83 Methodist Churches to leave denomination in Iowa

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(ABC 6 News) – A major split in the methodist church, 83 united methodist churches in Iowa are leaving the denomination over disagreements on same-sex marriages, and LGBTQ members of the clergy, including in Britt, Iowa.

During a vote this week roughly 11 percent churches in Iowa chose to become independent agencies or join a new denomination, the global methodist church.

It’s a more conservative denomination established in 2022.

Pastor Tony Fink from Pine Island methodist tells us this is happening all across the country.

One of the reasons could be frustration with the church postponing its general conference.

The united methodist church normally meets every four years to discuss issues facing the church.

The last general conference was going to be held in Minneapolis in 2020 but was canceled due to the covid-19 pandemic, thus postponing decisions on issues like sexual orientation.

The church was hoping to reschedule, but the pandemic created travel issues.

Pastor Fink said his congregation will not be disaffiliating and they will wait until next year for the church to make its decision.

“As we look at 2024, there’s a possibility we will be changing the language of the words of discipline and removing all that discriminatory language of sexual orientation. And having it be the same as we would have about race or any other thing. Society has changed and membership of the church has changed. We’re learning to more accepting of persons of a variety of different sexual orientations.”

Fink said the united methodist church is unique because any changes or decisions the church makes has to be signed off by leaders around the world.