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Church Chats

Business Meetings

Church Chats are informal Business Meetings as a forum to learn and share information with the congregation at large. We try to hold them a couple times per year.

Below is a resource hub of information and discussion about upcoming denominational legislation and action.

Here's a really helpful video we came across to help frame the discussion. A few details have adjusted since it was made, but it paints the picture pretty accurately.

Updated Information

Our vote regarding potential Disaffiliation is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 12 immediately following our worship service.

Below is a final copy of the notice from the Council Chair and Member Letter with info and FAQ's about Disaffiliation. We anticipate to take 2 votes; the first to affirm the desire to disaffiliate and the second gives authorization to the leadership to work the process of creating the new church entity, secure the financing for disaffiliation costs, and begin the process to join the Global Methodist Church after the disaffiliation process is finalized. Samples of all documents are found below.

Addendum 2022/2023:

  1. The Protocol that was once highly supported is now effectively dead.
  2. When the General Conference was announced as postponed again until 2024, the WCA did move forward with the launch of the new GMC (Global Methodist Church).
  3. Events and actions which occurred at the 2022 FL Annual Conference initiated 106 UMC churches in Florida to pursue litigation methods against the conference with the goal of reaching an agreement like the Protocol. SpringLife Church signed up to be part of that.
  4. After an adjustment with the litigation process, SpringLife Church has withdrawn from the litigation and the Administrative Team unanimously voted to request the District Superintendent to hold a church conference in order to vote on disaffiliation from the UMC under Paragraph 2553 of the UMC Book of Discipline. The intent is to then affiliate with the GMC. Our congregational vote has been scheduled by the DS for February, 12 (time being verified). All official church members are eligible for voting to affirm this action. Though we are grounded in Wesleyan/Methodist theology and heritage and grateful for our time with the UMC denomination, it seems clear that our paths are different for the future and a window of opportunity has presented itself to make an effective change to a new (old) way of Methodism.
  5. Over 1000 UMC churches have now gone through the process to disaffiliate. And well over 100 in Florida are making plans for 2023 as ruling 2553 "sunsets" on Dec. 31, 2023.

Special Info Meeting with our DS regarding the Disaffiliation process 1/19/23

Other Helpful Links

Primer for Understanding Background and Proposed Legislation

*Please Start Here for Contextual Background


The Methodist Movement was begun by John Wesley and his brother Charles around 1729 and experienced tremendous growth all throughout the American colonies in its earliest years.

By 1773, networks of Methodist Churches were beginning to form called Annual Conferences.

Every 4 years, denominational leaders gather together to review and evaluate church policy. This gathering is called a General Conference and the policy book is called The Book of Discipline.

In 1968, 2 denominations merged (the Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church) to establish the United Methodist Church or UMC.

In regards to congregants, the UMC has in its Articles of Constitution, that “All persons are of sacred worth. All persons without regard to race, color, national origin, status, or economic condition, shall be eligible to attend its worship services, participate in its programs, receive the sacraments, upon baptism be admitted as baptized members, and upon taking vows declaring the Christian faith, become professing members in any local church in the connection.”

At every General Conference since 1968, there has been much debate about the inclusion of social policies and standards for Pastors. Finally, at the end of the 2016 General Conference, there was an obvious rift over the covenant requirements for pastors, particularly with those who identify with the LGBTQ+ community or wanted to be able to officiate same-sex weddings. At that point, the Book of Discipline specifically describes those 2 things as outside of the current understanding in regards to pastors.

So those at the General Conference voted to commission a task group to research options for “A Way Forward” and reconvene at a Special General Conference in 2019.

In 2019, various legislation was brought forward from multiple “caucus groups”. The proposed plan from the Way Forward Team was to remove the restrictive language from the Book of Disciple and allow each church and pastor to serve their local context how they see fit. It did NOT have the votes from the global delegates to pass. Part of the legislation from the “traditional” perspective actually did pass by a narrow margin which now defined marriage as between 1 man and 1 woman. This caused a blaring rift and even caused a few Annual Conferences and denominational leaders to declare that they WOULD NOT uphold the new covenants within the Book of Discipline.

During all of this time, the Federal government has passed laws to allow same-sex marriages. Most public polls indicate strong support for same-sex marriages. Still most denominations and non-denominational churches alike share a “traditional understanding of marriage”.

In the UMC, the largest make-up of voting delegates within the Florida Annual Conference and the United States would be considered “progressive” leaning. Those delegates with a “traditional” perspective would be considered a minority vote and are primarily from Africa and Asia.

 A group of “leading caucus leaders” saddened by the post-2019 General Conference situation, met together with a mediator and developed what is called The Protocol of Grace & Reconciliation Through Separation or “the Protocol” for short. Every leader across the theological spectrum has signed their support and vowed to work for the passage of this legislation at the next scheduled General Conference of May 2020.

Covid-19 hit and it was postponed to September 2020. Covid continued and it was once again postponed for another year, September 2021. It was yet again postponed until 2022 so that delegates might have a chance to receive vaccinations. It has since been postponed once more until 2024.

This is the anticipated legislation that the leadership of SpringLife Church wishes to share with the congregation as best we can during our Church Chat meetings and throughout the year. We are also making plans to have special guests come to share insights and understanding with us as well. Our hope is to provide and share as much detail as possible so that all those who are Full Members within the church would be well informed should a congregational vote be desired or necessary.

Thanks for your prayerful witness as part of the SpringLIfe family!

Previous Information

Replay of our Q1 Chat on 2/28/21

Replay of our Church Chat on 3/21/21

Sun, March 21 - 4pm Second Church Chat, Dist. Sup. Rev. June Edwards as our Speaker along with Rev. Alex Shanks, the Bishop's Assistant.