church en How one Michigan church is changing its views on gay marriage <p>There can be little doubt that we are living at a time when our attitudes as a society are undergoing a tremendous shift in what we think of individuals who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.</p><p>Recently, <a href="">we spoke on this show</a> with Michigan State University professor Charley Ballard, who directs the state of the state surveys. The most recent MSU survey found, for instance, that 54% of Michiganders support gay marriage, with 36% opposing it.</p><p>Just four years ago, gay marriage was opposed by 51% and favored by 48% of those surveyed.</p><p>That is the view from social science. But what about the view from the pulpit?</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Ken Wilson is pastor of Vineyard Church of Ann Arbor. The evangelical minister has spent years wrestling with this question:&nbsp; Where do we – as a Christian faith community – draw the line on the gay marriage issue?</span></p><p>His journey to rethinking his beliefs about where LBGT people fit into what he calls “the company of Jesus” is spelled out in his new book “A Letter to my Congregation:&nbsp; An evangelical pastor's path to embracing people who are gay, lesbian and transgender into the company of Jesus.”</p><p><em>Listen to the full interview above.&nbsp;</em></p><p> Wed, 12 Mar 2014 20:24:22 +0000 Stateside Staff 16828 at How one Michigan church is changing its views on gay marriage How Detroit kicked "Devil's Night" to the curb <p>Hundreds of volunteers patrolled the streets of Detroit last night and will do so again tonight.</p><p>With flashing lights on their car roofs and maps pointing out abandoned buildings, they drove slowly, looking for arsonists.</p><p>Halloween in Detroit used to mean lots of fires: some 800 buildings blazed in the mid 1990's, when Devil's Night was at its peak.&nbsp;</p><p>The city became infamous for these arson sprees, with reporters flying in from as far away as Japan and Australia to cover the chaos.&nbsp;</p> Thu, 31 Oct 2013 14:56:01 +0000 Kate Wells 15066 at How Detroit kicked "Devil's Night" to the curb Gospelfest celebrates unity and diversity through music <p>If you like gospel music you might want to check out the<a href=""> 20th Annual Gospelfest</a> in Ann Arbor.</p><p>The idea behind the event is to celebrate the diversity of music among different communities and faiths in southeast Michigan. Participants seek to bridge cultural, racial, and religious gaps between different churches, and develop friendships.</p><p>Jean Wilson is the co-founder of Gospelfest, and choir director at St. Paul United Church of Christ in Saline. She sat down with Michigan Radio&rsquo;s Jennifer White to talk about the event&rsquo;s 20-year history.</p><p>Wilson says the event offers a variety of music, from traditional black gospel to contemporary Christian, pop-rock, and more. And she says the event is about diversity and unity.</p><p>&ldquo;Although we are so diverse in our different ways of worship, we are all headed in the same direction; we are all children of the same creator. Although we have so many differences, we do have that thing at the core of our very being that really says that we are all related and are one, and we get to celebrate it.&rdquo;</p><p>On Saturday March 10, choirs from Ann Arbor and Detroit will come together for the 20<sup>th</sup> Annual Gospelfest at Bethlehem United Church of Christ in Ann Arbor.</p><p>The gospel choir of New Prospect Baptist Missionary Church in Detroit will also participate in this year&#39;s event. Here&#39;s a video of the choir during a Saturday morning practice.</p><p></p><p>*<em>This story was informed by the Public Insight Network.</em> <a href=""><em><strong>Share your story here</strong></em></a>.</p><p> Fri, 09 Mar 2012 22:50:05 +0000 Jennifer White, Mercedes Mejia & 6521 at Gospelfest celebrates unity and diversity through music Detroit church builds homes to build community <p><span id="_oneup" style="font-size: 11px">A church on Detroit&#39;s west side has become a community developer by building 90 homes over four years and injecting pride and optimism in the neighborhood.</span></p><p><span id="_oneup" style="font-size: 11px">The last batch of new tenants moved in this month. The Rev. Oscar King III says stable housing is crucial if Detroit wants to recover. The homes are near his Northwest Unity Baptist Church.</span></p><p><span id="_oneup" style="font-size: 11px">The <a href="">Detroit Free Press&nbsp;</a>says there were more than 800 applicants for the homes, mostly two-story colonials. The renters include professionals, low-income families and even the homeless. Jack Bostic Jr. says homes are more important than a church having a fancy place to worship. He says his neighborhood looks like any suburb.</span></p><p><span id="_oneup" style="font-size: 11px;">Janet Norfleet says her children pick up trash on their block, a habit that others are following.</span> Sat, 31 Dec 2011 19:16:07 +0000 The Associated Press 5599 at Detroit church builds homes to build community 2 Ohio churches debate gay issue with billboards <p>The ongoing debate in churches regarding homosexuality is being argued on 10 billboards in northwest Ohio. <a href="">The Toledo Blade</a> reports that Toledo&#39;s Central United Methodist church posted a single roadside billboard in April that said that being gay is a gift from God. That has led the minister at Church on Strayer to offer an opposite view.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> Sun, 25 Sep 2011 18:45:34 +0000 Kyle Norris 4300 at 2 Ohio churches debate gay issue with billboards Is it time to allow guns in Michigan churches? Bars? Stadiums? <p>A Michigan state senator wants to allow people with <a href=",1607,7-123-1591_3503_4654-10926--,00.html">concealed carry permits</a> to take their weapons into churches, bars and other <a href=",1607,7-123-1591_3503_4654-10947--,00.html">‘gun-free zones’</a>.</p><p>A decade ago state lawmakers banned gun owners from taking their weapons into certain public places out of fear of gunplay.&nbsp;But State Senator Mike Green of <a href="">Mayville </a> says experience has shown those fears were unwarranted, since he believes people have been carrying in ‘gun-free zones’ already without incident.&nbsp;</p><blockquote><p>It was an obstacle ten years ago because people feared, a good, honest, law-abiding citizen would use it in a way that would hurt or harm other people.&nbsp; But the fact is, in 11 years there’s not been hardly anything that happened like that.&nbsp;</p></blockquote><p>Green’s legislation would also put the Secretary of State’s office in charge of processing concealed carry permit applications.&nbsp;He says <a href=",1607,7-123-1586_27094-10953--,00.html">local gun boards</a> are not completing background checks on the applicants fast enough. Tue, 25 Jan 2011 22:18:53 +0000 Steve Carmody 1008 at Is it time to allow guns in Michigan churches? Bars? Stadiums?