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Discernment Resources

Welcome to Discernment Resources.

This section of our website will have additions as we go through the discernment process.

There will be Q & A sessions after each worship service on February 12, 19 and 26.

These sessions will be led by our Lay Leadership Team that has been addressing all the formal conference steps to the disaffiliation process as well as looking into options for the church should we vote to disaffiliate.


Official Vote

Sunday, March 5 | After Worship & Lunch | 2:00 PM

Lunch will be provided so that people can stay after worship and fellowship, participate in the final listening session, and then participate in the vote.

Q. Who can vote?

A. Professing members present at the time the conference begins on March 5. These are the guidelines set by the Rio Conference, not in church council control. A professing member who has publicly professed their faith in Christ and has been baptized into membership of the church. Or received through transfer of membership. There is no provision for absentee voting.

Disaffiliation Information Research & Gathering Team

  • Mike Fletcher – Lay Leader

  • Mary Ann Fletcher

  • Jerry Watkins

  • Luan Watkins

  • Kyle Stripling

  • Kay Stripling

  • Marry Ann Gardner

  • Keith Russell – Associate Lay Leader

  • Kim Russell

  • Lisa Giles

  • Russ Kyler

  • Yvonne Kyler

  • Greg Mills

  • Gregg Blake

Disaffiliation Q & A

What is disaffiliation?

Disaffiliation is a formalized process to withdraw from the UMC.

Has the decision to disaffiliate been made?

No.  That decision will be made by the church membership at the church conference on March 5th.

Why did the Marble Falls Church Council vote to enter the disaffiliation discernment process?

  • John Wesley issued the cautionary warning: “In all cases, the Church is to be judged by the Scripture, not the Scripture by the Church.”

  • The United Methodist Church is divided over many significant issues of interpretation of Scripture and doctrine.

    • Too many look to the culture as the source of authority and not God’s Word..

    • There is a wide variety of opinions within UMC as to the authority of, approach to, and application of Scripture.

    • This decision isn’t based solely on the issue of sexuality, as some voices would have you believe.

    • The reasons supporting disaffiliation are far more complex than a simple disagreement over one issue.

    • The divide within the UMC stems from broader and historically rooted differences in interpretation of Scripture that have been brewing since 1972.

  • UMC leaders are inconsistent in their approach to holding ministers and laity accountable to the UMC Book of Discipline.

    • Many UMC leaders espouse conflicting theological and doctrinal beliefs, even beliefs that directly contradict the basics of the Christian faith.

    • Some provisions are enforced; other provisions are violated without consequence.

    • 2024 General Conference may move even further away from traditional, orthodox beliefs.

  • These differences have led us to recommend that FUMC-MF prayerfully enter the discernment process regarding disaffiliation.

What is the Decision Making Process?

A church conference will be held March 5th for the purpose of making the final decision.  The full professing membership of the church will render the decision by written ballot.  The decision to disaffiliate from The United Methodist Church must be approved by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the professing members of the local church who are present at the church conference.

Who decides on disaffiliation? Does our Church Council decide or do the church members decide?

It is each member’s individual responsibility to pray & discern God’s will for this church. The council is here to guide the church and the process but not to engage or influence the vote in any way.

Who can vote on whether or not FUMC-MF should disaffiliate?

Professing FUMC-MF church members present at the time the conference begins on March 5th.  A professing member is someone who has publicly professed their faith in Christ and has been baptised into membership of the church or has been received through transfer of membership.  There is no provision for absentee voting.  These are guidelines set by the Rio Texas conference and are not in our church council’s control.

How do I know I can vote?

  • Look up your name in “Breeze,” our online church directory.

  • Scroll down to “Membership”

  • You should see a Joined Date.  If you do, you will be given a ballot.

  • If you see: “No information stored,” you are not on the church membership roll and won’t be given a ballot.

  • If you don’t currently have Breeze, our on-line church directory, you can also call the church office to confirm your membership status.

Do I really have to be physically present to vote?

Yes. The rules are set by the Rio Texas Conference, and we can’t deviate from them.


What about people who are homebound or in assisted living facilities?

We have a number of volunteers who will transport anyone who needs a ride to the church.  If someone can get in a car or bus, we’ll get you here.


Have churches left the denomination through this process?

Yes, there are traditional and progressive churches that have disaffiliated already.



What does a vote for disaffiliation mean?

If approved, a vote for disaffiliation would begin the process for withdrawal from the United Methodist Church.  Requests will go the Rio Texas Annual Conference in June for approval.

If we disaffiliate when will the process for deciding the future of the church begin?

The church council will begin discussion with members to establish what disaffiliation options are available if a vote to disaffiliate is passed.  Informational meetings will be scheduled as availability permits and will be open to all members who wish to attend.

If we disaffiliate who will decide our new connection and what is the process?

The congregation will need to enter a discernment process as the church council works to provide the available options. We would look toward Wesleyan denominations which would maintain our belief in the values of grace and scriptural teaching.


If we disaffiliate, what bi-laws will govern the operation of the church?

The time between vote and actual disaffiliation (approximately 4 months) will provide the opportunity necessary to update bi-laws, property management, and discern the movement of the congregation in a forward direction.


Does the pastoral staff have the option to stay if FUMC-MF votes to disaffiliate?

  • Yes, should FUMC-MF disaffiliate, and the pastoral staff wish to remain with the Marble Falls church, and the Marble Falls church wishes to retain them, then new employment agreements would be worked out with the Staff Parish Relations Committee.

  • Should FUMC-MF disaffiliate, the pastoral staff are guaranteed to retain employment (compensation/insurance/pension) with The United Methodist Church (UMC).  The UMC would then appoint the Pastor(s) to new assignment(s).  Staff pensions remain intact.

If we decide to disaffiliate, why must we comply with the disaffiliation process in order to leave the UMC with property and assets?

  • The “Trust Clause” of the Book of Discipline (¶ 2501) provides that all property of a local UM church (including real estate) is held “in trust” for the benefit of The UMC through the applicable Annual Conference.

  • Consequently, if we withdraw from The UMC without approval of the Annual Conference, it is The UMC’s position that ownership and control of church property remains with the UMC Annual Conference.

  • Under the disaffiliation process, the Annual Conference and the UMC shall release all claims to the property of Marble Falls UMC.


If Marble Falls votes to disaffiliate, what will happen with the Marble Falls ministry?

  • Our church family will not notice any major changes.

  • Our mission remains to make disciples of Jesus Christ by teaching, sharing and serving with love.
    The relationships we share, worship services, small groups, and our love for all people will remain just as they are now.

    All people will continue to be welcomed here, without judgement.

  • We would still follow our regular Wesleyan Methodist doctrine, theology, teaching, and liturgy.  Marble Falls would be the same church (remember the church is the people) we have known and loved for years!

  • Members may notice some minor “branding” changes.  Such as:

         The removal of the word “United” in our name.

         The cross and flame insignia, as the trademarked logo of the UMC, will be removed.

  • Our newly named church would own our property outright; currently, property is held in trust for the UMC.

  • Membership would vote to change our name, since we would need to change our incorporation documents with the state.


Please see the following letter to our District Superintendent,  Rev. Dr. Ricky Sanderford:

Congregational Letter

Letter 1
Letter 2
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