The Northfield United Methodist Church voted in July to allow LGBT+ people to be ordained and married in the church.
According to the church, that decision was in defiance of General Conference of the United Methodist Church action in February to punish and exclude congregations embracing LGBT+ people in marriage and ordination.
"We affirm that all people are created in the image of God and, as beloved children of God, all are worthy of God’s love and grace, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, family status, race, ethnicity, physical or mental ability, socio-economic status, or age," the church stated in a welcoming statement accompanying the vote. "We unreservedly support and affirm the full inclusion of persons of all sexual orientations and gender identities in all facets of ministry at Northfield UMC, including ordination and marriage. Following Christ’s example, we open our hearts, minds and doors to welcome all who come to us in God’s grace."
"We are part of a national movement in the church finding new expressions of Methodism," the church added. "The next global General Conference of the UMC, which is considering legislation to better accommodate this movement of inclusion over against a destructive message, will be in Minneapolis from May 5-15."