The 2019 Special General Conference
The 2019 Special General Conference of the United Methodist Church has just concluded. The global United Methodist Church is divided along lines of geography and ideology. The church in the USA would have voted for the One Church Plan that would have allowed a continuation of the "agree to disagree" but to allow local churches and clergy to perform LGBTQ marriage and for Annual Conferences to ordain LGBTQ clergy. The Traditional Plan would adhere to church restrictions on LGBTQ people passed in the 1970s during the emergence of the gay power movement (Stonewall Riots, etc).
While the USA has legalized same gendered marriage, in Africa and some Easter European countries it is either illegal or socially proscribed such that members of the LGBTQ community must live deeply underground or risk fines, jail, or even death.
The conflict in the UMC is between people of deep convictions - our traditional understanding of marriage, social justice for LGBTQ people, theology, and Biblical interpretation. There is very little space for grace in our big tent church.
As an ordained Elder in the UMC I will adhere to our Book of Discipline, or my ordination vows are meaningless. However, I welcome all people with an open heart and open mind and will walk along with anyone on their journey of faith.
Rev. Curtis Ehrgott
General Conference is over. What happens now?