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  • ELCA Publisher's Board Terminates Defined Benefit Retirement Plan

    01/04/2010 7:44:16 PM PST · by lightman · 7 replies · 562+ views
    ELCA News Service ^ | 4 January AD 2010 | John Brooks
    ELCA Publisher's Board Terminates Defined Benefit Retirement Plan 10-001-JB CHICAGO (ELCA) -- Augsburg Fortress, the publishing ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), announced in a Dec. 31, 2009, letter to participants that it will terminate its defined benefit retirement plan effective March 5. The action, approved by the board of trustees of Augsburg Fortress Dec. 18, affects 500 plan participants. Not affected by the decision is the company's current retirement plan -- a defined contribution plan -- in which Augsburg Fortress' current employees can participate. That plan is a 403b plan "common for non-profit organizations," according to...
  • San Francisco Lutheran Congregation to Celebrate First 'Feast of Hope'

    12/24/2009 8:22:04 PM PST · by SmithL · 8 replies · 544+ views
    St. Francis Lutheran Church, San Francisco, will celebrate its first "Feast of Hope" worship Dec. 27, in celebration of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Churchwide Assembly decision directing changes in ministry policies. The Rev. Anita Hill, pastor of St. Paul-Reformation Church, Minneapolis, will serve as guest preacher. Since 1995 the congregation has held a "Feast of Expulsion" in late December, commemorating the date when the congregation was expelled from the ELCA, according to a news release from the congregation. On Dec. 31, 1995 St. Francis was removed from the ELCA's roster of congregations for calling ministers in same-gender...
  • Rising from the ashes [

    12/18/2009 12:51:25 PM PST · by rhema · 5 replies · 553+ views
    WORLD ^ | December 18, 2009 | Warren Cole Smith
    According to numbers released in December by the Episcopal Church, that denomination’s membership dropped by 3 percent in 2008. That doesn’t sound like much, but I am a bit of a demographics junkie, plus I researched and examined a lot of church membership and growth data in writing my book A Lover’s Quarrel With The Evangelical Church. I can tell you that I have never heard of a major denomination that has ever lost 3 percent of its membership in a single year. What’s even more interesting about these numbers is that the Episcopal Church now says it has only...
  • "Progressive" New Zealand Church Offends Christians Worldwide

    12/17/2009 10:08:35 AM PST · by Teófilo · 12 replies · 622+ views
    Folks, I stumbled upon this article published by the BBC. I invite you to read it. I won't republish it due to its prurient subject matter, and out of a sense of decorum and respect for Our Lord, His Mother, and his earthly father, Joseph. Read it carefully and then contact this "church" here and let them know what you think. This is what I told Glynn Cardy, the pastor:Dear Reverend Cardy: I've just read a news report published in the BBC website about your billboard distorting the meaning of Christ's virginal conception and mangling the marriage and family life...
  • Bishop's Article: Northeastern Ohio Synod

    12/15/2009 6:56:36 PM PST · by lightman · 10 replies · 476+ views
    Northeast Ohio Synod, ELCA ^ | 15 December AD 2009 | Bishop Elizabeth Eaton
    From NE Ohio December newsletter - Bishop's Article: On December third we held a special meeting of the synod council, deans, committee chairs and synod staff to take a look at the projected $250,000-$400,000 deficit for fiscal year 2010-11. Since a $400,000 deficit is a jaw-dropping number to me, I wanted advice on how to carry out the ministry that we do together as a synod. The short-term solution is to reduce hours and compensation for the entire staff. Developing a long-term solution is going to take a lot more work. I have had many people who are quick to...
  • Six area churches voted to leave ELCA

    12/07/2009 7:36:15 AM PST · by SmithL · 4 replies · 530+ views
    Shawano Leader (WI) ^ | 12/7/9 | Kent Tempus, Leader editor
    Six area churches in the Wolf River Region have voted in recent weeks to sever ties with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, Two other churches have votes coming up, said the Rev. John Justman, bishop of the East-Central Synod of the ELCA in Appleton. All eight of the churches are in either Waupaca or Oconto counties. Justman said he thinks several of the churches will eventually leave the ELCA. “It makes me sad — they’re all special, and they’ve been good partners,” he said. “And if they do leave, we will wish them well. There’ll be sad feelings, not...
  • Mary Glasspool, active homosexual, elected bishop of LA

