Lancaster Mennonite Conference leaders vote to leave MC USA

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With a vote of 82 percent, credentialled leaders in Lancaster Mennonite Conference (LMC) have voted to leave Mennonite Church USA. Approximately 80 percent of eligible credentialled leaders participated in the vote. This vote means the ratification of the Bishop Board resolution to withdraw LMC’s affiliation with MC USA. The conference will now enter a two-year implementation period of withdrawal. In a Nov. 19, 2015, statement, LMC said, “[This] announcement will likely be received in very different ways by leaders and congregations of Lancaster Mennonite Conference and across the denomination. Leaders were encouraged to interact with others in loving and respectful ways and to pray for the Lord’s leading in the life of LMC in the days ahead.” Back in July, Keith Weaver, LMC’s conference minister, sent a letter to LMC leaders informing them of a proposal suggesting withdrawal from MC USA Since then, more than 1,800 people attended LMC listening meetings to offer information and gather feedback about the proposal. More than 700 attendees filled out response sheets afterward. A task force helped collect responses, which the Bishop Board used to guide its work. On Oct. 23, the Bishop Board affirmed the proposal. In an interview with Mennonite World Review, Weaver noted there were a number of reasons for questioning affiliation with MC USA, including greater acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer individuals in hiring policies and leadership roles.  —The Mennonite

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