
  • Smaller, more fluid structure with an emphasis on the ministry of the local church rather than boards and agencies.
  • No trust clause – We would own our property and assets and, if desired, could leave the GMC at any time with no penalty.
  • Lower apportionments – With a leaner structure, more money can stay with the local church and go directly to mission.
  • We will have a seat at the table in the formative years of a new worldwide Methodist movement that we hope bears great fruit for generations to come.

We encourage everyone to read more about the GMC at

What practical changes would joining the GMC require of our church?

The short answer is that nothing about our local mission and ministry must change because of joining the GMC.
  • We would have to drop the “United Methodist” name and logo. 
  • Local church structure in the GMC is essentially the same and uses the same language we are already familiar with in the UMC. However, there would be more flexibility in the GMC to restructure around our mission if our congregation sees fit to do so.
  • The GMC has “connectional giving” (called “apportionments” in the UMC) to support our shared ministry beyond the local church. We anticipate that connectional giving to be about half of our current denominational obligations.

Why didn’t we choose to become independent?

Although several churches disaffiliating from the UMC are choosing independence, our Transition Team and Church Council have always placed a high value on being connected with a denomination for missional reasons and accountability. Becoming independent was never a serious consideration of ours.

Why the GMC instead of an established denomination like the Free Methodist or Wesleyan church?

Our Transition Team met with representatives from both the Free Methodist Church and the Wesleyan Church. The meetings were a blessing to us, and we not only appreciated their time and investment, but also felt a kinship with each of them around the mission of the church. However, in the end, our team felt that the vision of the GMC fit best with our preferred vision of the future. Check out this Comparison Chart between the different denominations..

When will we vote on affiliation with the Global Methodist Church?

We anticipate that, before the end of 2022, a church conference will be called where all our members will be invited to vote on the following:
  • Disaffiliation from the UMC
  • Affiliation with the GMC
The date will be announced at least two weeks prior to that church conference.

How will my membership be affected?

Once we are affiliated with the GMC, you will not need to take any action to have your membership automatically transferred to our new church. While we certainly hope it is not the case, if you decide to no longer retain your membership with us, our staff and leadership will help you through the transfer process to an area United Methodist or other congregation.  

What if I don’t agree with our stance on human sexuality? Is there still a place for me in this church or the GMC?

Yes! The GMC’s position on human sexuality will remain the same as the UMC’s position since its inception in 1968. As it always has, our congregation will continue to welcome LGBTQIA+ people into the fellowship of the church. Everyone is welcome to worship and participate in our ministries, regardless of belief or practice.

What happens to our pastor and staff if we join the GMC?

If our congregation votes to disaffiliate from the UMC, our appointed pastor and church staff would each have to decide their own next steps. No one would be asked to leave. The stated policy of the GMC is to keep the appointed pastor and church together in such a transfer, unless either prefer otherwise.

When will the congregation receive more information?

The Transition Team intends to do the following to keep the congregation in the loop and answer your questions:
  • Update our FAQs as needed
  • Gather with church leaders in late summer
  • Meet with small groups beginning soon after
  • Schedule “town hall” meetings with the broader congregation in the early fall

If in the meantime you have pressing questions or desire clarification on anything, please direct your questions to our Transition Team: