by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – As congregations continue to leave the United Methodist Church mainline Protestant denomination over division on LGBTQ issues, 249 North Carolina congregations disaffiliated from the UMC on Saturday, the Christian Post (CP) reports.
The UMC has seen hundreds of church leave because, despite its official Book of Discipline stance that the “practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching,” the denomination has seen a significant number of its leaders accept same-sex marriage and noncelibate gay clergy.
During a special session Saturday, delegates from the UMC North Carolina Conference Saturday voted 957-165 to approve the disaffiliation of the 249 congregations, CP reports. The number of congregations that disaffiliated represents almost a third of North Carolina’s UMC churches. Disaffiliation will take official effect on December 31 for all churches that have completed the separation process.
In a statement confirming Saturday’s disaffiliation, the UMC’s North Carolina Conference (NCC) also had words for church members who wish to remain with the denomination despite their congregation voting to separate. “Persons in churches that voted to disaffiliate who wish to remain United Methodist can move their membership to another United Methodist Church or to The United Methodist Collective of North Carolina, a new faith community in the Conference until they find a new church home,” the NCC said.
“The United Methodist Collective is a hybrid mission congregation created to provide connection and resources related to worship, discipleship, mission, sacraments, and pastoral care for people living in areas where there may no longer be a United Methodist church after the disaffiliation process is complete,” the NCC statement added.
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