FAQ: California-Nevada Conference of The United Methodist Church and the Glide Foundation Board of Trustees Settlement

November 11, 2020

Editor’s Note: On Thursday November 5th, the California-Nevada Conference announced it had reached a settlement in its lawsuit against the Glide Foundation Board of Trustees.  Since then, related questions have been raised by members of our Conference seeking clarity around concerns this matter has raised for them.  We hope the following FAQ will help address these concerns and serve as a ready reference tool to help unpack the settlement agreement.  Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño encourages us to continue praying for the Glide Foundation in its work and for the work being carried forth by our congregations in the city of San Francisco, CA. 

FAQ: California-Nevada Conference of The United Methodist Church
and the Glide Foundation Board of Trustees Settlement
Why is it important that The Glide Foundation and The California-Nevada Conference have reached a settlement? 

Tension has long existed between the California-Nevada Conference and the Glide Foundation Board of Trustees about the governance of Glide Memorial United Methodist Church.  While there has been a mutual commitment to serving the poor and marginalized in the Tenderloin of San Francisco, how the church was to be organized, governed and more importantly, how disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world were to be formed and nurtured, has been a difficult point of difference.  This settlement allows the Glide Foundation to continue its good work of caring for the needs of the poor and the marginalized while also enabling the California-Nevada Conference to move forward in living the hope of Lizzie Glide who envisioned a ministry in San Francisco that would nurture Christian disciples to serve all people in San Francisco.
Glide Memorial Church will be leaving The United Methodist Church denomination as a part of the proposed settlement. Why? 
In March 2018, representatives of the Glide Foundation Board of Trustees informed Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño and District Superintendent Staci Current that they wanted to be free of any relationship with The UMC as they had become an interreligious community.  That began a serious conversation about the implications of such a separation in light of Lizzie Glide’s Trust that helped establish a church under what is today The United Methodist Church.
What will happen to the United Methodists who are members of Glide Memorial United Methodist Church?
In the summer of 2018 when difficulties between the California-Nevada Conference and the Glide Foundation deepened, Bishop Carcaño and DS Current requested a meeting with those members of Glide who identified as United Methodists.  Only twenty persons came forward and a meeting was held with them.  The conflicted situation between the Conference and the Glide Foundation was shared with them as well as the support of the Conference for them.  Soon thereafter most if not all of these twenty persons joined other United Methodist churches in the Bay area.
Was Glide Memorial UMC organized as a United Methodist local church?   
Administrative functions of the church were cared for by the Glide Foundation Board of Trustees, including personnel and financial matters.  The spiritual formation of its members and the worship life of the church were also under the direction of the Glide Foundation. 
Did Glide contribute to the Conference and jurisdictional and general church apportionments?
Yes, up through 2017.
Did Bishop Carcaño appoint a pastor to Glide Memorial UMC for the 2018-2019 Annual Conference Year? 
Yes, Bishop Carcaño appointed a Senior Pastor to serve the Glide church for the 2018-2019 Annual Conference year, but the Glide Foundation Board of Trustees did not accept the appointment.   In a meeting in May 2018, the Executive Committee of the Glide Foundation Board of Trustees presented Bishop Carcaño with a document expressing their desire to conduct a national search for a senior pastor that they would direct.  Bishop Carcaño explained our United Methodist polity on appointment-making which was found unsatisfactory to the Glide Foundation.
How will the mission of The California-Nevada Conference in San Francisco be impacted by this settlement? 
Already prayerful conversations are being held with our United Methodist pastors serving in San Francisco to discern the future of United Methodist ministry in this great city.  Conversations and initial visioning are being led by DS Current with the support of Bishop Carcaño.  Now that the settlement has been made public, the lay leaders of our San Francisco churches will also be invited to a process of strategic planning.  Bishop Carcaño, the Cabinet, and other Conference staff and elected leaders will work alongside the clergy and lay leaders of the Bay District who live and serve in San Francisco.  We feel confident that God has given us the resources needed to not only fulfill our obligations under the Lizzie Glide Trust, but even more importantly, to respond faithfully to God’s call for us to be in ministry in San Francisco.
Click here to read California-Nevada Conference and Glide Foundation joint statement announcing the settlement.
Contact Person:  Selby Ewing, Director of Communications of the California-Nevada Conference, 615-887-8027.