After struggling to stay afloat, a Minnesota church chose to change its approach. The church pulled out pews installed by members’ grandparents. They cancelled events like an annual turkey dinner, a beloved community tradition, to focus on discussions about the church’s vision. They gradually tweaked services Sunday over Sunday. The first few changes were the hardest, according to Hein. But each one built trust for the next.
The debate has focused largely on the teachings of the Book of Discipline, which states that homosexuality is “incompatible with Christian teaching.” In a 438-384 vote recently, delegates agreed to uphold the teaching. But an increasing number of bishops hope to create a more progressive Methodist denomination.