Update: United Methodist Church delegates Feb. 26 voted to strengthen a ban on gay clergy and same-sex marriages in a controversial decision that threatens to divide the church. The article below was written prior to the decision. Rev. McShane, among the church's progressive faction that supports LGBTQ inclusion, plans to write another column in the wake of this week's historic United Methodist conference in St. Louis.
This has not been a good news cycle for churches. The Roman Catholic Church and the Southern Baptist Convention have recently come into view as they struggle with how to hold their leaders to account for bad behavior. And in just a few days, the United Methodist Church will crowd its way into the headlines to air its own internal struggles.