After gay vote, UCC loses, gains churches

Reaction to affirmation of same-sex marriage
Since United Church of Christ delegates in July affirmed their support for same-gender marriage, the denomination has lost a total of 16 congregations from nine different regions—close to the number of 20 that officials expected.

The UCC, however, also has taken on new congregations. “In October alone, six existing churches joined the UCC, which may be a single month’s record,” wrote UCC news director Ben Guess on the UCC Web site.

In an e-mail to the Century Guess added that the UCC still “grieves the loss of any and every congregation that votes to withdraw.” The generally liberal denomination is “concerned about the loss of churches,” he said.

As of November 3, a telephone survey from UCC’s Cleveland headquarters to its regional conferences found, 16 churches had left. That number may climb. “End-of-the-year reports will be the only true measure of where we stand,” Guess said.


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