Mixed emotions — including, grief, frustration and relief — were on display Saturday at Christ United Methodist Church in Plano, where hundreds of delegates gathered to approve the departure of dozens of local churches from the denomination.
Forty-one churches received approval from the North Texas Conference to leave the United Methodist Church during a special session Saturday morning. The move comes as congregations across the country seek to disaffiliate from the denomination before the end of 2023 over disagreements on same-sex marriage and LGBTQ clergy.
“Some disaffiliating churches will become independent and others will unite with other denominations,” Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr. said during his homily before the vote of approval. “This is a difficult day.”
CONGREGATIONS APPROVED TO LEAVE THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
The North Texas Conference approved the departure of 41 regional churches.
After a stance against same-sex marriages and LGBTQ clergy members was upheld by a slim majority in 2019, many conservative congregations across the country believe that decision is not being enforced, and many are seeking to disaffiliate from the denomination.
Some, however, deny leaving over LGBTQ inclusion and point to a variety of conflicts with the broader denomination, from finances to theology.