No matter which plan the United Methodist Church adopts in the closing days of its special conference in St. Louis, Rev. Michael Morris from Cavalry UMC in Egg Harbor and Zion UMC in Gibraltar does not expect much of a local impact on membership. The UMC is hosting the special conference outside of its usual cycle to address concerns about same-sex marriage and lesbian, gay, transsexual, and queer clergy. Three different plans have come forward: stick with its current position against same-sex marriage and LGBTQ clergy, the One Church Plan allowing each individual congregation to make its own decision, or break up into five regional conferences that share similar viewpoints. Morris says it is time for the UMC to take a stand, but his biggest fear is if the decision is unmanageable and no one is happy.
If no decision is made by the end of the special conference on Tuesday, UMC leaders could take up the issue again during its regularly scheduled conference next year.