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Mike DuBose | United Methodist News Service
United Methodists at a Crossroads
March 15, 2019
The UMC has voted to maintain the ban on LGBTQ marriages and clergy, disappointing many. As the dust settles, some are asking, what does a divided church's future hold?
Courtesy of Guthrie Graves-Fitzsimmons
Out of the Closet and Hearing the Call March 15, 2019
Guthrie Graves-Fitzsimmons was a fifth generation United Methodist and loved growing up in his UMC church. His fervor for his faith followed him throughout his undergraduate years at Methodist-affiliated American University and then to seminary, where he enrolled in hopes of becoming a UMC minister. But the church forbade the ordination of non-celibate gay people, and Graves-Fitzsimmons was not about to go through the process as a closeted gay man. In February, the UMC made its decision on whether to allow for the ordination of LGBTQ people and the sanctification of same-sex marriage. The answer was no. 

Guthrie Graves-Fitzimmons, writer and commentator 
Courtesy of Victoria Kirby York
LGBTQ Flag Planters March 15, 2019
Victoria Kirby York is a black, lesbian woman who says she is a above all a Christian. Working with faith communities at the National LGBTQ Task Force, she tries to hasten the day when more denominations will marry couples and ordain ministers no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity. Her zeal for her work is rooted in her own history in the church, including her time in her grandparents’ United Methodist congregation. In too many churches, she said, LGBTQ people are still not able to be their full selves. She calls the UMC’s recent decision, “a turn from the Gospel.”

Victoria Kirby York, deputy director of the National LGBTQ Task Force
Paul Jeffrey | United Methodist News Service
The Traditional Plan Wins – What’s Next? March 15, 2019
When delegates to the special session of the United Methodists’ General Conference voted 53-47 percent to retain church rules that forbid gay marriage and the ordination of openly gay clergy, traditionalists expressed great relief. The Rev. Keith Boyette explains why he and likeminded Methodists believe the vote affirmed a biblical understanding of the place of gay people in the church. And Prof. J. Warren Smith considers the possibility that the UMC’s decision could lead to schism.

Rev. Keith Boyette, president of the Wesleyan Covenant Association
J. Warren Smith, professor of historical theology at Duke Divinity School and UMC minister