BURLINGTON – As churches across the country begin preparations to leave the United Methodist Church over its newly confirmed policies of exclusion, one Vermont congregation has already decided to branch off and form its own denomination. Calling themselves “The First Non-Binary Methodist Church of Burlington,” the former members of First United Methodist Church are hoping to gather more churches under their banner.
The United Methodist Church itself is part of a break-away from the original Methodist Church, which splintered several times, but then which partially reconstituted itself until it recently decided it was was tired of being so non-exclusionary.
“This is really a new beginning for us,” said senior pastor Rev. Dark Murmurs. “The new name represents not only the future of society, but of who we understand God to be. God, in our understanding, is triune. Meaning three parts in one God. So when you think about, God is the original they/them pronoun. We should have realized we were worshiping a non-binary God much earlier!”
There have been no responses yet to the church’s invitation that went out to all Vermont UMC congregations, although Rutland United Methodist Church in Rutland, VT did recently change its name to Wiccan Methodist Church, and has seen an exponential rise in attendance.