MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — The Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC) has voted to defrock a minister within its denomination and to also expel the church that he leads because of its stance on welcoming homosexuals and transgenders to serve in leadership roles, as well as its willingness to provide wedding services and baptisms to the unrepentant.
According to reports, the music minister at First Covenant Church of Minneapolis officiated the “wedding” of two women on the worship team off-site in 2014, and a statement was also posted to its website that included notation that all pastoral services — including weddings and baptism — would be available “to all in our congregation without regard for … gender identity or sexual orientation.”
The statement additionally says that those who are homosexual or transgender are welcome to serve in staff leadership roles.
“[We] welcome all persons and families, including LGBTQ+, to participate at all levels of community: serving in ministry, joining as members, holding staff and leadership roles,” it states.
Dan Collison, who has been in leadership since 2009, had been asked last year to appear before the Board of Ordered Ministry, and according to the Religion News Service, was placed on suspension with the denomination as he and First Covenant had rejected the “care and discipline” of the board.
He had written prior to his appearance, in asking others for prayers for the meeting, that he believed that the congregation under his lead “is now a healthy, thriving, joyful, and ‘filled-with-the-power-and-fruit-of-the-Holy-Spirit-Luke
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