Leaders of the United Methodist Church will gather in Florida on Wednesday to discuss church business; the church’s stance on homosexuality will likely be a hot button issue.
The issue has been an area of discussion in the congregation for 10 years, but recent events have lead some members to fear a schism as the denomination reaches an impasse between the church doctrine and scripture.
“It’s distressing to me that we’re still focusing on minor issues, same-sex, homosexuality,” said Rev. John Hill of the Suntree United Methodist Church. “Others many feel different, but the real issues the Jesus called us to confront are feeding the hungry, clothing the naked and not necessarily this issue. It’s maybe important but not essential.”
Hill is one of hundreds of pastors who signed a petition urging the church to remain unified and respect others’ opinions on homosexuality reports USA Today.
Not all Methodists pastors agree, however, In May, 80 pastors held a meetings which led to a call for a split.
“We need to recognize the reality that we -- laity, clergy and even the Council of Bishops -- are divided and will remain divided. Talk of a ‘middle way’ or of ‘agreeing to disagree’ is comforting and sounds Christ-like. However, such language only denies the reality we need to admit. Neither side will find ‘agreeing to disagree’ acceptable,” the pastors wrote in a letter to the denomination.
Publication date: June 10, 2014