Leading SGAUMC Forward: A Bright Future with Hope

Disaffiliation Timeline

Timeline Related to Matters of Disaffiliations/Departures

Presented by the Bishop, Cabinet, Board of Trustees, & Conference Chancellor 
 

A note from the Bishop and Cabinet

As we provide timelines for disaffiliations and departures, it is our hope that local churches postpone any decision until after the General Conference meets in 2024 when we will have more information to make any necessary decisions. Local churches can be assured that an opportunity will be given to complete the process of departure after General Conference meets and before the end of 2024, should they wish to do so. This is in accordance with the process put forth by the Conference Trustees under ¶2549 that honors the terms of South Georgia’s current disaffiliation policy through December 31, 2024. This process was affirmed by the South Georgia Conference at its June 2022 Annual Conference Session.
 

Please note that as soon as the dates for General Conference are announced, the Bishop and Cabinet are prepared to issue a call for a Special Called Session for both May of 2024 and November of 2024. For now, placeholders have been put in the timeline below. Exact dates will be forthcoming. 
 

This timeline is divided into three sections with three target dates for the Annual Conference ratification of church disaffiliations/departures:
 

  • Section 1 | Target Date: May 21, 2023
    Special Called Session for Disaffiliations under ¶2553

  • Section 2 | Target Date: May 2024
    Special Called Session for Departures under ¶2549 - exact date in May TBA

  • Section 3 | Target Date: November 2024
    Special Called Session for Departures under ¶2549 after General Conference meets - exact date in November TBA
     

Section 1

Timeline leading up to the May 21, 2023 Special Called Annual Conference
 

November 20, 2022 – January 1, 2023

A Time to Pause During Advent: Those churches that may be proceeding toward disaffiliation in 2023 - through discussions, informal meetings, or church conference votes - have been asked by Bishop Graves to pause between November 20 and the end of the year to celebrate and observe Thanksgiving, Advent, and Christmas. (Read more here
 

After January 2, 2023

District Superintendents will resume informal meetings and church conferences for those churches who request them. Please note that the Bishop will not be requesting a similar pause during the season of Lent. 
 

March 1, 2023
Final date for churches to have held their informal meeting with the District Superintendent in order to get on the DS’s schedule for their church conference. 
 

Please note: In order to accommodate the appointment-making season, it is important that every church not wait until the last day to schedule a church conference with their DS if they want to seek disaffiliation at the 2023 Annual Conference Session.
 

April 1, 2023 

Last day a local church conference can vote to disaffiliate in order for it to be ratified by the 2023 Called Session of the Annual Conference. 
 

May 21, 2023

Special Called Annual Conference for the purpose of ratifying requests for local church disaffiliations. The called session will be held via Zoom.
 

June 4-7, 2023

Annual Conference Session in Tifton, Ga. (Note that we will not consider requests for disaffiliation at the regular June Annual Conference Session.)

 

Section 2

Timeline leading up to the May 2024 Special Called Annual Conference (exact date in May TBA) 
 

After the May 21, 2023 Called Annual Conference Session

After May 21, 2023, there will be no church conferences held for the purpose of disaffiliation under ¶2553, since this provision will sunset on December 31, 2023. Instead, District Superintendents will be holding informal meetings, primarily in the Fall of 2023, for the purpose of sharing information and clarifying the process of departure under ¶2549 under terms set by the Conference Trustees. Churches will use these Fall 2023 meetings to discern their future and decide whether or not to request from the DS a date for a church conference after January 2, 2024, when the new departure policy under ¶2549 takes effect. 
 

November 19, 2023 – January 1, 2024 

Note that there will again be a pause in 2023 from holding informal meetings in order to observe and celebrate Thanksgiving, Advent, and Christmas.
 

December 31, 2023

Provision for disaffiliation under ¶2553 sunsets.
 

January 2, 2024

New departure policy takes effect under ¶2549 under terms set by the Conference Trustees. District Superintendents can hold church conferences to decide whether or not to depart the UMC under the provision under ¶2549. District Superintendents can also resume informal meetings with churches as they discern their future and decide whether or not to schedule a church conference to vote on departure. 
 

Please note: The official language in effect beginning Jan. 2, 2024, under ¶2549, will be departure not disaffiliation. 
 

March 1, 2024
Final date for churches to have held their informal meeting with the District Superintendent in order to get on the DS’s schedule for a church conference. 
 

Please note: In order to accommodate the appointment-making season, it is important that every church not wait until the last day if they want to seek departure at the May 2024 Called Session of the Annual Conference for the purpose of ratifying departures.
 

April 1, 2024 

Last day a local church conference can vote in order to have their departure ratified by the Annual Conference at the May 2024 Called Session.
 

April 23 – May 3, 2024
General Conference at Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, North Carolina
 

May 2024 (Exact Date TBA)

Special Called Annual Conference to deal with local church departures and all other local church closures.


Please note:
As soon as the dates for General Conference are announced, the Bishop and Cabinet are prepared to issue a call for a Special Called Session for May of 2024. Exact date will be forthcoming. 
 

June 2024 (Exact Dates TBA)

Regular Annual Conference Session in June. (Note that we will not consider requests for departure at the regular June Annual Conference Session.)

 

Section 3

Timeline leading up to the November 2024 Called Special Annual Conference (exact date in November TBA) 
 

September 5, 2024

Last day a local church can inform their District Superintendent that they wish to have a called Church Conference to discuss departure.
 

October 2, 2024

Last day a Church Conference can be held to vote to depart at the November 2024 Called Annual Conference Session.
 

November 2024 (Exact Date TBA)

Special Called Annual Conference to ratify final local church departures under trustees provision.


Please note:
As soon as the dates for General Conference are announced, the Bishop and Cabinet are prepared to issue a call for a Special Called Session for November of 2024. Exact date will be forthcoming. 
 

December 31, 2024

Trustees departure plan under ¶2549 ends and usage will sunset.

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