A pastor and his church are in hot water over permitting gay marriage.
Leaders of the Evangelical Covenant Church have defrocked Rev. Dan Collison and suspended his First Covenant Church. The decision was made via a 77% majority at the ECC’s annual conference in Omaha Friday night.
Downtown Minneapolis’s First Covenant is a founding member of the denomination, which was begun over 130 years ago. Until the 70’s it was one of the ECC’s largest members.
Dan took over in 2009.
And he’s saddened by the organizational dis, but at the same time, he’s cool with it:
“I feel grounded in the path we have chosen. I feel grateful for the pastors and churches who stood up for us. I feel compassion to those caught in the middle.”
So what caused the big hullabaloo?
In 2014, a member of the First Covenant staff presided over a wedding between two chicks. Both lovely ladies were in the church worship band.
FC also released a “love all” statement welcoming LGBTQ congregants.
The house of worship offers pastoral care — which covers close encounters of the nuptials kind — “to all in our congregation without regard for ability, race, sex, gender identity or sexual orientation.”
At the Friday meeting, leaders nominated Dan for defrocking because he opposed the ECC tenet of “celibacy in singleness and faithfulness in heterosexual marriage.”
Association Executive Minister Michelle Sanchez lamented the suspension’s complex emotional components:
“The ECC is mindful of the complexity, the sensitivity and the pain that matters of human sexuality can bring. We talk about the desire for both freedom and responsibility as a denomination. Those two things were coming into tension in this case.”
President John Wenrich said he hopes “this historic church someday changes its mind and then returns to our family.”
Meanwhile, First Covenant’ll continue its operations as an independent church.
As I noted elsewhere recently, it appears that religion is downstream of culture.
And the water’s rushing.
See 3 more pieces from me:
Find all my RedState work here.
Thank you for reading! Please sound off in the Comments section below.
If you have an iPhone and want to comment, select the box with the upward arrow at the bottom of your screen; swipe left and choose “Request Desktop Site.” If it fails to automatically refresh, manually reload the page. Scroll down to the red horizontal bar that says “Show Comments.”