Local United Methodist Church pastor calls potential denomination split disappointing

ONALASKA, Wis. (WKBT) Leaders from the United Methodist Church are proposing a peaceful separation of the denomination over LGBTQ issues.

A local United Methodist Church pastor says it’s disappointing that a potential split is coming.

The proposal is called “A Protocol of Reconciliation & Grace Through Separation” and would let conservative congregations form their own denomination.

This decision comes after a disagreement on whether people from the LGBTQ community should be welcomed into the church, and other issues over gay marriage and gay clergy.

But the pastor says his congregation will continue to welcome everyone into the church.

“Our vision is that we love all people unconditionally, and no matter what side of this particular issue folks in this congregation are on, we all agree that everybody is welcome here. That’s one of Jesus’s most important commandments, is that we love God and we love our neighbors. And that doesn’t mean just the neighbors we like, it means everybody,” said Reverend Park Hunter, Pastor of the Onalaska United Methodist Church.

Reverend Hunter says while some people have left the United Methodist Church in Onalaska, others have joined.

He says the church has had gay or lesbian congregation members for years and does not plan to change.