"It didn't make sense to us that we could ever talk about God's love without absolutely affirming all people."Cara McMorris, Associate Pastor Hope Church
Lead Pastor Jennie Edwards Bertrand at Hope Church, a member of the United Methodist Church denomination, said this split is nowhere near a done deal. Church leaders presented a plan on Friday that would divide the denomination based on LGBTQ+ issues.
Edwards Bertrand helped launch Hope Church over 5 years ago. From the beginning she said they have been open to everyone, something other United Methodist Churches have not embraced. ""Inclusivity is a non-option. It's just where we need to be and who we are," explained Pastor Edwards Bertrand.
In February, the UMC voted to keep a traditional plan. That plan upheld the longstanding policy banning LGBTQ+ clergy from their churches. A new plan would create, in essence, a new denomination. It's unclear whether those in support of the LGBTQ+ community would split from the church or vice versa.
Associate Pastor Cara McMorris said, "The Methodist Church has been in a period like so many other denominations where there are different views about what the Bible says about gender and sexuality and how that impacts our faith." The church governing body is made up of delegates that will meet in May to vote on new legislation, including the proposal that could split the church.