The disaffiliations of churches from the United Methodist Church denomination because of the ongoing debate on LGBTQ+ communities’ inclusivity have been a pressing issue because of the multiple congregations that have agreed to leave.
The largest Methodist congregation in Dane County, Wisconsin, Asbury United Methodist Church, has chosen to depart from the United Methodist Church because of differences over LGBT leadership and gay marriage. Two-thirds of those present had to vote in favor of leaving the denomination, which was approved 224-76.
Asbury United Methodist Church Leaves the Denomination
According to an article in Madison, the Far West Side church has been experiencing a decline in attendance since 2019, with many members no longer attending services in response to the church’s opposition to gay marriage and gay clergy.
However, some members who had retained their official membership, including Robert Squires, returned on Sunday to vote to stay with UMC. He found the eruption of cheers and applause disrespectful to the voters who opposed the separation. He felt so upset that he and others had to leave immediately. The decision to leave has left people on both sides of the vote brokenhearted and shocked at the rupture in their church.
Lead pastor Harold Zimmick described the situation as “heartbreaking and sad” and expressed his hope that the church could continue to embrace differences while remaining united in Christ. However, some members feel that the marriage issue is too significant to overlook, leading to the split. This disagreement over the Methodist Church’s stance on homosexuality is not unique to Asbury United Methodist Church, with congregations across the country experiencing similar cases.
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Global Methodist Church: The Go-To of Conservative Churches
Up to this point, the United Methodist Church (UMC) has continued to prohibit same-sex unions and the ordination of gay clergy. Nonetheless, many Methodist congregations have chosen to disaffiliate in order to reaffirm their opposition to the prospective change in the UMC’s stance to support LGBTQ+ pastors and homosexual marriage.
UM News reported that over 2,000 churches had left the denomination since 2019. When churches disaffiliate, they become independent of UMC while retaining their assets and property. Some churches that have disaffiliated from UMC have joined the Global Methodist Church, a new denomination established by former conservative leaders within UMC.
The ideology of the Global Methodist Church does not endorse or recognize same-sex unions. The goal of the church, according to their website Global Methodist, is to develop followers of Jesus Christ who worship fervently, love extravagantly, and courageously witness. The church aspires to be passionate about what is important to God and to submit to the holy trinity.
The church is called to love God wholeheartedly with all of his teachings. The church has been entrusted with a lifesaving and transforming message that must be shared with others through a bold, compelling, and fearless witness. The church’s mission is advanced when individuals become disciples of Jesus Christ and join God’s mission to make more disciples.
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