Hundreds of churches split from a regional body of the United Methodist Church (UMC) over the weekend as the second-largest Protestant denomination in the U.S. continues to hemorrhage congregations.
Delegates at a special session of the UMC’s North Carolina Conference voted 957-165 on Saturday to approve the departure of 249 congregations in the regional body that wanted to be disaffiliated from the mainline denomination effective Dec. 31.
The number of churches leaving is roughly 32% of the conference’s member churches, and they are taking with them about 22% of its membership, according to a statement.
The growing divide is the result of conservative Methodist churches pushing back against liberal sexuality policies, including the ordination or marriage of “self-avowed practicing homosexuals,” which is reportedly forbidden in the church’s Book of Discipline.
United Methodist agencies preparing budget reduction of 38% for 2025-2029, which implies membership drop of 2.3 million. It’ll likely be more. https://t.co/qAKvo7Flg1
— @markdtooley (@markdtooley) November 22, 2022
Nearly one-third of churches split from regional Methodist church body amid ongoing schism about sexuality https://t.co/Hh3U52kWbz
— Fox News (@FoxNews) November 22, 2022
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