As we head towards General Conference 2020, it is the duty of the people called Methodists to discern whom we want to be in the future. As we work to understand who we are called to be as a denomination, an Annual Conference, and a Carter community, this page contains helpful, vetted information from a variety of sources.


In February 2019, a special General Conference adopted the “Traditional Plan”: a collection of legislation that disallows the marriage and ordination of LGBTQ+ peoples and places strict restrictions and disciplinary actions on clergypersons performing same-sex weddings or aiding in the ordination of homosexual individuals. This decision caused tremendous pain to many and deep division within the United Methodist Church. On January 1, 2020, the punitive measures outlined in the plan took effect.


As Christians, we are called to love all people as ourselves. In May 2020, a quadrennial General Conference of the United Methodist Church will be held in in Minneapolis, MN. At that meeting, delegates from around the world will be presented with a variety of options for how to proceed. What is certain is this: change, of some nature, is coming. What that change looks like, and its impact on the local congregation, is unknown. The links included on this page help to interpret some of the plans that will be presented at GC2020, as well as work that is being done within the New England Annual Conference and here at Carter Memorial UMC to prepare for our future.


In this time of already but not yet, of uncertainty and waiting, we hope that everyone can find a safe home at Carter where they are loved and welcomed. We believe in the sacred worth of all of God’s children and the vital importance of radical inclusion.


God loves all people. So do we.


Understanding the Traditional Plan


Protocol of Reconciliation and Grace Through Separation

The Protocol A proposal generated by a team of 16 diverse individuals comprising the United Methodist Mediation Team in January 2020 and supported by a wide variety of United Methodists. This proposal has been widely advertised as a “schism” within the church by major media outlets, but is at this time no more than one of the 18 options that will be presented to the General Conference in May.

Press Release The official press release from the United Methodist Council of Bishops regarding the Protocol

FAQ Frequently Asked Questions about the Protocol and the Mediation Team

The Methodist Turducken An article by Rev. Jeremy Smith of Hacking Christianity on the complicated logistics required to pass and enact the Protocol

There will be a livestream event hosted by the signatories of the Protocol on Monday, January 13. More information and a link to the session will appear here when available.


Proposals to General Conference 2020

Any changes to the Book of Discipline or structure of the United Methodist Church are the sole work of the General Conference. GC2020 will be held in Minneapolis, MN, May 5-15. Delegates from around the world will gather to hear and vote on a variety of proposals for the future of the church.

Proposals Summary A brief summary listing of the various proposals that will appear before GC2020 prepared by Rev. Becca Girrell of Lebanon, NH


Annual Conference and Local Church Work

As we continue to pray for and monitor the work of others leading up to GC2020, there is a great deal of work to be done at the Annual Conference and Local Church levels.

Open Spirit Task Force The OSTF was commissioned at the June 2019 Annual Conference to develop a plan for the New England Annual Conference to graciously exit from the United Methodist Church.

A meeting to report the work of the OSTF to the Central MA District will be held at Carter on March 14, 2020.

The clergy staff of Carter Memorial United Methodist Church is committed to shepherding the congregation through the changes that lie ahead as we continue to be a community that loves, supports, welcomes, and affirms all of God’s children. Throughout the coming weeks and months we will hold a variety of discussions that help us to vision our future together. These events are open to all and notes from the gatherings will be posted here.