Disaffiliation Process Resources
In 2019, the General Conference of The United Methodist Church established a way for congregations to disaffiliate from the denomination under the provisions of Book of Discipline ¶2553. Per this paragraph, the Upper New York (UNY) Conference has established the Conference’s policy to enable congregations to explore disaffiliating from The United Methodist Church.
As the policy states, “[t]he decision to disaffiliate from the denomination is solemn and consequential; as such, the process to be followed must be careful, thoughtful, respectful, and prayerful.” Any congregation that wishes to participate in the disaffiliation discernment process must apply to the Resident Bishop requesting to begin the process. Once in receipt of the congregation’s application, the Bishop and Cabinet will respond to the congregation within ten (10) days with permission to proceed and guidance about the next steps.
Congregations wishing to explore disaffiliation from The United Methodist Church based on the provisions of ¶2553 must undergo a discernment process established by the UNY Cabinet. If, after completing the discernment process, a congregation wishes to disaffiliate, a vote on disaffiliation is taken in a special church conference presided by the district superintendent or an ordained elder appointed by the district superintendent. Moving toward disaffiliation requires a two-thirds majority of the professing members of the congregation present at the church conference.
If adopted by the church conference, the request to disaffiliate must then be approved by the Annual Conference, in this case, by a simple majority. Prior to the Annual Conference vote, the exiting congregation must form a new corporate entity and make all required payments to the Conference. The disaffiliation becomes final once New York State Courts approve the decision and the property is formally transferred.
The links below contain documents and templates needed when considering disaffiliation. The ability to disaffiliate under the Book of Discipline ¶2553 expires December 31, 2023.
- Click here to learn more about how to disaffiliate from the UNY Conference, which includes a form to complete.
- Click here for the disaffiliation agreement template.
- Click here for the property transfer template.
Questions can be addressed to the Rev. Pam Klotzbach, Chair of the UNY Board of Trustees, at firstname.lastname@example.org.