RP Church to seek vote for disaffiliation
Greetings RP Church family,
Grace and peace in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This is now our third church-wide communication regarding the current separation happening in the United Methodist Church, as the Global Methodist Church birthed in May of this year. We would like to continue to direct you to our website www.rollingplainsumc.com to gain a greater understanding of the reasons many Evangelical Churches are disaffiliating and joining the GMC.
Since our last communication, robust conversation and dialogue around the Lead Team table has continued—largely fueled by so many of you, that have reached out to our team members. We want to encourage you to continue sharing your concerns, questions, and excitement with us. Your feedback is crucial and vital as we discern God’s call for His Church together. Your Lead Team has spent a great deal of time seeking the Holy Spirit in prayer, and has remained well informed with the latest information coming from all sides of this issue. In the last two months we have invited consultants and coaches to meet with us and walk through all that is before us in a consideration of disaffiliation. If we disaffiliate, do we become independent or join the new GMC? How do we get there? What will the post separation UMC look like if we were to remain?
As a result of this good season of discernment, your Lead Team will be engaging in a process to move towards a church-wide vote to disaffiliate from the UMC and to join the GMC. There is a lengthy timeline and check list we will be working through in the coming months to accomplish this task with our District Superintendent. This includes navigating a plan to fund the financial penalty for disaffiliation. Also, there will be several church-wide gatherings where the Lead Team, along with several consultants, will cast the vision for why we are excited to join the new GMC. These meetings will include time for input and questions from the church body.
The process culminates in a called Church Conference meeting for a vote of active church members. A supermajority of 2/3 is required to disaffiliate. This means that even though your Lead Team believes God is calling Rolling Plains to disaffiliate and join the GMC, no decision has been made. The ultimate decision lies with the members of Rolling Plains Church. We anticipate calling for this vote sometime in the early part of 2023, as the June 2023 West Ohio Annual Conference of the UMC is our deadline to accomplish this.
This timeline will give everyone in our church the opportunity to get educated, to reach out to our Lead Team, and to discern in prayer how God is leading His church. This season also gives us time to plan for funding the financial penalty, and to do all we can to seek the Holy Spirit to energize and excite God’s vision in us for our future. There is a tremendous momentum happening in our church as lives are being changed, disciples are being made, and God is being glorified. We remain steadfastly committed to not allowing the process of seeking disaffiliation to distract us from keeping the main thing, the main thing. We will continue to wholeheartedly live out our mission of coming, connecting, growing, and going as we make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world together.
Your fellow servants in Christ,
The Rolling Plains Lead Team
Misty Lou Smith
Pastor John Alice