“It’s been an exhausting week,” said the Rev. David McEntire, senior pastor of First United Methodist Church in Lakeland, speaking to his congregation during Sunday morning worship. “We’re kind of worn out.”
Like many of his fellow United Methodists, McEntire was left wondering about the future of his denomination in the wake of a strife-filled special international conference in St. Louis last week. To the surprise of many, more than 800 delegates from United Methodist churches in the United States and overseas rejected a proposal – the One Church Plan – that would have allowed gays and lesbians a wider role in the church.
Instead, in a close vote, an alternative plan – the Traditional Plan – was adopted that potentially will strengthen current rules that forbid “self-avowed practicing homosexuals” from being ordained to any office and do not allow gays and lesbians to be married in its churches. More