Monday, July 2, 2018

Recommended reading: The US Supreme Court on trust clauses

While a Supreme Court case decided in this summer's spate of rulings did not gather much national notice, it may be the one most relevant for the future of the UMC. In a dispute between the Episcopal Church's South Carolina diocese and breakaway churches over control of property, the US Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal by the breakaway churches. This leaves in place a lower court ruling that upholds the Episcopal Church's version of the trust clause, in which all property belongs to the denomination, not individual churches.

For more on this case, read this Religion News Service article.

The case could have significant implications for the UMC, since the number of similar property disputes within Methodism could increase significantly over the next two years if more congregations try to exit the denomination without permission. This Supreme Court ruling will make it harder for them to do so and take their property with them.

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