United Methodist Church leaders have
announced a proposed plan to split over issues related to LGBT
The plan, announced Friday, calls for
parishes opposed to LGBT clergy and same-sex marriage to leave the
Offering the proposal is a 16-member
group of Methodist bishops.
Titled Protocol of Reconciliation &
Grace Through Separation, the nine-page plan calls separation
“the best means to resolve our differences, allowing each part of
the Church to remain true to its theological understanding, while
recognizing the dignity, equality, integrity, and respect of every
At a contentious General Conference
last year, delegates voted for greater enforcement of the church's
ban on same-sex marriage and LGBT clergy. Church watchers at the time
said that the vote would lead to a schism.
“The impasse is such that we have
come to the realization that we just can't stay that way any longer,”
Bishop Thomas Bickerton, part of the group behind the proposal, told
Methodist News Service.
Under the proposal, parishes that
separate would get $25 million over four years and keep their
Delegates will vote on the proposal
when they meet in May in Minneapolis.