United Methodist leaders explain plan to split denomination

U.S. & World

FILE – In this Feb. 26, 2019 file photo, Ed Rowe, left, Rebecca Wilson, Robin Hager and Jill Zundel, react to the defeat of a proposal that would allow LGBTQ clergy and same-sex marriage within the United Methodist Church at the denomination’s 2019 Special Session of the General Conference in St. Louis, Mo. The 16 United Methodist bishops and advocacy group leaders who negotiated the recent proposal to split the denomination met on Monday, Jan. 13, 2020, to explain their reasoning at an event that was streamed live by United Methodist News Service. (AP Photo/Sid Hastings, File)

(AP) — There will be dire consequences if a plan to split the United Methodist denomination is not approved this May by the denomination’s global decision-making body, says the group of bishops and advocacy leaders who negotiated the proposal.

The unofficial group offered a behind-the-scenes look Monday at how they arrived at “A Protocol of Reconciliation and Grace Through Separation,” announced earlier this month and now being written into legislation for delegates to approve at the General Conference in May.  

United Methodists’ conflicts, which have expressed themselves mostly in questions of the inclusion of its LGBTQ members, go back to 1972.

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