Bishop announces special sessions on disaffiliation
Bishop Frank J. Beard announced this morning that there will be two special sessions in 2023 to deal with matters associated with church disaffiliations.
Bishop Beard announced that sessions will be held on the following dates:
- Saturday, May 6
- Saturday, Dec. 2
The Bishop has the authority to call for a special session and to set the date. The Sessions Committee will be determining whether the meeting shall be online or in-person when they meet in the next few weeks. The call for both special sessions is for the sole purpose of ratifying disaffiliation agreements between congregations and the Conference Board of Trustees through its Disaffiliation Team. Agreements cannot be amended and are subject to a yes/no vote to approve.
In order for an agreement to be a part of the May 6 agenda, all church conferences, payments, and the Disaffiliation Agreement must be completed or executed by March 6, 2023. Those congregations missing the March 6 deadline will be held over for the Dec. 2 special session.
In order to meet the Dec. 2 special session, all church conferences, payments and the Disaffiliation Agreement must be completed or executed by Oct. 2, 2023. Churches will need to initiate the process of disaffiliation by June 1 in order to meet the Oct. 2 deadline for the Dec. 2 special session.
Because of the two special sessions, no disaffiliation agreements will be considered as part of the regular June 8-10 session in Peoria. The Conference Trustees may have resolutions pertaining to churches that have completed its mission as part of its report and a remembrance of those churches will be a part of the Memorial Service.
By announcing the special sessions now, churches will have adequate time to complete the discernment process and the next steps should disaffiliation be sought.
Currently, there are 40 congregations have inquired about disaffiliation and are engaged in the discernment process.