Judicial Council Rulings

April 26, 2019 | | GNJ News, Messages from the Bishop

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

The Judicial Council just issued its ruling following the Special General Conference. They had two rulings.

  • Ruling concerning the traditional plan may be found here.
  • Ruling concerning churches disaffiliating with The United Methodist Church may be found here.

The Judicial Council ruled that parts of the traditional plan are unconstitutional and other parts are constitutional. The parts of the plan that are constitutional will now become law of the church. A synopsis of each petition and which are constitutional may be found here.

The Judicial Council also ruled that congregations may disaffiliate with The United Methodist Church if three things occur.

  • Two-thirds of the professing membership vote to disaffiliate from The United Methodist Church.
  • The plans, terms and date of disaffiliation be established by the Conference Board of Trustees.
  • The majority of voting Annual Conference members who are in session approve the plan and the congregation’s disaffiliation.

We will report further about this at the May Annual Conference session.

These very challenging times for the church provide the opportunity to ask, “What does God have for us next?”  I believe God has something next for the United Methodist movement. It may not look like we are now but it is an opportunity to renew the church and organize differently to further the mission. Next week, the GNJ Way Forward Team will send you an update which will begin to lay the ground work for what God has next for us.

Please pray for the church and its leaders. Our congregational and conference leaders need Godly wisdom to lead us through these times together.

Keep the faith!


John Schol, Bishop
United Methodists of Greater New Jersey