    12/05/2009 2:56:43 PM PST · by qwertyz · 20 replies · 1,367+ views
    Stand Firm ^ | 12/05/09
    BREAKING: Diocese of Los Angeles Elects Non-Celibate Lesbian As Suffragan Bishop
  • Christmas 2009: A Message from ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson

    12/03/2009 1:31:47 PM PST · by lightman · 11 replies · 414+ views
    ELCA News Service ^ | 3 December 2009 | Mark S. Hanson
    Christmas 2009: A Message from ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson "But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us..." (Titus 3:4-5a). Into this shadowed world light shines and joyous voices sing. Glad tidings cheer the heart and liberate hope. "A child has been born for us, a son given to us" (Isaiah 9:6). God our Savior has appeared! God's saving goodness and loving kindness have arrived in Jesus, the Word made flesh. Though hidden in the humility of a manger, and later in the scandal of the cross, God's promise is being made...
  • Episcopal role OK’d in gays’ weddings

    11/29/2009 9:48:43 PM PST · by Fractal Trader · 30 replies · 1,532+ views
    Boston Globe ^ | 30 November 2009 | Michael Paulson
    Five years after same-sex marriage became legal in Massachusetts, the local Episcopal bishop yesterday gave permission for priests in Eastern Massachusetts to officiate at same-sex weddings. The decision by Bishop M. Thomas Shaw III was immediately welcomed by advocates of gay rights in the Episcopal Church, who have chafed at local rules that allowed priests to bless same-sex couples, but not sign the documents that would solemnize their marriages. The decision is likely to exacerbate tensions in the Episcopal Church and the global denomination to which it belongs, the Anglican Communion, which has faced significant division in the wake of...
  • Lutherans to Observe World AIDS Day Dec. 1

    11/23/2009 3:10:20 PM PST · by lightman · 9 replies · 610+ views
    ELCA News Service ^ | 23 November AD 2009 | Staff
    Lutherans to Observe World AIDS Day Dec. 1 WASHINGTON (ELCA) -- Every nine and a half minutes a person in the United States becomes infected with HIV, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta. Globally, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS estimates the number of people infected with the virus is 33 million. On the weekend before or after World AIDS Day, Dec. 1, members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) are invited to participate in a worship service, event or advocacy activity, and to remember and demonstrate support for people living with and...
  • LC/NA responds with sadness to the idea of a new Lutheran body... [BARF Alert]

    11/20/2009 7:23:27 AM PST · by lightman · 10 replies · 479+ views
    Lutherans Concerned North America ^ | 19 November AD 2009 | Emily Eastwood
    Lutherans Concerned / North America (LC/NA) responded with sadness to yesterday's announcement proposing a new church body to be formed by and for former ELCA members and congregations opposing the full inclusion of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities in the life of the church. In August 2009, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, by a 2/3 majority, passed a social statement on sexuality. The statement, "Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust" described as faithful four positions on beliefs within the denomination on the inclusion of people in same-gender relationships. The four positions ranged from the view that same-gender...
  • Objectors to ELCA’s approval of homosexual clergy begin plans for new Lutheran denomination

    11/20/2009 8:48:07 AM PST · by NYer · 16 replies · 708+ views
    cna ^ | November 20, 2009
    Minneapolis, Minn., Nov 20, 2009 / 03:54 am (CNA).- Following the decision of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) to allow sexually active homosexual clergy, an objecting Lutheran group has begun to form a new church body for those Lutherans who want to “remain faithful to the Orthodox Christianity of the last 2,000 years.”Lutheran CORE leaders on Wednesday said their working group would immediately begin drafting a constitution and taking other steps to form the new denomination. They hope to launch the denomination by next August.Rev. Paull Spring, a retired Pennsylvania ELCA bishop and chairman of Lutheran CORE said...
  • Open Letter to ELCA Members

