ST. LOUIS — A decision could be made in St. Louis this week that could impact the lives and faith of 12 million people across the globe.
One of the largest protestant church denominations in the U.S., the United Methodist Church, is expected to decide the church's official stance on homosexuality.
It's a meeting that faith leaders said is nearly 50 years in the making.
"We’ve talked about the issue of human sexuality for decades now it seems," said Rev. Steve Breon.
On any given Sunday, when Breon looks into his Kansas City congregation, he sees a blend of faces looking back.
"We’re all unique; we’re all different," he said.
So, you can only imagine the diversity of faces during the General Conference of the United Methodist Church. It's a meeting so big, only the Dome at America's Center could hold all of the participants.
The diversity of the denomination has made it difficult to speak with one voice when it comes to allowing ministers to perform same sex marriages or for clergy to be gay themselves.
"Some of our churches are very traditional and conservative and vital, and then some of our churches are very progressive and open," said Bishop Ken Carter.
Carter serves as the President of the Council of Bishops — the highest elected leader of the church.
He hopes they can keep their entire diverse flock still in the fold.
"And the question is, how to have laws and practices for this diverse and global church?" asked Carter.
There are many plans church delegates are considering, but two have emerged as the front runners.
Put simply, the One Church Plan would allow each UMC conference to decide if they will ordain LGBTQ clergy and individual congregations to decide if they would allow same sex marriages in their buildings.
The Traditional Plan would keep the current language that calls homosexuality "incompatible with Christianity" and ban openly gay clergy members.
"If it goes traditional, we have LGBTQ people that are disenfranchised. If we go One Church, there will be some of our most traditional people that just don’t understand why in the world we would do something like that," said Rev. Breon.
He said, as a whole, United Methodists could learn from members of his own church.
"We have people from different political parties, they sit in the same row in church. They sit in Sunday School classes. They are in the same groups together," Breon said.
His prayer is that you can disagree with the methods, but remain united in faith.
"I’m going to come out of this, which ever way this goes, with hope," he said.
The conference runs until Tuesday. That's the day church leaders anticipate the historic vote.