Leaders of the Evangelical Covenant Church voted to defrock a Minneapolis pastor and expel his church for allowing gay marriage.
The Rev. Dan Collison had his credentials eradicated by a 77% vote at the Evangelical Covenant Church’s annual assembly in Omaha, Nebraska, on Friday evening.
Leaders furthermore voted to expel Collison’s First Covenant Church, a founding member of the 134-year-mature denomination.
Collison, who grew to vary correct into a pastor at First Covenant in downtown Minneapolis in 2009, advised the Necessary particular person Tribune he used to be “now now not greatly surprised” however “saddened” after he used to be voted out.
“I in reality feel grounded in the path now we non-public chosen. I in reality feel grateful for the pastors and church buildings who stood up for us. I in reality feel compassion to those caught in the center,” Collison acknowledged.
The ECC says First Covenant is free to help running as a church and can help its church building. First Covenant says Collison will continue serving as lead pastor.
A First Covenant staff member officiated at an off-station wedding of two girls folks from the church worship band in 2014. It furthermore effect out a “indulge in all” assertion that acknowledged it welcomes participants of the LGBTQ neighborhood to desire half in the church, in conjunction with serving in leadership roles. It furthermore says it offers pastoral care, in conjunction with weddings, “to all in our congregation without regard for ability, speed, sex, gender identity or sexual orientation.”
ECC leaders furthermore voted Friday evening to desire away one other pastor, Rev. Steve Armfield, a retired Michigan minister who officiated his son’s same-sex wedding in Minneapolis. Armfield furthermore used to be accused of violating the denomination’s same-sex marriage ban.
Leaders had advised that Collison, Armfield and First Covenant be compelled out on legend of they violated Evangelical Covenant Church insurance policies on human sexuality, namely “celibacy in singleness and faithfulness in heterosexual marriage.”
“The ECC is mindful of the complexity, the sensitivity and the probability that matters of human sexuality can bring,” acknowledged Michelle Sanchez, an ECC executive minister. “We focus on concerning the necessity for every and every freedom and duty as a denomination. These two things had been coming into stress on this case.”
First Covenant Church used to be founded by Swedish immigrants in 1874. For decades it used to be one in all ECC’s largest church buildings nationally, unless membership declines began in the 1970s. This day, the denomination has about 875 church buildings with 280,000 participants nationally. It’s headquartered in Chicago.
“I hope this ancient church in the future adjustments its mind after which returns to our family,” ECC President John Wenrich acknowledged in a assertion.
Armfield, an ECC pastor for 47 years, furthermore used to be suspended in 2017. He had served an ECC church in Red Wing, Minnesota, in the 1970s sooner than transferring to Michigan. He officiated his son Matthew Armfield’s wedding in 2017.
“It’s so unbelievably upsetting to sight my father, Dan, and my fellow participants of First Covenant expertise the abhor, deceit and actions that roam in opposition to the teachings of indulge in and inclusion that Jesus Christ preached,” acknowledged Matthew Armfield, who attends First Covenant.
This legend corrects that Evangelical Covenant Church is 134 years mature as a replacement of 135 years mature.
Info from: Necessary particular person Tribune, http://www.startribune.com