¶ 1. Article I. Declaration of Union—The Evangelical United Brethren Church and The Methodist Church have been united into one Church. The United Methodist Church, as thus constituted, is, and shall be, the successor of the two uniting churches.2
¶ 2. Article II. Name—The name of the Church shall be The United Methodist Church. The name of the Church may be translated freely into languages other than English as the General Conference may determine.
¶ 3. Article III. Articles of Religion and the Confession of Faith—The Articles of Religion and the Confession of Faith of The United Methodist Church are those held by The Methodist Church and The Evangelical United Brethren Church, respectively, at the time of their uniting.3
¶ 4. Article IV. Inclusiveness of the Church—The United Methodist Church is a part of the church universal, which is one Body in Christ. The United Methodist Church acknowledges that all persons are of sacred worth. All persons without regard to race, color, national origin, status,4 or economic condition, shall be eligible to attend its worship services, participate in its programs, receive the sacraments, upon baptism be admitted as baptized members, and upon taking vows declaring the Christian faith, become professing members in any local church in the connection.5 In The United Methodist Church no conference or other organizational unit of the Church shall be structured so as to exclude any member or any constituent body of the Church because of race, color, national origin, status or economic condition.6
¶ 5. Article V. Racial Justice—The United Methodist Church proclaims the value of each person as a unique child of God and commits itself to the healing and wholeness of all persons. The United Methodist Church recognizes that the sin of racism has been destructive to its unity throughout its history. Racism continues to cause painful division and marginalization. The United Methodist Church shall confront and seek to eliminate racism, whether in organizations or in individuals, in every facet of its life and in society at large. The United Methodist Church shall work collaboratively with others to address concerns that threaten the cause of racial justice at all times and in all places.7
¶ 6. Article VI. Ecumenical Relations—As part of the church universal, The United Methodist Church believes that the Lord of the church is calling Christians everywhere to strive toward unity; and therefore it will pray, seek, and work for unity at all levels of church life: through world relationships with other Methodist churches and united churches related to The Methodist Church or The Evangelical United Brethren Church, through councils of churches, and through plans of union and covenantal relationships8 with churches of Methodist or other denominational traditions.
¶ 7. Article VII. Title to Properties—Titles to properties formerly held by9 The Evangelical United Brethren Church and The Methodist Church shall be held and administered in accordance with the Book of Discipline.10 Nothing in the Plan of Union at any time after the union is to be construed so as to require any local church or any other property owner of the former The Evangelical United Brethren Church or the former The Methodist Church to alienate or in any way change the title to property contained in its deed or deeds at the time of union and lapse of time.
2. Amended 1984, 2000.
3. Amended 2000.
4. Amended 1992.
5. Amended 2000.
6. See Judicial Council Decisions 242, 242, 246, 340, 351, 362, 377, 398, 594, 601, and Decisions 4 and 5, Interim Judicial Council.
7. Amended 2000.
8. Amended 1996.
9. Amended 2000.
10. Amended 1984.
From The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church--2016. Copyright 2016 by The United Methodist Publishing House. Used by permission.