LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - The United Methodist Church is considering a split after years of debate over allowing gay and lesbian marriages and ordinations.
The church considered what they call a “protocol of reconciliation and grace through separation,” which could result in the United Methodist Church separating into two branches. A breaking point, according to Rev. Katie McKay-Simpson at University United Methodist Church in Lake Charles.
“It’s come up every four years but in 2016 we really came to a breaking point," McKay-Simpson said. “So now what the protocol calls for is that the United Methodist Church would stay as it is, as an organization, but it would allow for a traditionalist arm to break off and start a new denomination in a Wesleyan or Methodist perspective."
If it’s agreed upon at their global conference, the church will allow a separation and individual congregations can choose how they’d like to operate.
This means one group would perform same-sex marriages and allow gay and lesbian clergymen, while the other would not.
“Churches won’t have to make a vote if they decide to remain in the United Methodist Church as it stands without a stance against LGBTQ persons," McKay-Simpson said. “Again, they won’t have to make any kind of decision. Now, if they decide to split, or separate from the United Methodist Church, and start a new expression they’ll have to make a vote at least of a majority."
McKay-Simpson said a separation could be for the best.
“I personally would never wish for a separation for separation’s sake. But I really do believe in this instance this is an opportunity for us to bless each other on our way," she said.
McKay-Simpson said she’s not sure where she stands yet in relation to University United Methodist Church.