The United Methodist Church is meeting in St. Louis this week to vote on whether to strengthen or end its prohibitions on same-sex marriage and ordaining gays and lesbians — a decision that could splinter the church.
The denomination has been grappling for years with how to respond to social changes that have buffeted other mainline Protestant congregations, with individual United Methodist churches adopting contradictory — and sometimes competing — practices. At some churches, clergy members have come out as gay or lesbian from the pulpit, while other pastors have preached that homosexuality is a sin.
With 12 million adherents worldwide, including seven million in the United States, the church gathered 864 members in St. Louis to vote on the way forward.
But the meeting has laid bare the denomination’s fissures. “The church,” said Gideon Salatan, a member from the Philippines, “is grievously wounded.”
Here’s a look at the two leading proposals, known the Traditional Plan and the One Church Plan. No matter which garners the most votes, there are fears that significant numbers of people will be dissatisfied with the outcome and many will ultimately leave.
This proposal essentially maintains the church’s practice of denying gays and lesbians equality and appears to have the most support. The church’s policy, which dates from 1972, states that “the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.”
The plan prohibits gays and lesbians from becoming clergy and forbids same-sex marriage. It defines homosexuals as people in same-sex marriages or civil unions, and those who “publicly state that they are practicing homosexuals.”
Clergy who officiate at same-sex weddings would receive a one-year, unpaid suspension. A second offense would result in removal from the clergy.
The policy would also require groups within the denomination to “certify adherence” to the rule. Those who refuse would be “urged” to leave the United Methodist Church, which would prohibit them from using the denomination’s name or logo.
The primary supporters of the proposal are church members from African nations and the Philippines, as well as evangelical Europeans and Americans, who expressed a desire to retain the church’s longstanding rules.
“I was born into a traditional church, so I am learning what is God’s will,” Julia Stukalova, a church member from Russia, said Monday. “God loves everyone, but he wants everyone to live according to his word.”
The One Church Plan would allow individual churches or regions to decide for themselves whether to hire gay clergy or to perform same-sex weddings.
It would also eliminate the church policy that homosexuality is incompatible with Christianity.
Churches that choose not to hire gay and lesbian pastors or to conduct same-sex weddings would not be punished. Bishops and clergy who choose not to officiate at ordinations or same-sex weddings would be protected from being sanctioned.
The majority of support for the proposal comes from self-identified progressives, many of whom are from the United States.
