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

United Methodist bishops ask church court to review proposal to split denomination

Mar 13, 2020

By Emily McFarlan Miller

A proposed plan to split the United Methodist Church is on its way to the denomination’s top court to decide whether the legislation that would implement it is constitutional.

If the Judicial Council rules the plan is constitutional, delegates could take up the proposal, called “A Protocol of Reconciliation and Grace Through Separation,” at the United Methodist General Conference May 5-15 in Minneapolis.

The protocol was announced in January and later written into legislation — after the deadline had passed to submit legislation for consideration by the General Conference.

But the denomination’s rulebook, the Book of Discipline, allows legislation to be submitted later if it originated at an annual conference session held between 230 and 45 days before General Conference. Other petitions also can be allowed at the discretion of the Committee on Reference, it says.

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