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UMC's North Georgia Conference Blocks Churches from Leaving Denomination

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The United Methodist Church (UMC) in Georgia announced it will temporarily block member churches from leaving the denomination due to the spread of "intentionally deployed" misinformation about the United Methodist Church, its leaders, and its disaffiliation procedure.

The North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church announced a "pause" in the disaffiliation process in an email posted Wednesday.

"As a result of the misleading, defamatory, and false statements and materials shared with local church members by certain organizations as well as clergy and lay members of various churches and outside groups, we do not have confidence in the validity of upcoming church conference disaffiliation votes," the email read. 

The Georgia conference added that it would postpone any disaffiliations until the United Methodist Church's global decision-making body, the General Conference, meets in 2024.

The group cites incidences of clergy holding secret meetings or giving unapproved presentations at churches other than their own. They also claimed clergy has disseminated misinformation by crafting  websites, videos, printed materials, and PowerPoint presentations that signify a "breach of integrity."

The Georgia Conference did not name any particular church, group, or clergy member, but noted that members have suggested the United Methodist Church no longer believes in the resurrection or divinity of Christ, has changed the Apostle's Creed, and will force churches to host same-sex weddings and receive gay pastors, among other things.

They claim the information "is not passively present in our churches, (but) is being intentionally deployed."

As CBN News reported, dozens of churches in Georgia split from the United Methodist Church (UMC) in June.

The 2022 UMC North Georgia Annual Conference approved a vote to disaffiliate 70 congregations on June 2. Those churches represent nine percent of the congregations in the conference and three percent of its membership, according to the denomination.

Hundreds of other churches in Florida, Texas, and North Carolina have also disaffiliated with the organization.

The main reason involves disagreements over United Methodist clergy performing marriages for LGBTQ couples and ordaining LGBTQ people as clergy in the church.

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