United Methodists Announce Plan to Split Church Over LGBTQ Marriage, Ordination

Delegates and bishops join in prayer at the front of the stage before a key vote on church policies about homosexuality during the 2019 United Methodist General Conference in St. Louis. (Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS)

Bishops and representatives of a number of United Methodist groups have announced a proposed agreement to split the United Methodist Church.

The proposal, called the Protocol of Reconciliation & Grace Through Separation, would create a new conservative "traditionalist" Methodist denomination that would receive $25 million over the next four years.

The move to split one of the largest denominations in the United States comes after last year's special session of the United Methodist General Conference strengthened its bans on the ordination and marriage of LGBTQ United Methodists.

The approval of the so-called Traditional Plan has been met with resistance from progressive and moderate members of the second-largest Protestant denomination in the United States.

This latest proposal to split the denomination would need approval at the regular meeting of the General Conference, United Methodists' global decision-making body, to be held this May in Minneapolis.

© 2019 Religion News Service. All rights reserved.

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