Documentary Video & Photography

A Church Divided

Is homosexuality compatible with Christianity? This question is debated fiercely in A Church Divided, a PBS documentary I produced, shot and edited at The Center for Investigative Reporting. The documentary premiered on PBS member station KQED in 2013 and has aired on 39 PBS stations since.

The story follows California delegates to the United Methodist Church’s global convention in Tampa, Florida. There, United Methodists from around the world gather to vote on the future of their church and its official policy on gays and lesbians. The United Methodists, with 7 million members and roughly 33,000 congregations the largest mainline Protestant denomination in the country, meet every four years to debate and vote on changes to church doctrine.

Progressive Methodists want to amend church doctrine declaring homosexuality incompatible with Christian teaching, but conservative Methodists want to retain the church’s traditional stance. Other mainline Protestant churches, including the Presbyterians and Episcopalians, split over this divisive question. The question now is will it divide the Methodist Church as well?

I followed both liberal and conservative clergy members and lobbyists, as they wrestled with the issue of gay rights. The story climaxes in a vote- and ends with a wedding.