Source: The Washington Post
In recent years, the deep division over sexuality in the United Methodist Church has led many in the church to use a word they hadn’t heard since their European history classes: “schism.”
A schism, the splitting of a church over irreconcilable differences, has sometimes seemed imminent. Yet in an extraordinary meeting of church leaders in St. Louis that begins Saturday, the 12 million-member denomination will try to reach a plan to hold their church together while also deciding the church’s stance on LGBT issues.
“It is very difficult to be the church in the same way in Monrovia, Liberia, and in San Francisco and in Austin, Texas, and in Peoria, Ill., and in Montgomery, Ala.,” said Bishop Kenneth Carter of Florida, one of the three moderators of the 32-member Commission on a Way Forward that has been preparing plans since 2016 for the denomination to consider. “From a political perspective, we are a church that has among its members Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush and James Comey and Jeff Sessions. … How much unity can we achieve? And how much separation do people need from each other?”