    11/19/2009 6:47:31 PM PST · by lightman · 8 replies · 735+ views
    Evangelical Lutheran Church in America ^ | 19 November AD 2009 | Mark S. Hanson
    Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand. -- Romans 5:1-2a November 19, 2009 Sisters and brothers in Christ of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, I greet you with the words of the apostle Paul to the Romans: "Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand" (Romans 5:1-2a). Where does the Evangelical Lutheran Church in...
  • Gaston church breaks with national organization over gay clergy { ELCA Exodus }

    11/06/2009 1:02:10 PM PST · by SmithL · 4 replies · 476+ views
    Gaston Gazette (NC) ^ | 11/6/9 | Diane Turbyfill
    Same-sex relationships go against Scripture and morality, according to a letter mailed Monday by members of Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bessemer City. The congregation recently drafted the letter stating its disdain for a resolution passed by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. “We are writing to express our disappointment with the recent Churchwide Assembly’s approval of the resolution to allow gay and lesbian pastors,” the letter states. “We also disapprove of the resolution to find ways for congregations to recognize same-gender relationships.” The 2009 Churchwide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America voted in August to open the...
  • ELCA will not allow synods to maintain traditional standards

    11/03/2009 10:01:33 AM PST · by rhema · 20 replies · 1,312+ views
    Lutheran Core ^ | November 02, 2009 | David Baer
    ELCA synods will not have the option of upholding traditional Christian teaching on marriage and homosexuality in their standards for pastors and other rostered leaders according to a draft of candidacy rules released Oct. 10 by the ELCA churchwide organization. No synod or bishop may make decisions on ministry standards that differ from the new policies of the ELCA churchwide organization as defined by the 2009 Churchwide Assembly, the policy draft explains. The ELCA now allows pastors and other rostered leaders to be in committed same-sex relationships. “By the governing documents, all candidacy and call decisions are made on an...
  • ELCA leaders: No need for division

    10/31/2009 9:22:30 AM PDT · by SmithL · 8 replies · 683+ views
    Bismarck Tribune (ND) ^ | 10/31/9 | KAREN HERZOG
    (In August the churchwide assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America adopted proposals to make it possible for Lutherans in publicly accountable, lifelong, monogamous same-gender relationships to serve as ELCA associates in ministry, clergy, deaconesses and diaconal ministers.) In the wake of the ELCA assembly vote to allow gay and lesbian people to serve in the clergy or other leadership positions, the denomination's Presiding Bishop, the Rev. Mark Hanson, has told his bishops and laity to expect some congregations to leave. Whether ELCA congregations will defect in large numbers to more conservative Lutheran denominations remains to be seen. However,...
  • Sleepy Eye ELCA pastor explains denominational controversy

    10/27/2009 12:17:07 PM PDT · by SmithL · 13 replies · 873+ views
    Sleepy Eye Herald-Dispatch (MN) ^ | 10/27/9 | Ben Bradbury
    Sleepy Eye, Minn. - In addition to Halloween, this Saturday is also a special date of historical significance for many Christians. October 31 is celebrated by Lutherans as Reformation Day, for it is the date Martin Luther is believed to have nailed his 95 Theses, or grievances against the Roman Catholic Church, on the door of All SaintsÂ’ Church in Germany. This act marked the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, which ultimately led to Lutheranism itself. As many Lutherans look back to their Reformation heritage over the weekend, members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) are doing some...
  • { ELCA } Bishop urges calm while new policies are finalized

    10/27/2009 12:24:08 PM PDT · by SmithL · 9 replies · 776+ views
    Post-Bulletin (Rochester, MN ) ^ | 10/27/9 | Matt Russell
    There are plenty of questions being asked in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America following a decision in August to allow pastors to be involved in committed, same-gender relationships. In response to the decision, there will be a series of meetings at churches in the ELCA's southeastern Minnesota synod during the coming weeks, including a three-week series starting Sunday at Zumbro Lutheran Church in Rochester. Bishop Harold Usgaard recently recorded a videotaped message to prompt discussion about the fundamental questions raised by this issue. The questions include: Who is welcome in ELCA congregations and who is not? Usgaard also wrote...
  • Sweden Church Allows Gay Weddings [Gay, Bisexual and Transgenders Approve Lutheran Move]

