January 12, 2022
As chairperson of the Transitional Leadership Council of the Global Methodist Church (in formation), I warmly welcome you as we work together in anticipation of the launch of the GM Church. Like most things in life, we have made our plans and then we have had to adjust to circumstances over which we have no control. Nevertheless, many are excited for and eagerly anticipating the birth of the GM Church.
The vision for the GM Church emerged from a gathering of a broad coalition of theologically conservative clergy and laity who met in Atlanta, Georgia in March of 2020, following the announcement of the Protocol for Reconciliation and Grace through Separation. The Protocol contemplated the restructuring of The United Methodist Church through amicable separation. Those who gathered in Atlanta sought to be ready once General Conference adopted the Protocol.
The GM Church was to be launched as part of an orderly process sanctioned by the General Conference for those with irreconcilable differences to separate for the sake of the larger mission. Rather than devoting additional energy and resources to a 50-year-old conflict, competing visions for the future of the church would emerge in at least two new denominations following separation. The Global Methodist Church is one of those new denominations and is in the process of formation.
Because of the global pandemic, General Conference, originally scheduled for May of 2020, has been postponed twice, first to August-September 2021 and then to August-September 2022. The UM Church’s Commission on General Conference continues to prepare for the 2022 meeting although some believe the Commission could further postpone or even cancel the upcoming General Conference. We have no control over that decision.
However, the group that met in Atlanta in March 2020 empowered the Transitional Leadership Council (TLC) to do the work of preparing for the launch of the GM Church when appropriate. The Council has been hard at work from March 2020 to the present and its work product is fully accessible on the GM Church’s website. Launching a new Methodist denomination is a complicated process, but the necessary work has been accomplished.
The GM Church has been approached by other Methodist denominations globally about their potential alignment with it. We welcome such possibilities. However, most of the local churches and clergy who will align with the GM Church initially will have been part of the UM Church formerly. Thus, the GM Church, in part, has been focused on ensuring that churches and clergy have a way of moving from the UM Church to the GM Church fairly and equitably.
The GM Church is a movement inspired by the Holy Spirit. Thousands have participated in our preparation for launch through fervent prayer, faithful discernment, and participating in the work of creating this new church. Our mission is to make disciples of Jesus Christ who worship passionately, love extravagantly, and witness boldly. Our singular focus is on Jesus and His mission for His church. We submit to His Lordship, and we celebrate God’s revelation of all that is necessary for our salvation and transformation as contained in the Bible, which is the preeminent authority for our life of faith and discipleship.
We are excited to join God in a journey of bringing new life, reconciliation, and the presence of Christ to all people, and to helping each person reflect the character of Christ. We are a church grounded in and committed to the great historic confessions of our faith that are based upon the teachings of Jesus entrusted to the apostles and those who have followed them from generation to generation. Our unity in Christ, grounded in these great historic confessions of faith and the distinctives of Methodism, motivate us to present good news to people everywhere.
Although the GM Church is ready to launch, we continue to discern God’s timing for that launch. We continue to evaluate decisions and developments over which we have no control. We remain desperately dependent on God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – for the birth of this new movement and the launch of the GM Church.
I invite you to join us in this journey. The day is coming soon when the GM Church will boldly step into the place God has prepared for it. Pray for the work of launching the GM Church. Stay informed of developments through our Crossroads e-newsletter. Inform others and begin to dream with them of what will transpire in your setting with the launch of the GM Church. In the coming days, we have much to share with you about the exciting things God is doing as He empowers the ministry and work of the Global Methodist Church.
Rev. Keith Boyette is chairman of the Transitional Leadership Council of the Global Methodist Church (in formation). Prior to 2017, he was the founding pastor of Wilderness Community Church in the Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church. Since 2017, he has served as President of the Wesleyan Covenant Association.