United Methodists Debate, Lobby and Worry in Advance of LGBT Decision

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United Methodists Debate, Lobby and Worry in Advance of LGBT Decision



At a recent gathering of United Methodists, organizers sold purple T-shirts quoting the Methodist founder John Wesley’s instruction: “Do Not Rashly Tear Asunder.”


In Methodist circles these days, citing the founder’s admonition can be understood only as a plea for an amicable solution to the denomination’s coming showdown over homosexuality.


A special session of the General Conference, to be held in February in St. Louis, will decide whether, how and which churches within United Methodism will allow openly gay clergy and same-sex marriage rites, and whether homosexuality is “incompatible with Christian teaching.” No matter which of three ways forward is adopted at the meeting, it’s expected that some congregations will choose to sunder their ties to the worldwide body of United Methodism.

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