Home Christian News Seattle’s Quest Church Leaves Evangelical Covenant Church as Church Affirms LGBTQ Christians

Seattle’s Quest Church Leaves Evangelical Covenant Church as Church Affirms LGBTQ Christians

In 2019, the ECC removed Minneapolis’ historic First Covenant Church and its pastor, the Rev. Dan Collison, from its roster after the church said it would treat its LGBTQ members as equals, allow married gay clergy and be open to officiating same-sex marriages. It was the first time the denomination had voted to remove a congregation from its roster over its position on LGBTQ inclusion.

The ECC isn’t the only denomination wrestling with the inclusion of LGBTQ Christians as Americans’ support for LGBTQ rights is higher than ever.

RELATED: Report: LGBTQ Americans Tend to Be Younger and Have No Religion

That includes 76% of white mainline Protestants who say they support same-sex marriage, according to PRRI. White evangelicals are outliers, with just 35% reporting support for same-sex marriage.

“Support for Same-Sex Marriage, by White Christians and Religiously Unaffiliated, 2014-2021” Graphic courtesy of PRRI

Most prominently, the United Methodist Church is splintering over whether to ordain and marry its LGBTQ members, a schism that is accelerating as its regional annual conferences meet this summer and approve requests from their member churches to disaffiliate. Since 2019, the UMC, the second-largest Protestant denomination in the U.S., has approved the departures of 4,359 of its 30,000 churches. Many of those leaving are concerned the denomination — whose rulebook currently bans the ordination of LGBTQ clergy and same-sex marriage — is becoming more affirming.

After listening to Quest members and leaders who are LGBTQ, Song Bantum wrote, the church saw “no other option but to leave and do so voluntarily.”

“As a multiracial and multicultural church, and as an Asian American woman who has personally faced anti-women-in-leadership decisions within the denomination, it is a wonder that churches are now being removed or strong-armed to ‘voluntarily’ leave over convictions on human sexuality,” she added.

“It speaks volumes to where the ECC’s sense of urgency and values lie—clearly not around upholding convictions of anti-racism or gender equity. Somehow, the ECC has become a space that prioritizes doctrinal uniformity on a singular issue over relational unity in areas that are non-essentials of faith.”

This article originally appeared here.