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Virginia church leaving United Methodist Church over LGBT stance

Holston View United Methodist Church of Weber Metropolis, Virginia.Courtesy: Holston View United Methodist Church

A United Methodist Church congregation in Virginia plans to hitch a theologically conservative various to the mainline Protestant denomination attributable to points with the UMC’s ongoing debate over homosexuality.

Holston View UMC of Weber Metropolis, which has over 300 members, just lately introduced that it’s pursuing affiliation with the World Methodist Church and leaving the UMC.

Meant to be a denomination the place theologically conservative United Methodists can be part of to depart their church’s seemingly countless debate over LGBT points, the GMC is scheduled to formally launch this Sunday.

A big concern was incidents of some UMC leaders refusing to implement Guide of Self-discipline guidelines banning the ordination of noncelibate homosexuals and the blessing of same-sex unions.

Holston View Pastor Chuck Griffin advised The Christian Publish on Tuesday that his congregation had not but left the UMC however fairly it was planning to pursue separation as soon as “as soon as a transparent path develops.”

“Our church’s high administrative board, the Church Management Council, voted 10-0 on March 24 to announce our intent, with one particular person abstaining and one absent,” he defined.

“We delayed the general public announcement till we felt we had absolutely communicated the choice to church members.”

Griffin spoke effectively of the GMC, referring to the denomination as “the plain continuation of conventional Methodism, which matches again to the 18th century.”

“The Methodist motion historically has handled Scripture because the impressed phrase of God, emphasizing particular biblical ideas like rising spiritually via common engagement with God’s considerable grace,” Griffin advised CP.

“We count on the GMC can be a spot the place some misplaced or poorly practiced traditions of Methodism can be recovered.”

The Rev. Tim Jones, director of communications for the Holston Convention, advised CP that he was “saddened to study” in regards to the congregation’s plans. He famous that the regional physique has “a staff working to create a good and considerate course of for church buildings to contemplate disaffiliation in a approach that honors {our relationships} and complies with church regulation.”

Jones additionally offered CP with a press release from Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett, acknowledging that “a few of our congregations and clergy are contemplating withdrawing from The United Methodist Church to grow to be part of one other expression of Methodism such because the World Methodist Church.”

“It should sadden us if these church buildings and clergy discern to withdraw. Nevertheless, we’ll ship them forth with our blessing to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world,” she continued.

Over the previous few many years, the UMC has weathered more and more divisive debate over its official stance labeling homosexuality “incompatible with Christian educating,” together with a ban on clergy performing same-sex weddings or being in a same-sex romantic relationship.

Many conservatives throughout the denomination have taken concern with liberal management refusing to implement the UMC Guide of Self-discipline guidelines on LGBT points, main some to contemplate leaving the UMC over the controversy.

Earlier than the pandemic lockdowns started in early 2020, UMC leaders had been planning to contemplate measures aimed toward “amicable separation” for the denomination, to be voted on at that yr’s Basic Convention.

Nevertheless, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the churchwide convention was postponed on a number of events, which solely elevated tensions amongst some liberals and conservatives.

In March, UMC management introduced that they had been as soon as once more suspending Basic Convention, this time to 2024, citing ongoing issues concerning the COVID-19 pandemic.

The newest postponement led organizers of the World Methodist Church to determine to launch the brand new denomination on Could 1, fairly than their earlier plan to launch after Basic Convention authorised a separation plan.

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