Cornerstone Church votes to disaffiliate from the United Methodist Church denomination over the same-sex marriage controversy.
The largest Michigan Methodist church voted on Sunday to separate from the body denomination. This however was in response to the gay marriage ban by the church. At the end of the voting exercise, they had in their favor a total of 616 votes and 9 oppositions. Two people however abstained from voting.
Notwithstanding, Cornerstone pastor, Nash according to Christian Post who accessed an article on UMC Michigan Conference, disclosed his intention to still work with United Methodist Church. As quoted in the article, Nash said, “We like being networked and connected, We love the idea of connectionism. So this isn’t a renegade spirit that we have. We want to have a connection in the future. It just doesn’t have to be as formalized.”
Bishop Bard, the presiding bishop of the Michigan areas however in a mail, noted that their separation was disheartening. He went on to express his gratitude for Cornerstone’s active participation in the ministry over the years. He wrote
“Any separation in the church is painful for all involved. I am grateful for the ministry of Cornerstone Church over its entire history. And grateful that they have participated in the wider ministries of the Michigan Conference through the years”
Furthermore, Bard bid farewell to the church. He promised also to work with whosoever may wish to continue service in UMC. “I wish Cornerstone and its leaders well as they move into a new chapter of their ministry. I also pledged to work with any in the church that wishes to continue to be part of the United Methodist congregation.”
Despite the disaffiliation of several congregations from UMC, the church still maintains its stand. Reports had it that over 1,800 congregations have separated from the church since last year as a result of the conflict.