Our constitution states (Handbook Page 13 VI B) ‘Any officially recognized group of Methodist, or any officially recognized group of United or Uniting Church women of which Methodist or former Methodists are a part, or who are involved in a church which is affiliated with the World Methodist Council, organised on a national basis, may apply for Affiliate Membership.’
Our current handbook (pages 51- 54) lists the current Areas and Affiliated and Associate member Units with the name of their national church.
It has come to our notice that some national churches may choose to separate themselves from their parent body, (the United Methodist Church), and join a new ‘Global Methodist Church’. This decision means that technically, their women’s groups that were formerly affiliated member Units of WFMUCW will need to apply for continued affiliate membership with the Federation as members of their new national Global Methodist Church. Meanwhile, we shall continue to recognise such Units as part of the World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Church Women as they belong to a new Methodist denomination/church (currently in transition) that has Methodist heritage. They are still part of the Methodist family.
The initial launch of the Global Methodist Church was on 1st May. Their official launch will be in September, after our World Assembly. The World Officers propose that for the sake of our Federation, we select and commission our new World and Area officers whose names have already been accepted as nominees, irrespective of whether their home church separates from UMC or not. If they then separate, the Units will need to apply for affiliate membership with the World Federation under their new church name and using the form provided by the World Secretary. At our business meeting, we can agree to welcome such applications with immediate effect as they are submitted.
The World Federation is currently affiliated to the World Methodist Council, but autonomous. General Secretary Bishop Ivan Abrahams has assured me that if we include women from a church no longer affiliated with the WMC, that is our decision.
Similarly, voting delegates already selected from a church that has joined the Global Methodist Church by the time of our Assembly, will still be able to vote at our business meeting.
Applications for membership, following correct procedure, will be greeted positively. As in any family, love for one another can overcome differences of opinion and even belief. Let us continue to find ways to work together and respond to the call of Christ in faith.
We believe that we are all chosen people, called to proclaim our faith. We all seek to know Christ and to make Him known. We recognise that among our member churches there will be a variety of views about the nature of God, diverse expressions of faith in Christ, different understandings of the gospel as revealed through the Holy Spirit. However, we belong together as a sisterhood, able to work and thrive together while holding different opinions.
Let us go forward together in faith.
Alison Judd, World President 2016-2022
19 July 2022