Friends in Christ,
Over the last few days I have spoken with nearly a thousand United Methodists in Greater New Jersey to provide clarity and answer questions about the announcement last week of a new proposal that will come before General Conference in May called the Protocol of Reconciliation and Grace.
In brief, the Protocol, which was negotiated by 16 UMC leaders, is a proposal to separate the denomination. The Protocol, like all proposals and legislation, must go before General Conference in May.
Information about my conversations with clergy and laity can be found here. You will find:
1. A summary of the proposal
2. A downloadable copy of the Protocol (nine pages)
3. A transcript of my remarks in my calls with clergy and laity
4. Answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ), including answers to questions discussed on the calls and those submitted on the web pages.
These are important and challenging times for the church. I am grateful for your leadership in your congregation. If you or your congregation have additional questions, you can submit them here.
While we wrestle with the future of our denomination, there continues to be a world that calls for transformation and people in need of discipleship. I urge you not to let our denominational challenges affect your witness to your community. I invite you to turn outward in your ministry that serves Jesus Christ.
Keep the faith!
Bishop John Schol
United Methodists of Greater New Jersey