We intend to update the congregation on important developments related to discernment within the United Methodist Church and what Riverchase is doing in the midst of it. Below are some documents and lists to help keep you in the loop. We will do our best to keep this page updated with the latest information concerning RUMC and the UMC.

Guiding Scripture

Updates

July 17, 2023

Dear Riverchase Family,

On July 17, 2023, Rick Owen, South Central Alabama District Superintendent, presided over a church wide vote at Riverchase.  The vote was held to determine if Riverchase would disaffiliate from the United Methodist Church under the provisions of Paragraph 2553 from the Book of Discipline and align with The Foundry Network.
No matter what the voting results are, there will be members who are pleased with the outcome, but also those who are disappointed.  Please continue to pray for our church.

The final voting results were:
269 (34.1%) NO votes against disaffiliation
520 (65.9%) YES votes for disaffiliation

Since the 2/3 majority required for disaffiliation was not reached, Riverchase will remain part of the United Methodist Church.

July 10, 2023

Dear RUMC Member,

A church wide vote will be held on Monday, July 17, 2023, at 6:45 PM in the Sanctuary. This vote will determine whether Riverchase UMC will disaffiliate from the United Methodist Church or stay with the United Methodist Church.

Voting is in person, and each full member has a vote. There is no quorum. However, a 2/3 majority of votes cast is required to disaffiliate. The North Alabama Conference will be administering the vote.

Please review the attached procedures thoroughly to ensure there are no issues with receiving your ballot and voting. We are expecting a large number of people, so please make sure to arrive early.

I have also attached a FAQ information sheet. Please let me know if you have any questions.
Church Conference Procedures Disaffiliation FAQ

June 28, 2023

Member Vote Announcement

Dear RUMC Member,

A church wide vote will be held on Monday, July 17, 2023, at 6:45 PM in the Sanctuary. This vote will determine whether Riverchase UMC will disaffiliate from the United Methodist Church or stay with the United Methodist Church.

Voting is in person, and each member has a vote. There is no quorum. However, a 2/3 majority is required to disaffiliate. The North Alabama Conference will be administering the vote. The Conference recommends arriving early to complete the check in process and receive your ballot.

As we learn more details regarding the vote, we will share those with the congregation.
Member Vote Announcement

June 26, 2023

Riverchase Family,

On June 25, 2023, the Board of Stewards voted 40 to 12 in favor of accepting the recommendation of the Discernment Team to disaffiliate from the United Methodist Church and join The Foundry Network.

We will contact the North Alabama Conference to set a date for a congregational vote regarding disaffiliation. The North Alabama Conference will administrator this church wide vote. As soon as this date is finalized, we will notify all RUMC members.

Jennifer Morrissey-Patton
Lay Leader

James Jockisch
Chair, Board of Stewards
Discernment Recommendation

June 23, 2023

Dear Riverchase Family,

Earlier today, the RUMC Discernment Team delivered their recommendation to the Board of Stewards. This recommendation is attached for your review.

On Sunday, June 25, 2023, at 2:00 PM in the Sanctuary, the Board of Stewards will vote to either accept or reject the Discernment Team's recommendation. If the recommendation is approved, a congregational vote will be scheduled for a later date.

Please note that all Board of Stewards meetings are open to any RUMC member who wishes to attend. However, as is the case in all Board of Stewards meetings, only current members and ex-officio members of the Board of Stewards will be able to participate in the discussion and vote on the Discernment Team's recommendation.
The voting results from Sunday's meeting will be emailed to Riverchase members on Monday, June 26, 2023.

Thank you for your continued prayers.
RUMC Discernment Team
Discernment Recommendation

June 15, 2023

RUMC Members email (below):

Dear RUMC Members,

The Discernment Team has been dedicated and diligent in our commitment to discern God’s will for RUMC. We have engaged in many discussions and researched multiple issues.

After completing the educational phase of our discernment process, the RUMC Discernment Team will deliver a recommendation to the Board of Stewards via email on Friday, June 23, 2023, to which this will be voted on Sunday, June 25, 2023. All members will receive the recommendation via email on Monday, June 26, 2023.

As we began this discernment process, we turned to scripture for guidance and wisdom. At this time, we turn to the same verses from Philippians again.
“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it, but one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14
As we proceed into the future, we ask that you continue to pray for RUMC and remember that our “prize” is to continue to “Share the Joy of Christ”.

RUMC Discernment Team


June 13, 2023

The Discernment team met and discussed the recent news received from the NAC Trustees President. After review, the team discussed next steps, tentative dates and voted on the recommendation to the Board of Stewards. The team is scheduled to meet again on Monday, June 19, 2023, to finalize the recommendation letter.


