When Robin Oesterwind started attending Royal Oak First United Methodist Church more than a year ago, she was overjoyed to find a spiritual home that welcomed her and other worshipers who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. Discussions about the future for the Michigan Conference of the United Methodist Church have been growing in the three months since delegates at a global gathering in St. A majority of U. A disaffiliation plan also was passed that provides guidelines for congregations seeking to split from the United Methodist Church , which formed in a merger and claims about While other mainline Protestant denominations have embraced gay-friendly practices, the UMC still bans them, though acts of defiance by pro-LGBT clergy have multiplied.
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DETROIT — Declaring "the fight is on," a formidable coalition of conservative Christian groups filed legal briefs in federal appellate court Wednesday supporting Michigan's ban on gay marriage. The briefs back Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette in his efforts to defend the state's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage, which was overturned earlier this year by a federal judge in Detroit. Gay marriage would "destroy the backbone of our society," said the Rev. Stacey Swimp of Flint, Mich. Joining him were leaders with various Baptist, Pentecostal, Catholic, and non-denominational churches in Michigan, including the head of the influential Council of Baptist Pastors of Detroit and Vicinity. The pastors represent hundreds of churches across metropolitan Detroit and included leaders with denominations such as Church of God in Christ COGIC that are popular in Detroit and strongly opposed to same-sex marriage. The ministers criticized people who compare the struggle for same-sex marriage to the black civil rights movement, saying such a comparison is offensive and historically inaccurate.
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The teaching pastor was Rob Bell until December, when Bell transitioned into another ministry and was succeeded by his friend and fellow Mars Hill pastor Shane Hipps. In August , the church announced to its members that Kent Dobson, son of well-known church leader and speaker Ed Dobson , would assume the position of teaching pastor. Founded in February , the church's services, or "gatherings", were originally celebrated in a school gym in Wyoming, Michigan.
Meg Anderson. A rainbow gay pride flag flies below the U. The United Methodist Church announced a proposal Friday to split the denomination over what it called "fundamental differences" regarding its beliefs on same-sex marriage and LGBTQ clergy.