Jan. 7, 2020

Bishop Ough reflects on separation plan proposed by diverse group (with video)

A diverse, 16-member group of United Methodist bishops and other leaders has offered a proposal that would preserve The United Methodist Church while allowing traditionalist-minded congregations to form a new denomination. The separating group would get $25 million in United Methodist funds and would keep its local church properties. In a video interview, Dakotas-Minnesota Area Bishop Bruce R. Ough answered questions about the “Protocol of Reconciliation & Grace Through Separation,” which aims to address the denomination’s longtime impasse over human sexuality. “I think it is probably the best that we have before us currently that would allow for a gracious and dignified process for us to separate,” Ough said. “In the Dakotas-Minnesota Area, we have been talking for some time about: Let’s look at all of the debate that’s been going on as God trying to birth something new. So I’m taking the position that maybe this is an answer to that prayer… It feels at the moment as if it’s a breakthrough, even as difficult as it is to think about us breaking relationships and separating from one another.”

Watch video / Read written version of interview 

Read article about separation plan (includes reflections from Bishop Ough and Dave Nuckols, leader of the Minnesota Conference's General Conference 2020 delegation)

Links to resources and proposal responses

Plan documents: Protocol of Reconciliation & Grace Through Separation and FAQs about the mediation team

Council of Bishops: United Methodist traditionalists, centrists, progressives, and bishops sign agreement aimed at separation

Reconciling Ministries Network: An imperfect table, a chance to perfect

Wesleyan Covenant Association: Key bishops and advocacy group leaders propose plan of separation

UMForward: Living in God’s Liberating Light - The Epiphany Statement

Uniting Methodists: Grace to be the church we are becoming

Mainstream UMC: Great news! Negotiations reach compromise

UMCNext: UMCNext proclaims a new season of ministry, opportunity

Minnesota Methodists: Separation agreement released


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