The following press release has been issued by the Estonian Methodist Church:
The Northern Europe and Eurasia central conference of the United Methodist Church voted in its extra session to accept amendments to the Book of Discipline allowing the Estonian Methodist Church to disaffiliate from the UMC.
In June 2022, the Estonian Annual Conference voted 96% in favour of disaffiliation. As the UMC Book of Discipline does not provide a path for congregations outside of the USA to leave the denomination with their property, Bishop Christian Alsted and the Central Conference council proposed amendments to the Northern European and Eurasian Book of Discipline to allow the Estonian Church to disaffiliate. The amendments related to disaffiliation were approved in the 18 March 2023 extra session of the Central Conference. At the same time, the Eurasian Episcopal Area’s disaffiliation process was begun.
The disaffiliation process approved by the Northern Europe and Eurasia Central Conference requires every local Estonian Methodist church to vote separately on disaffiliation. If two-thirds of local churches support the decision, the 2023 Annual Conference in June will give the final confirmation of disaffiliation. The doctrinal and theological identity of the Estonian Methodist Church will not change after disaffiliation from the UMC.
The Estonian Methodist Church posted a release (in Estonian). UM News shared a summary of the conference sessions as well.