Skip to comments.Episcopalians, Lutherans Taking Action on Sexuality Topics
Posted on 07/22/2009 8:45:33 PM PDT by lightman
Episcopalians, Lutherans Taking Action on Sexuality Topics
CHICAGO (ELCA) -- The 2009 General Convention of the Episcopal Church took a series of actions on the topic of human sexuality July 8-17 in Anaheim, Calif. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) will also make decisions on matters concerning the topic at its 2009 Churchwide Assembly Aug. 17-23 in Minneapolis.
The ELCA and Episcopal Church have been "full communion" partners since 2000. The relationship is based on a common confessing of the Christian faith. The denominations collaborate on various ministry initiatives, may provide for the interchangeability of ordained clergy and engage in worship together.
On behalf of the ELCA, the Rev. Donald J. McCoid attended the convention. He said the actions of the Episcopal Church "do not parallel what will be before our churchwide assembly, although some of the concerns are similar."
"The Episcopal Church has a different process for considering human sexuality issues and policies," said McCoid, executive director, ELCA Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Relations.
During their convention, Episcopalians passed a resolution designed to open ordination to anyone in the denomination through a discernment process outlined in the church's Constitution and Canons.
The resolution also reaffirmed the Episcopal Church's participation in the worldwide Anglican Communion, noting that members of the communion hold opposing views on matters related to human sexuality.
In a separate action, the convention called for a collection of theological resources and liturgies for same-gender blessings. The convention authorized the denomination's House of Bishops and Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music to devise and oversee an "open process" that would invite Episcopalians to gather such resources, and it requested a progress report on this work to be delivered to the 2012 convention.
The action states that Episcopal bishops, "particularly those in dioceses within civil jurisdictions where same-gender marriage, civil unions or domestic partnerships are legal, may provide generous pastoral response to meet the needs of members of this church." It also "honor(s) the theological diversity of this church in regard to matters of human sexuality."
Voting members of the ELCA Churchwide Assembly are scheduled to consider two documents related to human sexuality. One is a proposed social statement on human sexuality, "Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust." Social statements are theological and teaching documents that form the basis for policy in the ELCA.
The other document is a "Report and Recommendation on Ministry Policies." The recommendation asks the assembly to consider a process to change ministry policies to make it possible for Lutherans, who are in "publicly accountable, lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships," to serve as ELCA associates in ministry, deaconesses, diaconal ministers and ordained ministers.
Both documents were mandated by previous churchwide assemblies.
The assembly is the highest legislative authority of the ELCA. The theme of the 2009 ELCA Churchwide Assembly is "God's Work. Our Hands." - - - News about the 2009 Episcopal Church General Convention is available at http://ecusa.anglican.org/79425_ENG_HTM.htm on the Web. Information about the 2009 ELCA Churchwide Assembly is at http://www.ELCA.org/assembly on the ELCA Web site.
So for Bp. McCoid to offer comments distancing the ELCA from the actions of the General Convention is not spin or damage control but the pious hope that his church can and will do better.
But alas, the New England Synod has already promulgated a suggested order of sevice for blessing same-sex unions, rationalized on the basis of "pastoral care" due to changing state laws.
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as far as I am concerned, these two church denominations have lost all credibility.... when you begin choosing the parts of God’s Word that you believe, and the parts of God’s Word that you don’t.... well, you are doing your own thing....not God’s thing....
Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed for much less than these supposed “Christians” are actually promoting.
Should have added that Bp. McCoid's appointment as ecumencial officer by PBp Hanson is the eccelesiasitcal equivilant of President Obama appointing Hilary Clinton as Secretary of State. Keep your enemies close.
Yep, nothing like secular government and hot cultural trends to force one to modify their spiritual truths.
I know an ELCA member who supports ordaining gays and holding gay weddings, in church. She said, “The church should conform to society.” I said, “No, society should change, to obey the Bible.” She was speechless, but she didn’t change her mind.
Well to be fair, one refuting sentence said to someone who thinks what she said, isn’t going to make her change her mind.
But I know the type of person you’re talking about. It tells me either she is either just filling a seat every time she happens to go to church, or the pastor there is not sending out the proper message, or at least not effectively.
Rationalizing and discernment (as mentioned in the article). Had these been the only two mental processes use by C Columbus he really would have sailed off the edge of the Earth, much like the Great Big Lutheran Church (GBLC) is about to do.
In such situations (and they are Legion) Lutherans trust Luther's explanation of the Third Article of the Creed that the Holy Spirit "produces faith when and where He pleases
It is a mystery that we will not understand until the last great Day of why there are what appear to be many times when productive faith just doesn't seem to please the Holy Spirit.
Amazing how many members view the ELCA church as nothing more than a networking opportunity, isn’t it? They don’t even give the supposed basis of their “faith” a second thought. It’s one of the reasons I left. Kind of reminds me of Congress and the Constitution.
I am not talking about the Holy Spirit convicting or producing faith.
I am talking about the part that we as people can do. NOT SPREADING FALSE DOCTRINE. NOT SPEAKING THE TRUTH. AVOIDING SPEAKING CERTAIN TRUTHS BECAUSE THEY ARE HOT BUTTON ITEMS. ENCOURAGING PEOPLE TO DO EVIL BY CALLING IT GOOD.
That’s what I am referring to.
It is up to us to keep the Gospel proclamation as pure as humanely possible.
And there are far too many wolves in sheeps clothing these days acting as the false shepherds condemned in Ezekiel 34.
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Obama Says A Baby Is A Punishment
Perhaps in your mind, perhaps in his own mind he is "solidly orthodox." But it certainly sounds as though his public life involves much active cooperation with Evil.
I said a lot more than that sentence, about that subject. We debated the topic for about a half hour.
It is very sad for me to see Bp. McCoid, the former Lutheran head of the Orthodox-Lutheran dialogue, forced into the position of having to do a public ecumenical “dance” for the heretics and schismatics who run the ELCA.
He really should have, upon his retirement, gone home to the Orthodox Church, joining his many Orthodox friends (including his close friend, the Greek Orthodox Bishop of Pittsburgh), and joining me, the unworthy layman. And that should have served as an example to other ELCA Lutherans of where HOME really is, and that it is time to go there.
There is still time for Don McCoid to go home to Orthodoxy, even after the coming debacle in August. May God direct his steps!
As you say, the New England Synod has the reputation for being far out ahead of other ELCA synods in “welcoming” “gays” by excusing their sins. But many ELCA pastors all over the country “bless” “gay” unions, and quite a few ELCA “bishops” wink at gaysbians, both “partnered” and promiscuous ones, being ordained and serving in congregations. So it’s all over but the shouting.
Please, iowamark, read my post #19.
We are all sinners, and are all often made to serve as covers for evil. “Mainline” heretical and schismatic leaders even use the presence of solidly orthodox members in their congregations to convince outsiders that they have “room” for the orthodox in their “big tent”.