Sunday, January 02, 2011

'Gay Churches' Decline as Mainlines Embrace Homosexuality

The decades-long phenomenon of all-gay 'churches' has waned for many reasons: Homosexual behavior is now celebrated in many mainline denominations; there are simply fewer homosexualists who desire to be Christian; and of course, by definition, homosexual behavior doesn't procreate.

-- From "Generation gap imperils gay church" by Jeff Kunerth, Orlando Sentinel 12/31/10

. . . Joy Metropolitan Community Church . . . Started in 1979, the predominantly gay Orlando church is imperiled by its inability to attract a younger generation of gay and lesbian worshippers. Only about 20 of the 250 people who regularly attend the church are in their 20s and 30s, said the Rev. Lisa Heilig, interim pastor.

Mainline Protestant denominations such as Baptists, Episcopalians, Lutherans and Methodists are dealing with the same doomsday demographic of aging congregations. But the gay church faces not only fewer young people attending church, but also a greater acceptance of gays in other churches.

Moreover, gay churches don't have the built-in ability to attract families with children, teenagers with youth programs, and young people with church services like rock concerts. There are no "crying rooms" for babies at Joy MCC or Sunday-school classrooms or a day-care center during the week.

"What I'm finding is they don't want to go to a church where they are segregated by their sexuality," said the Rev. Jenn Stiles Williams, who has about 50 young gays in her contemporary service at St. Luke's United Methodist Church in Orlando. "Their relationship with God is first, but they want a church where they can be who they are and not have to hide it."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "NC Council of Churches selects openly gay man as president to lead push for liberal goals" by The Associated Press 12/27/10

The North Carolina Council of Churches is breaking ground by electing an openly gay minister as its incoming president.

The statewide organization that promotes Christian harmony and social justice has selected retired IBM sales executive and Raleigh resident Stan Kimer (KIM-uhr). The 55-year-old Kimer is a member of the Metropolitan Community Churches, a denomination for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Gay man leads N.C. church association" by Yonat Shimron, Charlotte Observer 12/27/10

[This] signals an acceptance among member denominations - Episcopalians, Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians and Roman Catholics - that even if they have theological differences about homosexuality, they are OK with a gay man at the helm. Or at least, they don't see it as an issue worth fighting.

As president, Kimer leads a 35-member governing board that sets the council's direction on a host of social issues, including racial equality, health care, immigrant rights and environmental conservation. He was elected to a one-year term and could run for a second one-year term.

Kimer's election has its roots in a controversial 1993 decision by the N.C. council to add the Metropolitan Community Churches to its roster of cooperating denominations. The MCC is made up of nearly 200 U.S. churches, including seven in North Carolina, and caters to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people.

Soon after the MCC became part of the N.C. council, Kimer joined the board as a representative of St. John's MCC, a Raleigh church where he has been a member for 18 years.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.