Committee on Discernment for Disaffiliation

After careful, thoughtful, respectful and prayerful consideration and research, it is the Discernment Committee’s recommendation to begin the disaffiliation
process from the United Methodist Church. It is not the committee’s decision to disaffiliate, but it is our recommendation for the Church Council to proceed with the process of disaffiliation in order to allow for a church wide vote in order to make a decision for or against disaffiliation. 


The Discernment Committee presented a short presentation to the Church Council, which resulted in a 12-2 vote to move forward with the disaffiliation process. That vote allowed this to become a church wide discussion, which will offer the entire congregation the opportunity to vote.

What is Disaffiliation?


Right now FWBFUMC is a member of the United Methodist Church. We were chartered in 1946. Disaffiliation means to no longer be a member of the United Methodist denomination. If we decide to disaffiliate, we will decide later whether to affiliate or join another Methodist denomination or become independent.

Steps toward Disaffiliation


Step 1

The figures that will be used for May 2023 disaffiliations should be available by end of January or early February.  Once the actuarial updates are available, then local churches may access disaffiliation figures for use in the May 2023 Special Called Annual Conference by going to their church dashboard. The same process for logging in that is used to access charge conference forms is used to access this information. Click “church info” in the left hand navigation panel. Disaffiliation figures including pension liability, post-retirement medical, and two years of apportionments are listed above the total figure needed for disaffiliation.


Step 2
Pastor contacts their district superintendent (DS) to schedule a “Town Hall” meeting. 


Step 3
If disaffiliation is the discerned path, an impact of disaffiliation assessment can be conducted to determine any missional, economic, and ministry impact on the community as a result of a church’s disaffiliation.


Step 4
After a time of prayerful discernment, and with proper notification to church members that is a minimum of 10 days including 2 Sundays, the local church may schedule, in coordination with the DS, a Church Conference . The district superintendent presides. A vote to disaffiliate can only be approved under the stipulations set forth in paragraph 2553 and the resolution must be passed by a 2/3 vote of the membership present at the conference. No write-in ballots are allowed. Required documentation must be provided to the DS. Refer to the below disaffiliation process document. 


Step 5
The district superintendent presents a vote to disaffiliate to the bishop’s cabinet and requests approval to close the disaffiliating church.  The cabinet formulates and approves a recommendation for disaffiliation.


Step 6
A report of the cabinet vote and recommendation are presented to the Conference Board of Trustees.


Step 7
If disaffiliation passes in step 4, the church will need to provide the following information to the conference treasurer, Suzanne Jones:
    – a copy of the church deed,
    – name of the person who will be her point of contact for the church,
    – names of two persons who will be final signees on the disaffiliation contract to be signed prior to a regular or called Annual Conference,
    – name of new church,


Step 8

Final approval must be ratified by a vote of a Called Annual Conference on May 7, 2023 (November 12, 2023 for the fall special-called session). 

For more information on this discussion, click on the link to the presentation. Discernment Presentation 06.04.23