General Conference Postponement

Last week, the Commission on General Conference announced that the twice-postponed General Conference will once again be “postponed” until 2024. The Protocol for Separation, our best hope for a peaceful separation, will now have to wait until then. But there are other options.

With the further postponement of General Conference the outlook for an amicable separation in The United Methodist Church becomes more complicated and uncertain. To be clear, the denomination will separate into at least two different denominations. But now that separation will be contentious and not amicable. The split will occur, but instead of the UMC displaying how Christians can handle their differences peaceably, we may well see some of this end up in court.

No official vote has been taken, but the leadership of The Fount has for some time indicated to me that their desire is to leave The United Methodist Church denomination. Without the benefit of the Protocol for Separation, this means that our options are less attractive and more complicated. There are two paragraphs in the Book of Discipline that allow for churches to “disaffiliate” from the denomination. One that would require a large payment to the annual conference by the local church, and one that would be less costly. Both require the approval of the annual conference, and some negotiations between the local church and the annual conference to consummate.

Ted Smith, our Lay Leader and a member of the Global Council of the Wesleyan Covenant Association (and also an attorney) will be helping us with this, and the Church Council will be involved as well. So while the details are confusing, be assured that we will sort this out and bring a plan together that is faithful to who we are as a church and “by the book” concerning the laws of our denomination.

Meanwhile, the Global Methodist Church will launch on May 1, 2022. Afterward, churches and clergy who have separated from the UMC (and others) will be able to join the new denomination. I encourage you to visit the GMC website ( and read as much as you can. You will find that the doctrines and discipline of this new Wesleyan (Methodist) and orthodox denomination will be a good fit for The Fount. The decision of whether or not to join the GMC and leave the UMC will be up to a called Church Conference of The Fount.

What does all this mean for The Fount? Mostly, everything will be behind the scenes. In the meantime, ministry and mission MUST continue. We must not be distracted from our mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world! I, along with the church leadership, will endeavor to keep our eyes on Jesus, looking for where He leads, and following Him with all our might! There is still much to be done.

In the coming weeks, I will be sharing more of where I think we need to head in ministry and mission in Fountain Valley and beyond. Our little church needs to stretch in order to welcome new members and partners in mission. I invite you to pray for God’s guidance and power to move forward. Regardless of what denomination we are a part of, our on-going ministry is paramount.

Watch for this blog post each Monday. Next week, Trevor Torres will share his heart for music ministry! I’ll be back on March 21st to continue.