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Palm Springs congregation awaits word on United Methodist Church split

METHODIST

The United Methodist Church is looking to solve a longtime debate.

A proposal has been made to divide into two denominations based on LGBTQ inclusivity.

A local church in Palm Springs responded to the proposed split.


“Well there is kind of two ways people are taking it cause anytime you are talking about splitting or divorce or separation it can be scary but it also provides a lot of positive opportunity," said Jeremy Wells, Director of Christian Education at United Methodist Church.

Jeremy Wells tells News Channel 3 their church made a transition 10 years ago to become part of the Reconciling Ministries Network, which is an organization seeking the inclusion of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.


“They have always been open and accepting, loving and grace filled but on paper in our book of discipline it hasn’t always reflected that," said Wells. "There has been language that says homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching. We just disagree with that," said Wells.

A group of bishops and church leaders signed a proposal, titled " Protocol of Reconciliation and Grace through Separation" on January 3rd.

The proposal will restructure the church and create a new denomination for "Traditionalist Methodist."

The final decision is ultimately slated by the general council in May.

“We are hoping that in May we’re just able to live out authentically like what we have been doing but have it supported with our documents and with our statements and with our book of discipline," said Wells.

Church members at United Methodist Church in Palm Springs tells us that the proposed change would not affect them and will continue to welcome the LBGTQ community.


“Its wonderful when people accept something and love cause if its anything that this church is...its pure love," said Rex Waggoner, member of the LBGTQ community.

Rex Waggoner said he has been a church member for the past 6 years, hopes other churches will be receptive to the change.

“I feel a great deal of pride and a great deal of lets do it, lets get this accomplished, let’s let people know that they can be accepted here," said Waggoner.

Church members tells us they want full inclusion as it brings more opportunities.

“Realize all the open doors that are in front of us there are so many great opportunities ministry and opportunities to serve and welcome more people in," said Wells.

After speaking to Jeremy Wells, he said each congregation will have to decide if their church will split after the vote in May.

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Dani Romero

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