Process of the Board of Trustees of the Mississippi Annual Conference


The following motion was adopted at a  meeting of the Board of Trustees (the “Trustees”) of the  Mississippi  Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church, Inc., held on October  20, 2022.  

At the 2019 Special General Conference of The United Methodist Church, the General Conference adopted an amendment to The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church (“The Discipline”), codified at ¶2553, pursuant to which  local churches have a limited right to disaffiliate from The United Methodist Church ( the “Denomination”)  for reasons of  conscience over disagreements related to human sexuality, or the actions or inactions of its annual conference related to these issues, as more particularly set forth in subparagraph 1 of the paragraph 2553.

After the 2019 called session of the General Conference the Trustees adopted and have enforced the disaffiliation policies and procedures to implement the Disaffiliation Policy.  This disaffiliation agreement sets forth the terms upon which a local church may disaffiliate from the Denomination.

The Disaffiliation Policy and ¶2553 of The Discipline provide that the right to disaffiliate is limited and that a local church desiring to exit the Denomination must complete the process prior to December 31, 2023. It should be remembered that the regularly scheduled 2020 General Conference of The United Methodist Church was postponed due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, and has not yet been held.

It  was anticipated that further action would be taken at the 2020 General Conference to deal with disagreements within The United Methodist Church related to human sexuality, and as a result ¶2553. The Disaffiliation Policy was approved as temporary measures to address these.

On March 15, 2022, the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church affirmed that ¶2553 is the primary provision of The Discipline to be used for disaffiliation and separation from the Denomination.

The Discipline ¶2549 sets forth an approved process for the disposition of property of closed local churches and is believed to currently provide the best alternative for leaving the Denomination upon the expiration of ¶2553.

The Conference Trustees wished to provide a means for local churches desiring to exit the Denomination on terms and conditions consistent with ¶2553 after the expiration of ¶2553. They determined that by utilizing ¶ 2549 and a process, terms and conditions consistent with   ¶2553 in conjunction with ¶2549, would be the best and most consistent means of leaving the Denomination after the expiration of  ¶2553.

On a duly made motion and seconded, the Trustees adopt this report affirming that, after the  expiration of the provisions of ¶2553, the current Disaffiliation Policy approved by the Trustees,  will be utilized.   The provisions of ¶2549 vests the Trustees with the power to  administer the disposition of property of a closed church. These policies and procedures adopted by the Trustees will become the policy for local churches to leave  the  Denomination.

A local church shall have the right pursuant to the expired paragraph 2553 to exit the denomination, authorized by this motion, upon a vote of a two-thirds majority of the professing members of the local church present and voting at the properly convened church conference.  

This process shall become effective upon expiration of  ¶2553 and extend no later than the last day of the 2025 Annual Conference.


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