Local United Methodist leader weighs in on church’s proposed split over LGBT issues

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The central issue is whether to permit same-sex marriages and the ordination of gay clergy

CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – The world’s third largest religious denomination will make a big decision this spring.

The United Methodist Church’s more conservative and progressive districts agreed to propose a separation of the 12 million member denomination.

The central issue has been a growing disagreement over whether to permit same-sex marriages and the ordination of gay clergy.

If the split is approved during a convention in May, individual congregations would then have to decide how they will align themselves.

“I think a lot of churches, what they have said is, ‘Just don’t make us vote,’ because they know they have mixed views in the pews. But, they’ve been called together to be a church family and serve their community and worship God together, and they’d like to keep doing that,” said Rev. Abby Auman.

Rev. Auman is the superintendent of the Mahoning Valley district of the United Methodist Church, which includes about 60 congregations.

She said if the separation plan is approved, the realigning of individual churches could take several years.

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