Local church joins new Methodist denomination

SIDNEY — Sidney First United Methodist Church has affiliated with a new Methodist denomination and is now known as Sidney First Methodist Church (SF).

“While our local church will remain focused on our vision and mission,” explains the Rev. Dr. Ruben Cabanillas, the lead pastor. “We are excited to be a part of the Global Methodist Church, a newly formed Methodist Denomination.”

The Global Methodist Church (GMC) launched in May of 2022 after years of disagreement within the United Methodist Church about governance, Wesleyan theology, doctrine and discipline.

“We believe the GMC mission to “worship passionately, love extravagantly, and witness boldly” aligns well with Sidney First and the focus we have had in the community for almost 200 years,” Cabanillas said.

The Sidney First Church Council, the governing body of the local church, decided in June to explore disaffiliation and consider affiliating with the GMC. A task team of seven members of SF was formed and explored the GMC, other potential denominations, the requirements to separate, as well as communicating with the congregation on all the information. On Sept. 25, 2022, the membership voted to disaffiliate from the United Methodist Church and on Nov. 20, 2022, the members voted to join the Global Methodist Church.

The official date for becoming a Global Methodist Church for the local congregation was Jan. 1, 2023. In addition to Cabanillas, who will be an elder in the GMC, two other pastors, the Rev. Eileen Hix and the Rev. Jane Madden, will also be elders. All three pastors are committed to continuing to lead the missions focused local church congregation in welcoming all, developing disciples and sharing Jesus Christ with the world.