Message from Bishop Fairley Regarding Judicial Council Decision # 1444
posted on May 12
On May 10th, 2022, the Judicial Council issued Decision Number 1444 that records their response to a Petition for Declaratory Decision from the Council of Bishops dated March 4, 2022. The Judicial Council found that an annual conference may not separate from the United Methodist Church in the United States of America. The Judicial Council also found that annual conferences may not separate without, apart from, or prior to legislation at General Conference that would enable withdrawal. The General Conference must exercise its constitutional powers to establish and regulate the right to withdraw before annual conferences can exercise their right to vote on disaffiliation.
Further, the Judicial Council found that votes for an annual conference to separate from the UMC prior to General Conference legislation and procedures are unconstitutional and have no legal force or effect.
The Judicial Council decision, analysis, and rationale can be found at the following official website for reference. Every pastor is encouraged to read Decision Number 1444.