A group of theologically conservative United Methodists has announced the creation of a new denomination once the United Methodist Church officially separates due to its long-standing debate over homosexuality.
The Wesleyan Covenant Association and the 17-member Transitional Leadership Council released a statement on Monday morning announcing the creation of the Global Methodist Church.
According to the statement, the theologically conservative denomination will not be officially launched until the UMC General Conference, scheduled for 2022, passes a separation measure known as the Protocol for Reconciliation and Grace through Separation.
The Protocol, which will be up for debate at the General Conference, involves allowing conservative churches to leave the UMC to form their own denomination.
Transitional Leadership Council Chairman Rev. Keith Boyette said in a statement that the GMC would “make disciples of Jesus Christ who worship passionately, love extravagantly, and witness boldly.”
“Over the past year, the council members, and hundreds of people who have informed their work, have faithfully and thoughtfully arrived at this point,” stated Boyette.
“They are happy to share with others a wealth of information about a church they believe will be steeped in the life giving confessions of the Christian faith.”
As part of this preliminary launch, the GMC created a website explaining that the new denomination will allow for female ordination and is committed to racial equality.
“Alternatively, if it becomes apparent that the leading bishops, centrists, and progressives who covenanted to support the Protocol no longer do so, then the council will consider bringing the new church into existence without delay,” explained a frequently-asked-questions section of the site.
“For approximately one year, the Global Methodist Church will be a church in transition as it prepares for its convening General Conference.”
Last December, a group of theologically progressive United Methodists announced a plan to create its own denomination as part of the likely separation plan for the UMC.
Known as the Liberation Methodist Connexion, its website describes the new church as “a grassroots denomination of former, current, and non-Methodist faith leaders working on the unfolding of the kin-dom of God.”
The LMX went on to say that they welcome all “gender expressions and sexual identity,” “religious or non-religious backgrounds,” “races and ethnicities,” “size,” and “monogamous and non-monogamous.”
“We trust God’s presence and our collaborative labors will guide us toward a new, more liberative way of answering our calling and being in connexion together,” stated the LMX, which went on to state that their “theology is not written in stone.”
The UMC General Conference, where the potential separation plan will be debated and possibly approved, is scheduled for Aug. 29 through Sept. 6, 2022, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Originally, the General Conference was supposed to be held last year but was postponed to 2021 due to coronavirus pandemic concerns. The General Conference was again postponed this year.