30 Days of Discernment


 

Discernment - No Vote on March 1, 2023


On Tuesday, February 21, 2023 the Church Council, along with the NOW Council, decided that March 1, 2023 was too soon to vote on separation and that there will be no congregational vote on March 1. They came to this decision through a unanimous vote.   In another vote, carried by a strong majority, the two councils decided that the Church Council will now select those who will be on the discernment committee and how the process of discernment will look moving forward.  





For additional information, please click the buttons below


UMC AGREEMENT TO SEPARATE.PDF


FEB 8 DISCERNMENT MEETING SLIDES.PDF


UMC Book of Discipline Addendum, 2019




Additional Resources:


What should United Methodist congregations know about disaffiliation? (umc.org)


UMCSC churches have process to discern their future - South Carolina UMC


UMC_Guidelines_for_Holy_Conferencing.pdf


UMC_Local_Church_Discernment_Process_FAQ.pdf

 

Separation Home - Mt. Horeb UMC (mthorebumc.com)


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LSUMC Frequently Asked Questions

1.  Will a church-wide communication be sent out to full membership via mail?  Not everyone has email access?    Yes. 


2.  My work schedule was constructed in January, long before this process began, and I will not be in town for the Church Conference vote.  What is being done to ensure that active members of the congregation (like me) will be counted?  This vote is far too important to simply state that members must be present at a singular event in order to decide the direction of our church.

This committee strongly agrees with this statement.  However, when Church Council voted to enter this time of discernment on January 20th, we were committing to this timeline.


3.  What affect will a change have on access to the Memorial Garden where my parents rest?   This is laid out in the separation agreement.


4.  What will happen to the Cross & Flame UMC symbols on the property?    The Cross and Fame are representative of the United Methodist Church.  If the church votes to disaffiliate with the UMC, these symbols will no longer be an accurate representation of our the church.


5.  Will someone at the door have a list of church members and check ID like when we vote for public office?   

We are reviewing our roll for accuracy.  Only members of LSUMC will be present on March 1st


6.  Please present the best current estimates of the direct costs to disaffiliate.   The finance committee has ordered appraisals for all church property.  We will be better able to answer this question once they are received.


7.  Do we have anyone who understands the Global doctrine?  This committee is not tasked with understanding any other doctrine. 


8.  Will our membership be automatically moved?    No;  this discernment period and vote on March 1nd is only for Lyttleton Street UMC to decide if we are going to leave the United Methodist Church.


9.  If we elect to disaffiliate, can we re-affiliate later?   We have no reason at this time to think that the UMC would not allow Lyttleton Street to re-affiliate; however, the financial cost is unknown.


10.  Now that we have entered into the Discernment Process, are we REQUIRED to vote on the separation in 30 days?      Yes


11.  What debt load do we have on our property?    None;  please contact the finance committee for latest financials.


12.  If we do not get 2/3 votes to separate, what happens?  Do we stay as we are?     Yes.


13.  If we do get 2/3 vote to separate, I assume it goes to Annual Conference, can they reject?   It will take a simple majority to ratify the vote.


14.  If no objections, when will this take affect?  June 30th is the date that is in the Agreement to Separate


15.  When will our ministers leave?  Our pastors will have to discern on their own.


16.  Will we need members to represent us as LSUMC at Annual Conference? If so, who?  Our current representatives are our delegates.


17.  What denomination will we be if we disaffiliate?  and who decides this?  The vote on March 1 is only to disaffiliate from the UMC;  Any decision to join another denomination will have to take place at a later date.


18.  What happens to our members?  You can join another local UMC and transfer your membership there, or you can transfer your membership temporarily to your district’s membership roll until you can find a new church home.


19.  Will we need to stop using United Methodist materials?  If Lyttleton Street votes to disaffiliate from the United Methodist Church, the rationale is that the congregation would not desire to use materials from the UMC.


20.  If we disaffiliate and I want to remain United Methodist, who do I contact to move my membership in the future?

You can join another UMC and transfer your membership there, or you can transfer your membership temporarily to your district’s membership roll until you can find a new church home.


21.  How will the vote be conducted (secret / show of hands/ etc.)   We are working with the DS to gather this information.


22. Can a person vote if unable to be there on March 1st?   No;  the terms of this vote are set forth in the Book of Discipline.


23.  If a decision is made to stay in the UMC, will subsequent votes be possible?   Yes.  The Book of Discipline lays out this process.


24.  If LSUMC decides to disaffiliate, what happens to any fund balance held by UMW and UMM bank accounts?

This is a part of the formula laid out in liquid assets portion of the agreement to separate.

 

25.  Can the agreement be challenged through litigation to attempt to lessen or eliminate the fees associated with disaffiliation?   

We either agree to accept or reject the Agreement to Separate ‘as is’ on March 1st.  If  we reject this agreement, there could be a future opportunity to challenge it through litigation.


26. Will there be a meeting set for the confirmed youth?  They need a ‘safe place’ to get all of the information without feeling intimidated.  

Mary has already encouraged youth to reach out to her individually with any questions and to discuss the issues with their families.  She will address this briefly at UMYF and encourage youth to come to these scheduled committee meetings. 


27. Will there be an opportunity for members to speak at any of the discernment meetings?    Not at this time.  We plan to continue with the format of written questions due to the limited amount of time this committee has to address the issues surrounding the March 1st vote.  We are working hard, as a team representing a diversity of viewpoints regarding the potential separation from the UMC, to answer these questions in a balanced and well-educated manner. The best way to contact this committee with questions, answers, and input is to email  church@lsumc.net


28. Where will the $1.5 million come from if the vote is to separate?   Unknown at this time.  Please contact the finance committee regarding finances.  


29. Will the ballot be available for a preview?     We are in contact with the District Superintendent and she is working on providing us with the exact verbiage on the ballot.


30. What will happen to Youth?     We do not expect any immediate changes in our youth program.  If the vote is to remain UMC, no change would happen.  If the vote is to separate from UMC, there would be no change until after the Annual Conference in June 2023.  Lyttleton Street has always been committed to our youth.  


31. Can the vote on March 1st be earlier than 6PM?   Unfortunately, no.  This date and time has been set by our District Superintendent as is protocol in the UMC Book of Discipline.


32. Can the vote be a paper ballot?   The District Superintendent will preside over the vote as is protocol in the UMC Book of Discipline.


33. What happens to staff?     2 current staff members are also church members. These staff members are going through a personal process of discernment.  Whether or not the congregation votes to remain/separate from the UMC, no changes are anticipated prior to June of 2023.  


34. This Bishop is new to us - does he know LSUMC history, etc.?    Bishop Jonathan Holston has been the SCUMC Bishop since 2012.  He is set to continue his duties until 2024, according to the UMC.