Message sent out today to church members.
Dear Church of the Servant Family,
Greetings in the name of Christ! This is an important message for every church member. Our District Superintendent has set a church-wide “Church Conference” for September 5, 2023, at 6:30 p.m.
The purpose of the conference is to vote on whether or not Church of the Servant will disaffiliate from the United Methodist denomination. You are receiving this message because you are a member of Church of the Servant. Read on for more details and to learn about vital informational meetings to be held next week.What has happened?
On Monday morning, August 21, an Oklahoma County District Court ruled that Church of the Servant (COS) can be allowed to vote on disaffiliating from the United Methodist Church (UMC). On Tuesday evening, August 22, the COS Board of Governance (the Board) voted to request a Church Conference for the purpose of voting on disaffiliation. It was granted.What does this mean?
When churches disaffiliate, it means they are severing their doctrinal, structural, and legal ties with the UMC. If a disaffiliation vote passes
at the Church Conference on September 5, the Oklahoma Annual Conference will work with our church to finalize the details of the separation agreement before moving to a final required step. If the disaffiliation vote at our Church Conference does not pass
, the church will remain a United Methodist congregation.
If the vote does pass, the final required step for disaffiliation will not be completed until the Oklahoma Annual Conference “ratifies” (makes officially valid) the congregational vote of the Church of the Servant. The Oklahoma Annual Conference will meet on October 13-14, 2023, to vote concerning ratification for all churches who have completed the disaffiliation requirements. A disaffiliated local church becomes independent from the UMC two weeks following this ratification.What happens now?
- Please attend one of the informational meetings that will be held at COS. See below for details. The purpose of the meetings is to provide members with as much information as possible about the vote and to describe the potential ramifications of each outcome. There will be a handout summarizing the consequences of each potential outcome, a set of proposed bylaws for the new entity (in the event of disaffiliation), a copy of the ballot, and the church’s current financial statement. In addition, everyone attending will be invited to submit written questions to the moderators, Jill Walker and Rev. Jessica Moffatt.
What if I have questions?
- A Church Conference will be convened on Tuesday, September 5, at 6:30 PM. to vote on whether or not COS will disaffiliate from the UMC. Plan now to attend this important Conference. See below for details.
Bring your questions to any of the informational meetings, or write them down in the meeting. If you will not be able to attend, email any questions to email@example.com
Every church member is a vital part of our congregation. Your participation over the next few weeks is very important. Your vote on September 5th will help shape the future for Church of the Servant. Thank you for continuing in prayer.
As we prepare our hearts and minds for what is ahead, we announce the truth of Psalm 33. It confirms what we believe. We do not put our hope in the things of this world. “We put our hope in the Lord, our protector and our help. We have gladness because of him. We trust in his holy name. Your constant love is with us Lord and we put our hope in you” (Psalm 33:20-22).
Rev. Jessica Moffatt
Rev. Dr. Thomas Hoffmann
Lead Pastor Transitions Team
And The Board of Governance