"First United Methodist Church Indianola, Iowa" by Paul R. Burley / CC BY-SA 4.0

Why schism? United Methodist leaders explain proposal to split the denomination

Jan 14, 2020

By Emily McFarlan Miller

The 16 United Methodist bishops and advocacy group leaders who negotiated a recent proposal to split the denomination explained their reasoning at an event held Monday (Jan. 13) that was streamed live by United Methodist News Service.

They also forecast dire consequences if the proposal, officially called “A Protocol of Reconciliation and Grace Through Separation,” isn’t approved this May by the denomination’s global decision-making body.

United Methodist Bishop John Yambasu of Sierra Leone, who first convened the group that led to the negotiations last summer, said a failure of the proposal would be “catastrophic for the church.”

“It would be total disaster,” Yambasu said. “It would mean more pain and more harm to the entire church.”

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