More information about Disaffiliation

What is Disaffiliation?

Disaffiliation Information

¶2553 of the Book of Discipline provides the process for churches and/or pastors to leave the United Methodist Church. December 31, 2023 will be the final day for churches to disaffiliate.

A special session of the West Ohio Conference will be held on Saturday, November 19, 2022. Churches desiring to disaffiliate should contact their District office by October 31, 2022. Further special sessions are expected to be held during Annual Conference (June 2023) and in November 2023.

Current events should not be considered a “split.” The church is not splitting. Churches are leaving the United Methodist Church. Many, if not most, of those who have already left have become independent churches. There seems to be an effort to create a second Methodist church – The Global Methodist Church – however the current status of this movement is unclear.

Churches choosing to disaffiliate will be required to pay the full apportionments for the current year plus one additional year. They will also be required to pay the pastor’s pension for the current year plus one additional year. For Ansonia UMC the anticipated cost for these two expenses is approximately $49,000.00.

Once the apportionment and pension payments have been made, the deed to the church will be released to the church. All assets and funds of the church will remain with the church. A disaffiliated church loses connection to the current Wespath pension but it may be possible to get assistance from Wespath to establish their own pension fund.

There will be no change in apportionments or pensions for the churches which choose to remain in the United Methodist Church.

Should a church choose to disaffiliate, it will be up to the pastor and the church whether or not the pastor stays with the church. An agreement will need to be made regarding salary, pension, benefits, insurance, housing, etc.

Resources for guidance through the disaffiliation process and opportunities for discussion and planning are available through the Conference and are on the Conference web site.


It is our understanding the changes to the specific wording to the Book of Discipline planned for 2024 will be the removal of the following:

  • “The practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.”
  • “Ceremonies that celebrate homosexual unions shall not be conducted by our ministers and shall not be conducted in our churches.”

Current language in the Book of Discipline also prevents financial support to any LBGTQ-based groups.

As clergy has always had the right and duty to determine the readiness of individuals to marry, be baptized, or enter into membership, there is likely NOT to be a mandate that same sex marriages are to be performed.

Bishop Palmer’s Response

As we consider the possibility of disaffiliating from the United Methodist Church you are encouraged to view a message from our Bishop Palmer by following the link below:



This is a difficult and challenging situation and decision, and questions are sure to arise. You are encouraged and invited to speak to the pastor about this matter. You may also speak to any member of the Vision Team.

The Disaffiliation Process

No entity of The United Methodist Church, including the West Ohio Conference, is asking any clergy person or congregation to disaffiliate. However, we understand that a few are considering or have decided by their own choice to leave. The following provides clear and accurate information about the West Ohio Conference’s process.

Steps are outlined on the West Ohio Conference if a church decides to pursue Disaffiliation.