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Teen rejects church membership before congregation to protest anti-LGBT policies

Lydia Smith August 22, 2019

A 14-year-old girl took a stand in front of an entire congregation when she rejected her membership to her church over its anti-LGBT+ policies.

Kat Miller was set to become a member of the Batavia Zion United Methodist Church in Wisconsin after taking part in a confirmation programme for two years.

However, she changed her mind after the church voted to uphold a ban on LGBT+ clergy and marriages.

Miller and three others stood at the pulpit at the church and read out statements about what their religion meant to them.

“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,” Miller said.

“Yet, the stance of the UMC, the organisation, does not resonate with what I believe.”

She added she would therefore not become a member of the church.

The Omaha church where teens refused the UMC confirmation.
Nebraska teens refused the UMC confirmation earlier this year (First United Methodist Church-Omaha/Facebook)

Miller said she was “frustrated” and “disappointed” that she received a mixed reaction from others.

She told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “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.”

Earlier this year, eight teenagers in Omaha, Nebraska, refused to be confirmed as members of a United Methodist Church over anti-LGBT+ policies.

The group, from Omaha’s First United Methodist Church, had spent one year preparing for confirmation, but when the service arrived, they read out a letter of protest.

“We are disappointed about the direction the United Methodist denomination is heading,” the letter, which was published on First United Methodist’s Facebook page, said.

“We are not standing just for ourselves, we are standing for every single member of the LGBTQ+ community who is hurting right now,” the teens wrote.

“We were raised in this church, we believe that if we all stand together as a whole, we can make a difference.”

More: Church, Religion, Wisconsin

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