LANCASTER, Penn. — The Lancaster Mennonite Conference (LMC), the largest group of Mennonite congregations in the U.S., has officially separated from the broader Mennonite community after a long-term disagreement over sexuality and the church.
The LMC — with 179 churches in Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York — voted to leave the Mennonite Church USA, the umbrella organization of Mennonite congregations, in November 2015. The decision to leave went into effect Jan. 1.
The LMC opposes same-sex “marriage” and members were increasingly uncomfortable with some Mennonite Church USA policies that affirmed it, including hiring policies that address LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people. The Mennonite Church USA officially defines marriage as between one man and one woman, but there has been pushback against that from within as several pastors have performed same-sex “marriages” (and been censured or resigned) and smaller regional conferences that affirm LGBT relationships have departed. (RNS)