NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The United Methodist Church may split into two denominations, one that supports same-sex marriage and the ordination of gay people as clergy, and one that doesn’t.
Sixteen members of a mediation team for the church released a plan for the proposed separation on Friday. It would give the new “traditionalist Methodist” denomination $25 million and allow it to keep its local church properties.
Under the plan, the new traditionalist faction would continue restricting marriage and the clergy, while the remaining faction would restructure its policies to include LGBTQ inclusion.
The plan, referred to as “Protocol of Reconciliation & Grace Through Separation,” would need to be approved by the 2020 General Conference in May before taking effect.
The church hopes that by splitting into two denominations, it can end or greatly reduce its decades-long struggle over how accepting to be of homosexuality.
“It became clear that the line in the sand had turned into a canyon,” said New York Conference Bishop Thomas Bickerton, who was among the diverse group of 16 church leaders who worked on the proposal. “The impasse is such that we have come to the realization that we just can’t stay that way any longer.”
Click here to learn more about the proposal.