February 18, 2023

A Special Called Annual Conference session was held on February 18, 2023 for the Virginia Annual Conference membership to consider the ratification of 34 local churches seeking to disaffiliate from The United Methodist Church over matters of human sexuality using Paragraph 2553 of the Book of Discipline.

Mrs. Martha Stokes, conference lay leader, opened the session with prayer. 

The following 33 churches (with their disaffiliation amounts below) disaffiliated under Paragraph 2553 in the session as a block:

  • Glenmore UMC, Living Waters District ($35,277.00 disaffiliation amount)
  • Hanes Chapel UMC, Living Waters District ($14,058.17 disaffiliation amount)
  • Hopewell UMC, Living Waters District ($131,345.00 disaffiliation amount)
  • Union Chapel UMC, Living Waters District ($29,607.00 disaffiliation amount)
  • Locust Grove UMC, Mission Rivers District ($107,428.00 disaffiliation amount)
  • Mila UMC, Mission Rivers District, Mission Rivers District ($25,495.00 disaffiliation amount)
  • Rehoboth-Northumberland UMC, Mission Rivers District ($28,098.00 disaffiliation amount)
  • Wicomico UMC, Mission Rivers District ($22,686.00 disaffiliation amount)
  • Wilderness Community UMC,Mission Rivers District ($389,965.50 disaffiliation amount)
  • Creasey’s Chapel UMC, Mountain View District ($37,376.46 disaffiliation amount)
  • Fairview UMC, Mountain View District ($330,229.00 disaffiliation amount)
  • Grace Design UMC, Mountain View District ($84,053.00 disaffiliation amount)
  • Harris Chapel UMC,Mountain View District ($16,862.00 disaffiliation amount)
  • Huddleston UMC,Mountain View District ($25,599.00 disaffiliation amount)
  • Mountain View UMC (Meadows of Dan), Mountain View District ($21,287.00 disaffiliation amount)
  • Nettle Ridge UMC,Mountain View District ($38,040.00 disaffiliation amount)
  • New Hope UMC, Mountain View District ($27,122.00 disaffiliation amount)
  • Ross Harbour UMC, Mountain View District ($38,033.00 disaffiliation amount)
  • Stuart UMC, Mountain View District ($123,495.00 disaffiliation amount)
  • Timberlake UMC,Mountain View District ($748,445.00disaffiliation amount)
  • Whitmell UMC, Mountain View District ($96,747.00 disaffiliation amount)
  • Woolwine UMC, Mountain View District ($40,320.00 disaffiliation amount)
  • Markham UMC, Shenandoah River District ($46,632.00 disaffiliation amount)
  • Redland UMC, Shenandoah River District ($152,758.00 disaffiliation amount)
  • Refuge UMC, Shenandoah River District ($57,592.00 disaffiliation amount)
  • White Chapel UMC, Shenandoah River District ($36,217.00 disaffiliation amount)
  • Binghams UMC, Three Notch’d District ($40,422.00 disaffiliation amount)
  • Byrd Chapel UMC, Three Notch’d District ($88,888.00 disaffiliation amount)
  • Dunns Chapel UMC, Three Notch’d District ($19,154.00 disaffiliation amount)
  • Laurel Hill UMC, Three Notch’d District ($258,425.00 disaffiliation amount)
  • Mt. Zion UMC, Three Notch’d District ($70,946.00 disaffiliation amount)
  • Trinity UMC (Christiansburg), Valley Ridge District ($26,665.00 disaffiliation amount)
  • Wesley Memorial UMC, Valley Ridge District ($57,991.00 disaffiliation amount)

New Town UMC, Mission Rivers District, was voted to be removed from the list of churches for separate consideration by the Annual Conference body. 

After a time of discussion and speeches for and against the ratification of New Town UMC from The United Methodist Church, the Rev. Joe Varner, Thalia UMC, called the question, and it was seconded. 

The Annual Conference body voted to move to a vote on the ratification of New Town UMC. 

The Annual Conference body voted “no” on the ratification of the disaffiliation of New Town UMC, Mission Rivers District, with a 54% to 46%. 

The Minutes of the conference sessions will be shared when they are available from the conference Minutes Committee. They will be posted on the conference website at www.vaumc.org/ac2023feb and also shared on ClergyNet and LaityNet.

Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson ended the session with a prayer. She acknowledged how heartbreaking this work can be for United Methodists but encouraged those gathered to find new conviction and courage to be the body of Christ to the world far and wide in the work ahead of the Virginia Annual Conference. 

A livestream recording of the conference may be found here.

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