Facing Division, United Methodist Church Gathers in St. Louis

The 2019 special session of General Conference is tasked with deciding between competing proposals to either liberalize church teaching on sexual morality, or uphold current standards and increase accountability.

There have been growing tensions around liberal bishops and other church officials violating rules forbidding same-sex union ceremonies and “self-avowed practicing homosexual” clergy. The 2019 special session of General Conference is tasked with deciding between competing proposals to either liberalize church teaching on sexual morality, or uphold current standards and increase accountability.

ST. LOUIS, Mo., Christian Newswire – The 2019 specially called General Conference of the United Methodist Church is meeting in St. Louis, Mo., February 23-26, 2019. 864 Delegates of the United Methodist Church are expected.

This historic gathering of the UMC’s top governing body may potentially make decisions that would result in a major global split of the denomination.

The United Methodist Church is the second-largest Protestant denomination in the United States, but has a global membership of more than 12 million members in the United States, Africa, Europe, and the Philippines.

The denomination’s longstanding official standards are that all people are welcome in its churches, while also teaching that marriage is only between one man and one woman.

However, there have been growing tensions around liberal bishops and other church officials violating rules forbidding same-sex union ceremonies and “self-avowed practicing homosexual” clergy.

The 2019 special session of General Conference is tasked with deciding between competing proposals to either liberalize church teaching on sexual morality, or uphold current standards and increase accountability.

The Institute on Religion and Democracy/UMAction supports the Modified Traditional Plan, which maintains the denomination’s traditional biblical standards, requires discipline when clergy violate related rules, and offers “gracious exits” for congregations and regions who feel they can no longer respect denominational standards.

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