(RNS) — For many United Methodists, the road to St. Louis is paved with anxiety.

Will a special session beginning Saturday (Feb. 23) — considered the most consequential in the denomination’s history — find common ground on LGBT policies and end years of debate? Or will the denomination — the nation’s second-largest Protestant group — split apart?

Helen Ryde doesn’t know what the meeting will bring.

But on Tuesday, she began a 600-mile pilgrimage from the

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