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The United Methodist Church has repealed its ban on LGBTQ clergy. Here’s how some Kansas City members are responding

A United Methodist Church in Mississippi.
Christian Grandfather Magazine
A United Methodist Church in Mississippi.

On May 1, delegates at the United Methodist Church’s General Conference voted to repeal a ban on LGBTQ clergy that stood for four decades.

The 1984 ban, which forbade “self-avowed practicing homosexuals” from becoming ordained or practicing ministers, was overturned by a 692-51 vote.

Between 2019 and 2023, a fourth of all United Methodist Churches in the U.S. disaffiliated due to the church’s growing inclusivity of the LGBTQ community.

The 2024 General Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina, was the first for Jesi Lipp, a member of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Lenexa, Kansas.

“Two days ago, when we voted to remove the ban on ordination of queer clergy, I got to join with some of my other 31 seated queer delegates to celebrate surrounded by, I think, a couple hundred allies as we sang and hugged and prayed,” Lipp said. “It has been such a fulfilling and moving time, and I’m just so glad I’m getting to be a part of it.”

Pastor Lora Andrews was at the conference during the vote. She said that though getting to this point has been painful, the church will now get to move forward together.

“The United Methodist Church is still filled with faithful conservatives and faithful moderates and faithful progressives,” Andrews said. “We’re just not excluding people like us anymore. I think it is a Christian witness to get to sit around a table and authentically have those conversations without fear of repercussion.”

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