Skip to comments.ELCA Church Council Approves All Full- Inclusion Revisons Without Opposing Votes [HURL ALERT]
Posted on 04/11/2010 6:00:55 PM PDT by lightman
ELCA Church Council Approves All Full- Inclusion Revisons Without Opposing Votes
This weekend, the ELCA Church Council meeting in Chicago moved the decision of the 2009 Churchwide Assembly into policy by replacing the language in church documents that excluded ministers in committed same-gender relationships with a policy that allows congregations and organizations to call a fully-qualified minister in a committed, same-gender relationship.
And, the Council also approved the way to reinstate ministers who have been removed from the roster because of the previous policy and to receive ELM pastors onto the roster of the ELCA. The Council also made the benefits of the ELCA pension plan available to rostered ministers and employees in committed, same-gender relationships.
There were no votes on the Council opposing the adoption of the revised documents, the pension plan inclusion, and the rite of reception for those Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries pastors who were ordained extra ordinem.
The ELCA has reached two milestones long sought by the movement for full inclusion. First, it has eliminated all prohibitions against qualified people in a same-gender relationship serving on the ELCAs roster of ministers.
Second, and more importantly, it created a pathway that frees the gifts of ELCA members to pursue ministry and mission with new vigor. Each of these steps is crucial for both our continued healing and our bold walk into a more just future.
These actions are important because they are a major milestone along the journey of full inclusion. We have a policy that recognizes the gifts of its members to spread the good news of God in Christ Jesus and that will allow the return of those who have been removed or alienated from rostered leadership solely on the basis of the old policy.
Bishop Hanson said that one of the results of the Councils actions would be new life in the church through new leaders. Bishop Hanson also thanked the Church Council for shepherding this task in most thoughtful way. He lifted the Conference of Bishops participation up as key to the process.
As we reflected on the great amount work and effort it took, we observed a paradox. On one hand, in order to follow Gods call for justice, the former policy forced us, as a community, to restrict how we could use our gifts.
Many of us spent considerable time and effort working to make the ELCA a more inclusive church. However, even within a relatively narrow focus on the policy concerning LGBT peoples role within the church, we have lifted up crucial questions for the church:
* What is the relationship of sexuality to salvation in Christ?
* What is the diversity in Gods wondrous creation?
* What is sinful?
* How do Lutherans read and interpret scripture?
* Who continues to face barriers to ministry and mission?
* How do we journey together faithfully, in spite of so many differences?
* What some people have dismissed as a narrow issue has both opened up and profoundly deepened our moral and theological life.
God indeed works in mysterious ways.
Although we are closer to full-participation than we ever thought that we would be, there is still further to go. The ELCA continues to be heavily involved in a myriad of issues as it reaches out in Christs name and mission.
We pray that our well-earned celebration as a community of reconciliation will renew us, will energize us to go yet more miles with even more joy and less fear, together with the whole people of God, as we follow Christ in love, healing, and abundant life.
Since the August decision to change policy, we have heard from many of you that it feels as though celebration is stuck in our throats. Verily, the time has come to clear our throats.
Currently, censures are being lifted from congregations, for which we can celebrate. Soon, we will start to see pastors received and reinstated across the whole church.
By the time we gather together in Minneapolis at Let Justice Roll Down Like Waters, we will be ready to shout out in holy joy! We hope that you can join us in July to add your voice to the chorus of people singing praise and thanksgiving to God.
Finally, there are acknowledgments to make. There are so many people who have worked to overturn the policy of the ELCA for so long.
Among them, we offer thanks to God for the past and present service of the Goodsoil Legislative Team, the Regional Coordinators, Board, and staff of LC/NA, countless volunteers in congregations and synods, and the working group of Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries.
Alleluia! Christ is risen! Thanks be to God!
On this "Thomas Sunday", when both Eastern and Western Christendom read the same passage from John 20, it is a horrible misuse of the Office of the Keys bestowed by our Risen Lord in that upper room gathering to presume that we can loose and forgive unrepentant sin against the order of creation.
* as of August 19, AD 2009, a liberal protestant SECT, not part of the holy, catholic and apostolic CHURCH.
Alleluia! Christ is Risen!
If you just make up the rules as you go along, anything you say it is (or isn't).
If the ELCA can be likened to the Titanic, the iceberg was struck in August, but the ship has just now broken into pieces.
To the lifeboats--and to the prayers!
scripture alone, the bane of christianity, allows this to occur...
thank goodness rome is steadfast in the word, sacred tradition and the CHURCH AS THE PILLAR OF TRUTH.
You've got to be kidding.
the homos and the loony left have been infiltrating the church for years as they knew it was the few places where us decent folk can meet and talk.
sad thing is that even on here an elderly lady said she has no problems with homo’s now because she got to know one at church and he told her that he just wants to be left alone and love who ever he wants and how he fears for his life bla bla crap.
The ELCA consults only its "higher powers" for that answer: GLAAD and ILGA.
Why don’t they just get it over with an make being gay a requirement for their ministers?
They already have. You are what you tolerate. Tolerating “partnered” gays is now mandated.
The “big tent” no longer includes people like me.
So what will be your next step?
The Seven Marks Society
I am not sure what is going on in your community. Can you give me a summary, along with what is the final goal.
Seven Marks is, thus far, the ONLY breakaway group to uphold the three-fold Office of Ministry of Bishop, Presbyter, and Deacon.
That is non-negotiable for me. If we cannot follow the Biblical and Apostolic pattern for the ordering of ministry there is no gurantee that the Biblical and Apostolic patterns will be followed in any other aspect of the church’s life, worship, and witness.
It was the “conscience clause” thrust on the ELCA by Word Alone (wanting to provide for Seminarians who didn’t want to be Ordained by a Bishop) that quickly led to the gaysbians clamoring for their own “conscience clause” which has brought us to this end.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has decided to redefine Marriage to “allow” for “committed, lifelong relationships” between gay men and lesbians. Such “partnered gays” may now be Ordained.
As of this weekend, it is now mandatory that ALL ELCA clergy preach and teach “this church’s” understaning of Marriage—not the Biblical, catholic understanding, mind you—only “this church’s”.
Error is claiming superiority over truth—and the pogrom is beginning.
That’s bad news. Thank you for your explanation.
How large and significant is this church? It is diminishing in membership as did the Episcopal Church? I can only hope it soon is down to a few old people and a queer here and there.
It is the fourth-largest Lutheran body, worldwide, as reported recently by the Lutheran World Federation; and the largest Lutheran body in the United States.
Overall statistics can be found by searching the web site www.elca.org
According to the 2007 Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches, the ELCA had about 5,100,000 members. That book states that the Episcopal Church had about 2,300,000 members.