February 28, 2020 Tom Berlin

Talking About the Protocol

As a member of the team that worked with mediator Ken Feinberg to produce the Protocol on  Reconciliation and Grace Through Separation and Restructuring, I have received a lot of questions about both the Protocol and accompanying legislation. Leaders in the United Methodist Church who are Traditional, Centrist and Progressive worked together to overcome our impasse related to same-sex marriage and the ordination of openly gay persons for ministry. Our group included laypersons, clergy and bishops from our global church. We all had to listen carefully to each other so that we could offer the church a plan to move forward, and at the same time, help everyone get to the future they desired where they could reach others for Christ. It is a plan for separation, trusting God that all of us can find a future where we can serve Christ in ways that honor our common Wesleyan Christian heritage.

Reading legislation coming before the 2020 General Conference of the United Methodist Church is never an easy task. In this case it is over 60 pages and includes words like “indemnification.” I made this video to help pastors and lay people who wanted to understand the basics of this proposal and who asked for some help with presentations related to the protocol. There are three questions I am working to answer in this video that I hope will assist you:

  • Why are we still talking about this?
  • A basic explanation of the legislation
  • Why this matters

Take a look and if this is helpful, feel free to download it for your use or share it with others.


Tom Berlin

Rev. Tom Berlin is the Lead Pastor of Floris United Methodist Church. Tom was raised in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley and has lived in Virginia most of his life. He is a graduate of Virginia Tech and his Master of Divinity is from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. He has co-authored three books and is the author of several small group studies. Tom and his wife Karen have four daughters.