    10/22/2009 10:51:52 PM PDT · by Steelfish · 31 replies · 1,495+ views
    BBC News ^ | October 22nd 2009
    Sweden Church Allows Gay Weddings Sweden's archbishop is broadly supportive of the move The Lutheran Church of Sweden - the country's largest - is to conduct same-sex marriages from next month. Around 70% of the church's 250-strong synod, or church board, voted to back the move, making it one of few global churches to allow gay marriage. Sweden's government introduced a new law in May allowing gay couples the same marriage rights as heterosexuals. Three-quarters of Swedes are members of the Lutheran church, though church attendance is low. The Lutheran Church says gay couples can now get married by any...
  • Vatican welcomes Anglicans into Catholic church

    10/20/2009 8:59:57 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 70 replies · 2,268+ views
    CNN ^ | 10/20/2009
    ROME, Italy (CNN) -- The Vatican said Tuesday it has worked out a way for groups of Anglicans who are dissatisfied with their faith to join the Catholic Church. The process will allow groups of Anglicans, including bishops and married priests, to join the Catholic Church some 450 years after King Henry VIII broke from Rome and created the Church of England. The number of Anglicans wishing to join the Catholic Church has increased in recent years as the Anglican church has welcomed the ordination of women and openly gay clergy and blessed homosexual partnerships, said Cardinal William Joseph Levada,...
  • Rowan Williams attacks Government over Iraq war

    10/14/2009 5:04:49 PM PDT · by americanophile · 15 replies · 1,263+ views
    The Telegraph ^ | 09 Oct 2009 | Neil Tweedie
    Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, mounted a direct attack on the Government over the invasion and occupation of Iraq when he used a national memorial service commemorating the servicemen killed in the conflict to accuse Tony Blair and his ministers of failing to “measure the price” of military action. Delivering his address in St Paul's Cathedral before a congregation including the Queen, Gordon Brown and Mr Blair himself, the spiritual head of the Church of England accused the former prime minister of indulging in rhetoric before the 2003 invasion, while leaving ordinary servicemen and women to pick up the...
  • [New Va.] Bishop Writes Diocese: "The legal struggle will continue...freedom under attack," he says

    10/13/2009 7:44:41 PM PDT · by rabscuttle385 · 17 replies · 1,195+ views
    Episcopal Diocese of Virginia / Virtue Online ^ | 2009-10-10 | Shannon S. Johnston
    Dear Diocesan Family, A panel of the Virginia Supreme Court will hear our petition for appeal on October 21 and, while it is unfortunate that these legal proceedings were necessary, I trust that this hearing will bring us one step closer to resolution. I am proud that the Diocese of Virginia and the Episcopal Church have chosen the path consistently to defend loyal Episcopalians, and to safeguard and to protect the Church's legacy and the Church from unwarranted governmental and legislative interference. It is with the same determination to stand by the people, traditions and legacy of our diocese that...
  • ELCA and ELCJHL Bishops Deepen Conversations among Christians and Muslims

    10/09/2009 7:42:01 PM PDT · by lightman · 13 replies · 998+ views
    ELCA News Service ^ | 9 October AD 2009 | staff
    ELCA NEWS SERVICE October 9, 2009 ELCA and ELCJHL Bishops Deepen Conversations among Christians and Muslims WASHINGTON (ELCA) -- The Rev. Mark S. Hanson, presiding bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and the Rev. Munib A. Younan, bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, were among 1,000 people who attended the fourth major Muslim-Christian dialogue conference here Oct. 7-8. "It has been both the challenge and the hope for this conference that common words would lead to common deeds," said Hanson. "We have heard stories of places where particular Muslims and Christians are deepening their understanding of...
  • ELCA Bishops Told of Possible Changes in Domestic, Global Relationships

    10/07/2009 11:05:59 AM PDT · by lightman · 10 replies · 1,014+ views
    ELCA News Service ^ | 7 October AD 2009 | John Brooks
    ELCA Bishops Told of Possible Changes in Domestic, Global Relationships 09-223-JB CHICAGO (ELCA) -- Since the Churchwide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), the church's global mission personnel have been reaching out to partner Lutheran churches worldwide. While some churches have expressed disagreement with a significant decision of the assembly, only one church to date has said it will change its relationship with the 4.6-million member ELCA. In August the churchwide assembly adopted proposals to change ELCA ministry policies to make it possible for Lutherans in publicly accountable, lifelong, monogamous same-gender relationships to serve as ELCA associates...
  • ELCA Bishops Discuss Drafts of Possible Ministry Policies Revisions

