‘It feels in some ways inevitable’: Local pastor responds to possible split within United Methodist Church

United Methodist Church proposes splitting into two denominations amid disagreements over same sex marriage and LGBTQ clergy members

MADISON, Wis. — The United Methodist Church proposed splitting into two different denominations after years of disagreements about same sex marriage and LGBTQ clergy members.

At First United Methodist Church in Madison, Pastor Tina Lang said the proposal does not come as a surprise.

“It is pretty clear to me that we really are a divided church and that the issue of including LGBTQ folks is such a spiritually rich concept and so complex and so important that the division between the perspectives just seems to get deeper and wider,” Lang said.

While First United Methodist Church is inclusive of all people and offers same sex marriages, other churches around the world do not support it.

“It feels in some ways inevitable. It is sad that we haven’t figured out a way to be better and to be unified, but I’m relieved that we will at least have some options, according to our denomination, to do what this church has done for a long time and that is to fully welcome all people,” Lang said.

The split would be a historic change for the third-largest denomination in the country.

“The thought of a split is disappointing I think for everyone who has been part of the Methodist movement over generations and generations,” Lang said.

The split would create two different denominations. One that does not support same sex marriage and having LGBTQ clergy members, and another that does support same sex marriage and having LGBTQ clergy members.

If the split happens, Lang predicts her clergy will remain inclusive of everyone.

“This congregation will remain strong. This congregation will continue to be an important witness in the community in a variety of ways, and I believe this congregation will continue to be a witness to full inclusion of all people no matter what happens with the general church,” Lang said.

The vote of the split is expected to take place at the global conference in the Spring.