The Isle of Hope UMC Church Conference on February 13 voted to remain affiliated with the United Methodist Church.
600 ballots were cast. There were 345 “yes” votes to disaffiliate, 252 “no” votes to remain, and 3 abstentions. The “yes” votes did not meet the 2/3 threshold to approve disaffiliation.
CHURCH CONFERENCE: Our Church Conference date to vote on remaining in or disaffiliating from the United Methodist Church is Monday, February 13, at 6:30 pm in the Sanctuary. Coastal District Superintendent the Rev. David Thompson will preside over the Conference.
ARRIVAL: Church members may begin arriving at 5:45 pm to check in and receive their ballot in the Ministry Center. Please arrive as early as possible. Check-in tables will be set up, with check-in divided into six lines by the member’s last name. Each member will sign in and receive a ballot, then proceed into the Sanctuary for the Conference.
CHILDCARE: The nursery and childcare will open at 5:30 pm for children up to 5th grade.
WHO MAY VOTE? Every full church member of Isle of Hope United Methodist Church who is present is eligible to vote. Per Annual Conference policy, there is no absentee, early, or proxy voting. A disaffiliation vote requires a two-thirds majority of members present. Non-members and visitors may be present in the Sanctuary, but may not speak or vote.
RIDE-SHARING: If you need assistance for any reason getting to/from the Church Conference, please (1) call a friend or neighbor who also attends our church; or (2) call the church office at 912-355-8527 to be connected to another member who can pick you up. We will be running the church bus as a shuttle for a limited number of pickups as well.
PARKING: In addition to our parking lots, space will be available for your use across the street at the community pool, Isle of Hope Baptist Church, and St. Thomas Episcopal Church.
THE BALLOT: The South Georgia Conference has specified the language of the ballot to reflect the wording of the disaffiliation Paragraph 2553 of our Book of Discipline. The ballot reads,
“Shall Isle of Hope UMC disaffiliate from The United Methodist Church for reasons of conscience over disagreements related to human sexuality, or the actions or inactions of its annual conference related to these issues, and following disaffiliation, shall Isle of Hope UMC be known as (Name to be decided) and all real and personal property of Isle of Hope UMC be titled in (Name to be decided)?”
WHAT DOES THE BALLOT MEAN?
In our conversation at Isle of Hope, to vote "Yes" to disaffiliate is to prefer a future that preserves traditional teaching on marriage and ordination. To vote "No" is to remain in the United Methodist Church.
VISITORS AND/ OR NON-MEMBERS: Others may attend our Church Conference, but may not speak or cast a ballot.
THE BUSINESS MEETING: After the Superintendent calls the meeting to order, there may be questions about the procedure or the ballot, but there will be no speeches or other debate. Once ballots are cast and taken up by our volunteers, a team of five individuals (the Superintendent plus four Isle of Hope UMC members) will count the ballots in the Sanctuary and together affirm the results. You are not required to stay while the votes are counted; however, if we unexpectedly experience an error that requires a re-vote, you must be present to vote again and have your vote count.
The results will be announced at the Conference after the count has been ratified. We anticipate the process concluding no later than 7:30 pm.
MEMBERSHIP STATUS: If you have a question about your membership status, please call the church office at 912-355-8527 prior to Monday night. No changes in membership can be made the evening of the Conference.
The Church Council recently voted to enter the process of discussion around Isle of Hope UMC's denominational affiliation. An email was sent out a few weeks ago with information about the decision and reading materials for your consideration. If you did not receive the email, click on the link here to view the PDF.
If you have further questions about the process, please visit the links below to familiarize yourself with the issues at hand and the potential impacts to our congregation. A recording of the United Methodist Women's Fall Meeting with guest speakers Rev. Jay Hansen and Rev. Ben Gosden, who spoke on the topic, will be available soon to view if you were unable to attend.