A Minneapolis church voted to leave the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), the largest Lutheran denomination in the country, because the church voted in August to allow openly gay and lesbian clergy. After a 96-percent vote in favor, St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church decided Sunday to leave the denomination, according to Minnesota Public Radio.
In August, ELCA members voted to allow gay and lesbian pastors in life-long relationships to lead congregations. Churches that disagree with that decision are under no obligation to follow the ELCA vote. Despite that, a number of churches have left the denomination in the seven weeks since the vote.
St. Paul’s plans to join the Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC), an association of 179 congregations created by the WordAlone network over opposition to LGBT inclusion in the church, but will need a second vote in three months to make the split from ELCA permanent.
Since the ELCA assembly in Minneapolis last month, 10 churches nationwide have joined the LCMC.