Another Methodist teen rejects church membership before the entire congregation to protest anti-LGBT policies
Eight other teens did the same earlier this year
Fourteen-year-old Kat Miller took a firm stand for LGBT rights in front of the entire congregation at the Batavia Zion United Methodist Church in Batavia, Wisconsin when she rejected her membership over the church's anti-gay policies.
After two years of participating in the church's confirmation program, she was set to become a member of the church but balked due to its recent policy changes that discriminate against the LGBT community.
Miller and three other confirmands took the pulpit at the church, reading personal faith statements that outlined what Methodism want to them. Only Miller's had an additional paragraph that shocked the congregation.
"I believe the most important values of a Christian life are to accept everyone who is willing to believe in being a good person in God's realm… Yet, the stance of the UMC, the organization, does not resonate with what I believe," Kat said.
Therefore, she said, she would not become a member of the United Methodist Church.
The reaction she received from the congregation was decidedly mixed.
"I was frustrated and disappointed," Kat said according to USA Today. "I didn't think that other people, who aren't the pastor and aren't confirming me in my faith, should be able to say that my faith statement is wrong."
RELATED: Methodist teens rejected their memberships before the entire congregation to protest its anti-LGBT policies
Eight teens in in Omaha, Nebraska, received a positive reaction from their congregation when they refused to be confirmed as members of the church.
On Easter Sunday at the First United Methodist Church in Omaha, Nebraska, a group of eight 13 and 14-year-old UMC youth stood up to the church's anti-LGBT policies by refusing to be confirmed for the time being.
In case you needed a reason to believe that this generation will save us all, here it is. The entire confirmation class at First United Methodist Omaha decided not to join at this time in protest of the UMC's anti lgbtq+ policies. 🌈❤️ pic.twitter.com/mDjwMTu9ZJ
— Sheri Shuler (@SheriShuler) April 28, 2019
The group made its announcement in the form of a letter read before the entire congregation.
We have spent the year learning about our faith and clarifying our beliefs. Most of us started the confirmation year assuming that we would join the church at the end, But with the action of the general conference in February, we are disappointed about the direction the United Methodist denomination is heading. We are concerned that if we join at this time, we will be sending a message that we approve of this decision.
We want to be clear that, while we love our congregation, we believe that the United Methodist policies on LGBTQ+ clergy and same sex marriage are immoral. Depending on how this church responds to the general conference action, we will decide at a later time whether or not to become officially confirmed. But until then, we will continue to stand up against the unjust actions that the denomination is taking. We are not standing just for ourselves, we are standing for every single member of the LGBTQ+ community who is hurting right now, Because we were raised in this church, we believe that if we all stand together as a whole, we can make a difference.
The teens were greeted with a standing ovation from the congregation and received the full support of its minister, Reverend Ken Little. "Myself and our associate pastor are in full support of their decision," Little said according to Religion News. "We're proud of them. It's not an easy thing to do to resist."
As previously reported in Upworthy, at a United Methodist Church (UMC) conference in St. Louis last February, delegates voted 438-384 for a proposal called the Traditional Plan that bans openly-gay people from being ordained as ministers or serving in the church.
It also forbid any UMC funds from going "to any gay caucus or group, or otherwise use such funds to promote the acceptance of homosexuality."
A majority of American delegates voted against the plan, but it was passed with support from conservatives and delegates from UMC strongholds in Africa and the Philippines.
The decision has created a schism in the church with some UMCs flying gay flags, performing same-sex weddings, and withholding payments to the main offices in protest.