"First United Methodist Church Indianola, Iowa" by Paul R. Burley / CC BY-SA 4.0

COVID-19 delayed a United Methodist schism. But it has left LGBT members in limbo.

May 21, 2020

By Nathan Romo

Rebecca Bernstein says she wants to go to a United Methodist seminary.

But her dreams of becoming an ordained Methodist minister are on hold for now.

That’s in part because of COVID-19, which has disrupted plans at many graduate schools around the country.  But also because of her sexuality.

Bernstein, a youth minister at San Ramon Valley United Methodist Church in Alamo, California, identifies as bisexual, which would bar her from ordination under the denomination’s current rules. Those rules describe “the practice of homosexuality” as “incompatible with Christian teaching” and bar “self-avowed practicing homosexuals” from being ordained.

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