WASHINGTON — Major changes could soon be coming to one of the largest churches in America.
More than 470,000 people in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, DC are professing members of the United Methodist Church (UMC). This weekend, UMC church leaders are expected to consider several proposals, during a conference in St. Louis, Missouri, that will shape how the body approaches LGBTQ issues.
The "Traditional Plan" would preserve much of the status quo in the church. Under the proposal, gay people could not be ordained and the clergy would not be allowed to perform same-sex weddings.
Another idea, named the "One Church Plan" would allow for more inclusiveness in the church. The proposal would allow for gay people to be ordained and for clergy members to perform same-sex weddings.
D.C. resident T.C. Morrow is in St. Louis with members of Foundry UMC.
Morrow, a married lesbian, said she would like to see the church become more friendly to the LGBTQ community. She said she has tried to become ordained in the past, but has yet to receive the number of votes necessary to achieve that goal.
"It is frustrating to know that so many other people have left the United Methodist Church to put their good talents to use in other denominations," Morrow said.
Not everyone feels the same way. Some Methodists have expressed frustration with proposals to change the church's rules.
Others are worried that the United Methodist Church could ultimately split up over the issue.
"It saddens me so much to think that a church that has been 'big tent' would be split on something that, frankly, many people on a daily basis would not really even need to be thinking or worrying about," Morrow said.