Nearly 150 Methodist congregations in north Alabama chose to disaffiliate with the United Methodist Church (UMC) on Thursday, just four days after almost 200 churches in the southern half of the state left the denomination on Monday. 

The 123 churches officially parted ways with the UMC at the North Alabama Conference Session. This is the North Alabama Conference's second major wave of church secessions. The first happened in December when 198 churches disaffiliated. 

On Monday, 193 churches left UMC at the Alabama-West Florida Conference, which covers nearly all of south Alabama, alongside Florida's Panhandle.

The waves of disaffiliation are part of an ongoing process for individual congregations to choose whether to remain a part of the UMC, become independent, or join other Methodist denominations.

The UMC began ordaining women in the mid-20th century, has supported federal gun control and was once a part of the pro-abortion Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC) before withdrawing in 2016. 

It officially condemns homosexual activity and does not allow same-sex weddings or pastors who are "self-avowed, practicing homosexuals," but the issue of homosexuality is widely debated within the denomination. 

These issues, underpinned by theological disagreements, eventually led traditional Methodists in the UMC to push for a process of separation that allowed churches to separate while retaining their church property. 

Seceding churches can retain church property by paying a substantial fee to the UMC, which helps pay for unfunded pension liabilities and two years of apportionments. 

Churches that wish to leave the denomination and retain church property have until December to elect to disaffiliate. 

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