United Methodist Church could split over same-sex marriage

United Methodist Church could split over same-sex marriage
(WSOC)

CHARLOTTE — The United Methodist Church could split this year over the issue of same-sex marriage.

On Friday, a group of 16 people representing the church proposed splitting into two denominations.

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The denominations would be split between those who oppose same-sex marriage and LGBTQ clergy. They suggested that denomination would be called traditionalist Methodist.

“For those of us who don’t believe in a redefinition of marriage, but we celebrate how Jesus has defined marriages for us, there will be a lot of rallying around like-minded congregations,” said Talbot Davis, pastor at Good Shephard Methodist Church.

The other denomination would be inclusive to same-sex couples and to have members of the LGBTQ community ordained as clergy.

The representatives suggested opponents of same-sex marriage and LGBTQ clergy could be called traditionalist Methodist.

“We expect if it passes, we’ll remove discriminatory language and practice, which for me, is a very important thing. It is for my congregation, as well,” said James Howell, senior pastor at Myers Park United Methodist Church.

The recommendation comes amid decades of fighting over whether the denomination should lift its ban on same-sex marriage and LGBTQ clergy.

While Howell and Davis are on opposite sides of the issue, they both agree the vote could put decades of conflict in the past.

“For years, we’ve had tension within the denomination over LGBTQ inclusion, blessings and so on. It’s kind of worn everybody out,” said Howell.

“It seems to be a peaceful, amicable way to make more than one Methodist expression,” said Davis.

The United Methodist General Conference is slated to gather in Minneapolis in May, which is when the church is expected to consider the proposal.






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