The numbers matter — and so does doctrine — in Methodists' high-stakes meeting on LGBT issues

GetReligion | 2/21/2019 | Bobby Ross Jr.
DebraS (Posted by) Level 3
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“Will the United Methodist Church be ripped apart?”

We considered that question in a recent post that critiqued a Fort Worth Star-Telegram story.

Associated - Press - Report - Lots - Play

Now comes The Associated Press with a report — getting lots of play in newspapers across the nation — previewing the big meeting that starts this weekend:

The United Methodist Church’s top legislative assembly convenes Sunday for a high-stakes, three-day meeting likely to determine whether America’s second-largest Protestant denomination will fracture due to divisions over same-sex marriage and the ordination of gay clergy.

Mainline - Protestant - Denominations - Episcopal - Presbyterian

While other mainline Protestant denominations — such as the Episcopal and Presbyterian (U.S.A.) churches — have embraced gay-friendly practices, the Methodist church still bans them, even though acts of defiance by pro-LGBT clergy have multiplied and talk of a possible breakup of the church has intensified.

At the church’s upcoming General Conference in St. Louis, 864 invited delegates — split evenly between lay people and clergy — are expected to consider several plans for the church’s future. Several Methodist leaders said they expect a wave of departures from the church regardless of the decision.

Plan - Division - People - David - Watson

“I don’t think there’s any plan where there won’t be some division, and some people will leave,” said David Watson, a dean and professor at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, who will be attending the conference.

The AP coverage is informative and filled with crucial details related to what’s at stake.

Facets - Scenario - Shrift - Doubt - Matter

But two important facets of this scenario seem to get short shrift. Some of that, no doubt, is a matter of a wire service reporter with limited space. Trust me, I know — as a former AP newsman — that there’s never enough space to include every fact you’d like.

In this case, AP does a nice job of highlighting the various proposals that the Methodists will consider.

News - Organization

Still, I wish the global news organization had afforded more...
(Excerpt) Read more at: GetReligion
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