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Methodist church celebrates new policies on LGBTQ clergy and same-sex weddings

Two Rivers Church officially included LGBTQ members in 2023.
Two Rivers United Methodist Church
Two Rivers Church officially included LGBTQ members in 2023.

An inclusive church in the Quad Cities is celebrating after the United Methodist Church lifted bans on LGBTQ clergy and same-sex weddings.

Delegates voted to repeal the bans this week during the United Methodist Church's General Conference.

Robb McCoy, pastor of Two Rivers United Methodist Church in Rock Island, says his congregation welcomes the changes.

"Members of my own church who, today, told me, you know, I feel like a weight has been lifted," he said. "Colleagues, friends of mine, who are queer, who have been struggling in the ordination process, this one thing that was holding them back from being ordained has been lifted."

Two Rivers has officially included LGBTQ members since last year. McCoy says he feels the church's new policies finally match its theology.

"Our theology is that God is love. And that loving another person is never a sin," he said. "If that is the case, then why would we prevent anyone from ordination, why would we think that God is prohibiting people from joining in holy union?"

Since the last legislative conference in 2019, some United Methodist congregations have left the church to form the more conservative Global Methodist Church.

In the Quad Cities, United Methodist Churches hold a wide range of opinions on LGBTQ inclusion.

Rachel graduated from Michigan State University's J-School and has a background in broadcast and environmental journalism. Before WVIK, she worked for WKAR Public Media, Great Lakes Now, and more. In her free time, she likes to cook, hike, and hang out with her cat.