Opportunities to disaffiliate from the Upper New York Conference
September 20, 2022 / By The Rev. Bill Gottschalk-Fielding, Assistant to the Bishop and UNY Director of Connectional Ministries
During the upcoming session of the Upper New York Annual Conference (October 6-8), the Conference will receive its first requests from local churches to disaffiliate from the Conference under ¶2553 of the Book of Discipline. To be eligible to disaffiliate, a church must deposit with the Conference treasurer, all fees stipulated in the disaffiliation agreement at least one week prior to the start of Annual Conference. A complete listing of churches who have met this requirement will be posted on the Conference website Oct. 3..
During Annual Conference, members will be asked to ratify each disaffiliation request by a simple majority of members present and voting. This will be a simple up or down vote with no provision for amendment (see Judicial Council Decision 1379 and ¶ 2529.1_b_ (3).
In addition to this year’s Annual Conference, there will be three other opportunities for local churches to request disaffiliation. These include next year’s regularly scheduled Annual Conference session in June as well as two special sessions – March 25, 2023, and Oct. 14, 2023. These special sessions will be called for the sole purpose of considering disaffiliation requests. To be eligible for disaffiliation, a church must meet all requirements prior to the Annual Conference vote. To learn more, please visit our Conference disaffilaition page, which includes documents and templates that you will need. The ability to disaffiliate under Book of Discipline ¶2553 expires December 31, 2023.
In addition to providing other opportunities for disaffiliation, the Conference Board of Trustees has clarified the process for setting a congregation’s required unfunded pension liability payment. The Conference treasurer will give an initial estimate to the congregation based on Wespath’s current assessment. One full month prior to annual conference, the treasurer will provide an updated figure from Wespath to the congregation. The lower of the two amounts will establish the required payment.