Colo. church moves toward leaving denomination

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — The 4,000-member First Presbyterian Church in Colorado has taken another step toward leaving its denomination.

KRDO-TV reports (http://bit.ly/xBWP3B) 80 percent of the Colorado Springs congregation on Sunday voted in favor of proceeding with efforts to leave the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

Senior Pastor Jim Singleton cited disagreements with the denomination's direction, including a decision last year to allow the ordination of gay and lesbian clergy in committed relationships. Church leaders are expected to vote this summer on whether to allow ministers to officiate at same-sex weddings.

The First Presbyterian Church is one of the largest in the country to belong to the Presbyterian Church (USA). The Gazette reports it may seek to join the conservative Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians (ECO).

Sunday's "non-technical" vote by the congregation is expected to be followed by an official vote.

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