Minneapolis church expelled over support of gay marriage

Leaders of the Evangelical Covenant Church voted to defrock a Minneapolis pastor and expel his church for allowing contented marriage.

The Rev. Dan Collison had his credentials eliminated by a seventy seven% vote at the Evangelical Covenant Church’s annual assembly in Omaha, Nebraska, on Friday evening.

Leaders also voted to expel Collison’s First Covenant Church, a founding member of the 134-Three hundred and sixty five days-extinct denomination.

Collison, who turned a pastor at First Covenant in downtown Minneapolis in 2009, urged the Star Tribune he change into “now not surprised” nonetheless “saddened” after he change into voted out.

“I feel grounded within the trot we personal now chosen. I feel grateful for the pastors and churches who stood up for us. I feel compassion to these caught within the heart,” Collison stated.

The ECC says First Covenant is free to preserve up working as a church and can opt its church constructing. First Covenant says Collison will continue serving as lead pastor.

A First Covenant workers member officiated at an off-location wedding of two females from the church esteem band in 2014. It also set out a “treasure all” allege that stated it welcomes contributors of the LGBTQ community to capture half within the church, including serving in leadership roles. It also says it offers pastoral care, including weddings, “to all in our congregation with out regard for skill, bustle, sex, gender identification or sexual orientation.”

ECC leaders also voted Friday evening to capture away one more pastor, Rev. Steve Armfield, a retired Michigan minister who officiated his son’s same-sex wedding in Minneapolis. Armfield also change into accused of violating the denomination’s same-sex marriage ban.

Leaders had suggested that Collison, Armfield and First Covenant be compelled out due to they violated Evangelical Covenant Church policies on human sexuality, particularly “celibacy in singleness and faithfulness in heterosexual marriage.”

“The ECC is aware of the complexity, the sensitivity and the direct that issues of human sexuality can bring,” stated Michelle Sanchez, an ECC govt minister. “We issue in regards to the need for both freedom and responsibility as a denomination. These two issues had been coming into stress on this case.”

First Covenant Church change into essentially based by Swedish immigrants in 1874. For many years it change into one among ECC’s largest churches nationally, till membership declines started within the Seventies. This day, the denomination has about 875 churches with 280,000 contributors nationally. It is headquartered in Chicago.

“I am hoping this historical church someday adjustments its mind and then returns to our family,” ECC President John Wenrich stated in an announcement.

Armfield, an ECC pastor for Forty seven years, also change into suspended in 2017. He had served an ECC church in Red Jog, Minnesota, within the Seventies before transferring to Michigan. He officiated his son Matthew Armfield’s wedding in 2017.

“It is miles so unbelievably upsetting to leer my father, Dan, and my fellow contributors of First Covenant expertise the abominate, deceit and actions that lag against the teachings of treasure and inclusion that Jesus Christ preached,” stated Matthew Armfield, who attends First Covenant.


This memoir corrects that Evangelical Covenant Church is 134 years extinct as a change of a hundred thirty five years extinct.


Info from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com

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