“I will be very sad not to be able to claim the cross and the flame because I am being kicked out,” said Cheryl Johnson Bell, a clergy member who said her family had been part of the church for five generations.
The church is scheduled to vote Tuesday about which plan to pursue.
If the Traditional Plan is successful, some places, particularly in California, would probably begin preparing to leave the United Methodist Church, according to church members.
If the One Church Plan prevails, congregations in Africa and Asia might start preparing to form an independent Methodist church.
Any exit, however, involves a fairly cumbersome process and would most likely not occur for several months, or even years.
“It is true that some persons and some local churches have an interest in withdrawal and separation,” said Kenneth Carter, president of the church’s Council of Bishops. “Unfortunately, the losers will be the most vulnerable, who won’t have the protection of a united church.”
【如】【果】【人】【生】【能】【够】【有】【后】【悔】【药】，【那】【么】，【我】【绝】【对】【会】【用】【自】【己】【的】【一】【切】【换】【来】【一】【颗】。 【我】【坐】【在】【阿】【欢】【床】【边】【一】【天】【一】【夜】，【无】【论】【如】【何】，【都】【无】【法】【接】【受】【阿】【欢】【已】【经】【死】【去】【的】【事】【实】。 【步】【平】【告】【诉】【我】【阿】【欢】【死】【了】，【我】【不】【信】，【我】【觉】【得】【他】【在】【骗】【我】，【我】【想】【要】【弄】【死】【他】！ 【阿】【欢】【怎】【么】【会】【死】【呢】？【我】【明】【明】【都】【已】【经】【弄】【来】【了】【同】【生】【丹】，【未】【来】【会】【和】【她】【同】【生】【共】【死】！【我】【都】【没】【死】，【她】【绝】【对】【不】【会】
【最】【终】【人】【选】，【也】【只】【是】【增】【加】【了】【盟】【重】【省】【的】【龙】【神】，【龙】【神】【现】【在】【只】【有】【四】【十】【二】【级】【内】【功】，【但】【是】【作】【为】【从】【上】【古】【时】【代】【传】【下】【来】【的】【老】【牌】【家】【族】，【盟】【重】【省】【的】【千】【年】【守】【卫】【者】，【龙】【神】【说】【他】【有】【不】【可】【推】【卸】【的】【责】【任】，【来】【参】【加】【这】【种】【战】【斗】。 【其】【实】【大】【家】【心】【里】【都】【明】【白】，【这】【场】【战】【斗】【有】【百】【分】【之】【五】【十】【的】【几】【率】【回】【不】【来】，【但】【是】，【没】【有】【人】【在】【乎】，【为】【的】【只】【是】【心】【中】【的】【一】【个】【信】【念】。 【九】【个】【人】，【确】福彩快三开奖直播【元】【殿】 【元】【凝】【惬】【意】【地】【坐】【在】【琉】【魅】【凛】【特】【地】【给】【她】【装】【扮】【出】【来】【的】【华】【丽】【宫】【殿】【里】【优】【哉】【游】【哉】【地】【烹】【茶】，【完】【后】【给】【自】【己】【倒】【了】【一】【杯】【茶】，【她】【正】【端】【起】【茶】【杯】【往】【嘴】【里】【送】【茶】【水】【之】【际】。 “【娘】……” “【娘】……” “【娘】……” 【突】【然】【响】【起】【的】【童】【音】【让】【元】【凝】【忍】【不】【住】【嘴】【抽】【了】【下】，【手】【抖】【了】【抖】，【茶】【水】【撒】【出】【了】【一】【点】。 【不】【多】【时】，【小】【鸢】【绯】、【小】【妤】【雅】、【小】【安】【跃】【从】【殿】【外】【飞】
【何】【哲】【瀚】【被】【带】【走】【的】【第】【十】【天】，【玫】【瑰】【庄】【园】【的】【每】【个】【人】【都】【很】【不】【快】【乐】，【仿】【佛】【一】【瞬】【间】【全】【世】【界】【失】【去】【了】【颜】【色】。 【不】【过】【好】【在】，【林】【萧】【萧】【的】【脸】【上】【逐】【渐】【有】【了】【血】【色】，【手】【术】【很】【成】【功】，【原】【本】【身】【体】【康】【健】【的】【她】【恢】【复】【地】【也】【比】【较】【快】。 【李】【漠】【又】【一】【次】【来】【到】【家】【中】，【还】【不】【等】【所】【有】【人】【问】【他】，【他】【摇】【了】【摇】【头】。 【大】【家】【沉】【默】，【林】【萧】【萧】【在】【嘴】【里】【一】【遍】【遍】【地】【重】【复】，“【哲】【瀚】，【他】【不】【会】【杀】【人】
“【只】【要】【制】【住】【了】【你】，【那】【些】【恶】【鬼】【便】【无】【人】【役】【使】【了】【吧】。”【百】【变】【生】【快】【速】【出】【手】，【一】【把】【捏】【住】【了】【黑】【袍】【男】【子】【的】【肩】【颈】，【以】【时】【间】【之】【力】【彻】【底】【封】【住】【了】【黑】【袍】【男】【子】【的】【灵】【力】【运】【行】。 【黑】【袍】【男】【子】【想】【要】【挣】【脱】【百】【变】【生】【的】【束】【缚】，【但】【百】【变】【生】【的】【修】【为】【远】【在】【他】【之】【上】，【他】【根】【本】【无】【法】【反】【抗】，【周】【身】【的】【力】【气】【都】【使】【不】【出】【半】【点】。 【连】【原】【本】【被】【他】【擒】【住】【的】【小】【白】【白】，【也】【脱】【手】【而】【落】，【摔】【倒】【在】【地】。
【莫】【云】【飞】【却】【是】【责】【备】【道】：“【大】【堂】【哥】，【你】【怎】【么】【能】【这】【样】【呢】？【巴】【先】【生】【关】【系】【跟】【你】【这】【么】【好】，【要】【替】【你】【付】【钱】，【那】【是】【人】【家】【作】【为】【朋】【友】【的】【一】【片】【心】【意】，【你】【怎】【么】【好】【辜】【负】【呢】？【你】【这】【也】【太】【客】【气】【了】！【是】【吧】，【巴】【先】【生】？” 【紫】【袍】【男】【子】【瞠】【目】【结】【舌】：“【什】？【什】【么】？”【这】【怎】【么】【就】【变】【成】【了】【自】【己】【要】【出】【钱】【了】？【一】【听】【三】【两】【银】【子】，【紫】【袍】【男】【子】【也】【顾】【不】【上】【装】【十】【三】【点】【了】。 “【怎】【么】【了】？