Legal Update on Sarcoxie UMC
Payment of the disaffiliation withdrawal liability and three years of apportionments is intended to protect Missouri churches and clergy left in the connection following a church’s disaffiliation. Sarcoxie UMC, like the other churches that have filed lawsuits, seek an order nullifying the United Methodist trust clause. Although the Conference disagrees with this position, it is important to note that the value or ownership of church property plays no role in the disaffiliation process. The outcome of these cases will have no impact whatsoever on the disaffiliation process and payment. Lawsuits filed by Morning Star UMC and Schweitzer UMC earlier this year are currently in early stages and there are no further updates. Details about the process of disaffiliation are spelled out in Bishop Bob Farr’s full statement and frequently asked questions document.