by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – Thirty-five Methodist congregations in Arkansas are considering disaffiliation from the mainline United Methodist Church (UMC) denomination amid concerns that the UMC is headed away from its traditional stance on LGBT issues and toward blessing same-sex marriage and allowing noncelibate homosexuals to serve as clergy, the Christian Post (CP) reports.
In light of disagreement on LGBT issues, on May 1 a number of theologically conservative Methodists launched the Global Methodist Church (GMC) as an alternative association to the UMC, CP reports.
A growing number of churches, especially in the US, have decided to separate from the UMC and join the GMC instead. Among these congregations are 107 churches in Florida belonging to the Wesleyan Covenant Association, a theologically conservative UMC group. The Florida chapter of the WCA told the Christian Post: “107 Florida Methodist churches have chosen to initiate the process to depart the Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church … 107 represents approximately 20% of the 560 United Methodist Churches in the Florida Conference.”
The UMC Conference for Arkansas is holding its annual meeting this week, and confirmed that 35 of its 634 member churches are undergoing the process of disaffiliation, CP reports.
Given that the UMC has not officially moved away from its traditional stance on LGBT issues, Arkansas congregations considering disaffiliation have three options to choose from: remaining with the e denomination indefinitely, waiting for decisions to be made at the 2024 General Conference, or leaving under the current process of disaffiliation.
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