Canyon Lake United Methodist Church takes a step to include more members of LGBTQ

RAPID CITY, S.D, (KOTA TV) - Canyon Lake United Methodist Church is taking one step toward eventually allowing same-sex marriages within the church, and ordination for members of the LGBTQ community.

A United Methodist Hymnal in Canyon Lake United Methodist Church. (KOTA TV)

On Saturday, more than 500 Methodist followers discussed a host of issues, including whether or not they should include LGBTQ members more in their church services.

Richard Wahlstrom, a member of the Canyon Lake United Methodist Church, created a resolution to eliminate restrictions on members based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Brett Roes is a teacher pastor at Canyon Lake United Methodist Church who said he wasn't surprised about people getting on board with the resolution. Rather, he was surprised by the overwhelming support.

The resolution passed with a 220 to 136 vote. Roes said he was surprised 62 percent of the people voted in favor of the resolution.

This is a major step for the local Methodist church, as they break away from tradition.

In February, The United Methodist Church passed what they call the Traditional Plan creating restrictions for LGBTQ members' involvement in the church.

"When you look at the United Methodist Church across the United States. A lot of annual conferences are being held and their moving in the same direction as we just went. So we are not out of the norm," said Canyon Lake United Methodist Church Lead Pastor Kevin Kloster.

Carla Douglas is a member of the LGBTQ community and agrees with the church's decision. She said it is never too late to choose to love one another.

"You don't have to love my ideology. You don't have to love what I do. But you still have to love me for who I am. I'm still a child of the most high," Douglas said.

Kloster said in one or two years, they plan to allow LGBTQ members to be pastors and administer same-sex marriages in the church.