Q & A: Church Editing Brick River (Closed, Merge, Preaching Station, Limited Service, Charge Lines)

UMC: From Mississippi Last updated on 11/19/2021
UPDATED 6/18/2021 

There have been a couple of questions raised around closures and Lay Members to AC and when to edit the records in Brick River, so I asked David Stotts and Trey Harper to weigh in. I am sharing out the answers, so we will all have the same information.

For detailed instructions, see the attached file below.
 
If you have any questions or need clarification, please do not hesitate to reach out to us…
 
Blessings,
Jane
 
 
Question 1:
Do we update/edit the church records for church closures, preaching stations and disaffiliations even though they are not official until annual conference?  
 
Answer:
For all churches that have voted to close or move to Preaching Station, Limited Service, or return to Active status AND have been approved by the cabinet – the effective date is June 30 (as they are driven by the appointment). Update Brick River as of the date listed on your spreadsheet. Mid-year changes are effective as of the date approved by cabinet.
 
NOTE: Disaffiliating churches remain active until voted on at the Session of the AC. After the Session of the AC and approval, edit their Brick River record and close them.
 
Question 2:
If a lay person is connected to one of the closing churches, will they still receive an email?
 
Answer:
For closing churches, preaching stations and limited service chapels, you MUST end all assignments, using the effective date of closure, etc. After you end the “Lay Member to AC” assignment for a person associated with a closing church, preaching station or limited service chapel, and filter for “Currently Assigned” & “Lay Member to AC” – they will not be in the email list (unless they are a Lay Member to AC for another active church).
 
Basically, if a church member remains a member of the UM denomination and has an active email address, they will continue to receive email correspondence from the Conference or District Office (unless filtering for a specific assignment, etc. that the person is not).
 
NOTE: For disaffiliating churches (AFTER APPROVED AT THE SESSION OF THE AC): For the members who voted to leave the denomination AND after approved at the Session of the AC, you MUST end their assignments, delete their email and mailing address, and make their record INACTIVE (see full instructions attached – if I missed anything, let me know).
 
Question 3:
If a church "discontinues to function" or “closes” as a UMC effective June 30, does this have to be approved at AC?  And, if so, would they still have lay representation at AC?
 
Answer:
As stated in the Closure Resolution, the church no longer exists as of "date of closure"; therefore, they no longer have a member to send. Remember, this all depends on WHEN the church officially closes. Always refer to the date in the Resolution: 
  • If the church does not close until after the Session of the AC, then they are still voting members. 
  • If the church closes prior to Session of the AC, then they are no longer connected and will not have a member to send.
Question 4:
If a church is disaffiliating, do (should) they have a representative (lay member to AC) present at AC?
 
Answer:
Disaffiliating churches will have lay members because they remain UM Churches until the AC lets them go.
 
Question 5:
Additionally, for the disaffiliating churches who were on a charge with one or more churches who are NOT disaffiliating, we were told to separate the disaffiliating church from the charge (creating a new charge). Does (should) the disaffiliating church have a representative (lay member to AC) present at AC as well as the remaining (staying) churches?
 
Answer:
If the existing charge, splits into separate charges (staying church/es and disaffiliating church/es) whether to send representative(s) it is up to the churches. The “new” charge can send one and the leaving (disaffiliating) church can send one. Or the existing charge (with the leaving church included) can send one.