June 8, 2023

The Discernment team met and discussed and shared all of the questions, feedback, and information gathered during the Educational Sessions and Guest Speakers. The team also discussed new information received as it relates to the NAC Trustees Extension document. The team is scheduled to meet again on July 12, 2023, and again on July 26, 2023.


June 7, 2023

Guest Speaker: Bryan Collier (The Foundry Network)


May 24, 2023

Guest Speaker: Lyle Holland (Global Methodist Church)


May 23, 2023

Updated information packet

Education Session Packet

May 10, 2023

Guest Speaker: Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett (UMC) (similar session recording)


May 9, 2023

Education Sessions have begun

Education Session Packet

May 2, 2023

Dear RUMC Members,

As we shared in our email last week, Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett is coming to RUMC to hold an information session in the Sanctuary on Wednesday, May 10th at 6:30 PM. If you have a question for her, please email your question to Discernment@riverchaseumc.org and title email “Question for Bishop” BEFORE 5:00 PM ON MAY 5.

Lyle Holland, representing the Global Methodist Church, will be coming on Wednesday, May 24th at 6:30pm and his presentation will be held in the Gym and will also include Q&A. If you have a question for him, please email your question to Discernment@riverchaseumc.org  title email “Question for Lyle” BEFORE 5:00 PM ON MAY 19.

Bryan Collier, from The Orchard Church which is part of the Foundry Network, will be coming on Wednesday, June 7th at 6:30 PM in the Gym, with Q&A. If you have a question for him, please email your question to Discernment@riverchaseumc.org  and title email “Question for Bryan” BEFORE 5:00 PM ON JUNE 2.

In His Service,
Discernment Team


April 28, 2023

Dear RUMC Members,
The Discernment Team announced that they will be hosting several educational classes. These sessions are intended to help provide education about the Discernment process.

Learning Sessions

April 23, 2023

The Discernment team met and discussed the results of the questionnaire. After review, the team decided the next steps will be to hold Educational Sessions for the congregation as well as to begin scheduling guest speakers. We also wanted to encourage everyone to utilize the Prayer Chapel before each service.


April 12, 2023

The Discernment Team released the Questionnaire for completion by full members of the church. This questionnaire is due back by 8pm on 4/19/2023.


March 19, 2023

The Discernment team met and discussed the upcoming questionnaire that will be sent out after Easter. Our next meeting is scheduled for April 23, 2023. 


March 15, 2023

Since the formation of the Discernment Team on February 3rd, we have been meeting together and praying for God’s will to be done here at RUMC. During those meetings we have created and agreed to our Discernment Team Covenant as well as the overall process we will be following. Please continue to pray for RUMC, our pastors, staff, members, and visitors while we seek wisdom during this important time.

As we continue this process, we ask that you pray with us the words found in Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV, ” Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.”

We know that questions have come up and will continue to do so during this very important time. We have included links to our North Alabama Conference FAQ pages for your reference. You can find those links below:

FAQ about the United Methodist Church
FAQ North Alabama Conference and the Bishop
FAQ Local Congregations and Laity

For the most up-to-date information, please refer to our RUMC Discernment website (This Page)

Lastly, we wanted to share that at our next meeting, this Sunday, we will begin working on a questionnaire/survey to send out after Easter to help us gather the necessary information to help us determine our next steps.

In His Service,

RUMC Discernment Team

Discernment Process Discernment Team Covenant

February 26, 2023

The Discernment team met and discussed the Team covenant and timeline for discernment.  Our next meeting was scheduled for March 19, 2023.


February 19, 2023

The Discernment team had an initial meeting with Rick Owen, District Superintendent of the North Alabama Conference (NAC). We discussed the general discernment process and reviewed the package distributed by the NAC. Our next meeting was scheduled for February 26, 2023.


February 3, 2023: Discernment Team Announced

Brad Snuggs, Chair

Terry Bagwell

Susan Camp

Susan Clopton

Lynn Coffey

Rebecca Horn

James Jockisch

Bruce Larson

Jennifer Patton

Craig Tolbert

Jeff Wallace

Tony's Email to the Congregation

January 22, 2023: Discernment Announcement

The Board of Stewards voted 34-22 to enter into a discernment process of information gathering concerning our place within the United Methodist Church. This process will be led by a discernment team that is being formed now. Please be patient as we move forward in this process, and continue to pray for RUMC as we continue to Share the Joy of Christ.


January 11, 2023

On Sunday, January 8, 2023, RUMC held a church-wide meeting where it discussed the current state of the United Methodist Church, discernment and had a Q&A. The Board of Stewards will vote on Sunday, January 22, 2023, on whether or not the church will officially enter into the discernment process. Attached is the presentation made by the church’s lay leaders at the January 8th meeting.

Presentation Original Informational Document

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