Friday, May 6, 2022

Recommended Reading: Liberia to stay in UMC at least until 2024

Liberian Methodist journalist E. Julu Swen published a piece last Saturday indicating that "Bishop Samuel J. Quire, Jr. said the United Methodist Church in Liberia will remain a United Methodist Church until after the decision of the 2024 General Conference. 'We will not be a part of the Global Methodist Church, but we will pray for them.'" Moreover, General Conference delegate Jefferson Knight is quoted as saying, "There is a possibility that the church in Liberia will remain a United Methodist Church beyond 2024."

This story, which should be read in its entirety, represents one of the most significant developments in United Methodism since the further delay of General Conference to 2024 and the launching of the Global Methodist Church on May 1 were announced at the beginning of March. The Liberia Annual Conference, which is the oldest branch of The United Methodist Church outside the United States, was widely seen as the part of the African church most likely to join the Global Methodist Church. This decision thus likely has implications across Africa.

Moreover, as both Bishop Quire's and Jefferson Knight's quotes indicate, there is still some uncertainty about what Liberia will decide to do come 2024 or even what the range of options will be. Certainly, some of that depends on the actions of General Conference in 2024. But this story is a reminder that the future of United Methodism remains to be written, and the pivotal decisions will happen in Monrovia, not Minneapolis, Memphis, or anywhere in the United States.

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