DISAFFILIATION UPDATE - January 18, 2023
We've been prayerfully walking through the process of leaving the United Methodist Church over the last few years. On November 6, 2022, we had a Church Conference to vote to officially start the disaffiliation process. The vote passed by over 96%. We also elected a team of people to meet with the Conference Trustees to negotiate a settlement for our property. The team from our church met with the Trustees on December 6. Here's a link to read the agreement.
By request of Church Council, our District Superintendent, Paul Richie, has scheduled our second Church Conference to finalize our disaffiliation on Thursday, February 2 at 7:00pm at the Frye Farm Campus. If you are a member of Charter Oak Church, you will be able to vote on the recommendation of Church Council to leave the United Methodist Church following the signed agreement with the Conference Trustees and paragraph 2553 in The Book of Discipline. This agreement cannot be changed at the Church Conference. It's either yes or no. If you are not a member of Charter Oak Church, you are welcome to attend, but you will not be able to vote. Please plan on arriving 20-30 minutes early because everyone's membership must be verified for you to receive a ballot to vote. You must be present to vote, and no one can vote on your behalf. The Church Conference will not be online.
Our financial responsibility is still about the same amount as shared at the first Church Conference and our Family Meetings leading up to that vote. This amount is made up of three items:
· $150,000 – Property negotiated cost with the Conference Trustees (2% of property value)
· $461,593 – 2 Years of Conference Apportionments (July 2022 – June 2024)
· $722,725 – Unfunded Pension Liability
· $1,334,318 – Total
Just a note on the Unfunded Pension Liability number. The Conference Trustees said this is the highest amount we would have to pay, but based on the stock market the amount may go down. We are also waiting for a ruling from the United Methodist Judicial Council if we have to pay anything for this amount.
How will we pay for this? We are interviewing banks to see what terms we can get to cover this cost. We have a special "Disaffiliation Fund" set up for anyone who wants to give over and above their regular giving to offset the cost to leave. We also have savings that we can use. Church Council is prayerfully discerning what combination of these we will use to pay for our exit from the denomination.
Thank you for your continued prayers throughout this process.
All for God's glory!
Pastor Chris Whitehead