    10/06/2009 3:31:26 PM PDT · by lightman · 8 replies · 484+ views
    ELCA News Service ^ | 6 October AD 2009 | John Brooks
    ELCA Bishops Discuss Drafts of Possible Ministry Policies Revisions 09-222-JB CHICAGO (ELCA) -- The Conference of Bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) reviewed and discussed drafts of possible revisions to ELCA ministry policies during their Oct. 1-6 meeting here. As a result of their discussions, the bishops requested they have another opportunity to review updated revisions, likely to mean that final action on new policy language will not occur before April 2010. The Conference of Bishops is an advisory body of the church, consisting of the ELCA's 65 synod bishops, the presiding bishop and secretary. The 2009...
  • Gay clergy vote dividing Lutherans

    10/05/2009 9:20:43 PM PDT · by SmithL · 39 replies · 1,097+ views
    Rapid City Journal ^ | 10/5/9 | Mary Garrigan
    Some area Lutheran congregations are withholding financial support to the national Evangelical Lutheran Church in America while they explore their future in the ELCA. Christ the King Lutheran Church in Newcastle, Wyo., quit sending money to ELCA headquarters in Chicago in September. Earlier this year, the small eastern Wyoming congregation voted to financially support the reform group, Lutheran Coalition for Renewal, which plans to reconfigure Lutheranism in North America because of the ELCA's recent vote to approve of homosexual clergy in committed same-sex relationships. "In some ways we're a little bit ahead of the curve on this," said the Rev....
  • Bishop V. Gene Robinson: Where is the Christian perspective on health care?

    10/05/2009 11:36:54 AM PDT · by meandog · 150 replies · 2,461+ views
    Manchester Union Leader ^ | oct. 2, 2009 | Bishop Vickie Gene Robinson
    Health care is in the news — but you have to wonder where all the Christians are. This is one of the biggest issues facing our country and our people, yet no one seems to be bringing a Christian voice or tone to that debate. Have you noticed? During the presidential campaign, there was much talk about the 50 million or so who have no health care insurance, many of whom who forgo care altogether and then wind up in emergency rooms with more serious, more fully developed illnesses than would have been the case had they sought preventive care....
  • Kieschnick: Not implementing ELCA assembly actions 'would be a blessing'

    10/02/2009 11:01:01 PM PDT · by SmithL · 3 replies · 467+ views
    LCMS Reporter ^ | 10/2/9 | Dr. Gerald B. Kieschnick
    "It would be a blessing to our ongoing cooperative relationships" if decisions of the 2009 ELCA Churchwide Assembly allowing non-celibate homosexuals to serve as rostered leaders in that church body "were not implemented," Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod President Gerald B. Kieschnick wrote in an Oct. 1 letter to ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson and the ELCA Conference of Bishops. Kieschnick's letter came on the heels of a Sept. 28-29 meeting of the Committee on Lutheran Cooperation in Baltimore.  Most of the discussion at that meeting of LCMS and ELCA leaders was devoted to the future of shared ministries of the...
  • Minneapolis church votes to leave ELCA over gay clergy

    09/30/2009 6:15:38 PM PDT · by SmithL · 26 replies · 1,836+ views
    Minnesota Public Radio ^ | 9/30/9 | Cathy Mayfield & Jessica Mador, Minnesota Public Radio
    St. Paul, Minn. — Members of St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Minneapolis decided to leave the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America after a 96 percent vote by members on Sunday. The decision to leave came after the ELCA Church-wide Assembly vote on Aug. 21 in Minneapolis, that allowed gays and lesbians in committed relationships to serve as clergy. Before the ECLA's decision, gay clergy were allowed to be ministers only if they were celibate. Some church members object to the new policy, saying it goes against Scripture. The St. Paul's congregation's council set a policy in October 1990 that...
  • Lutheran Core Leaders, Members Map Organization's Future

    09/27/2009 7:27:21 PM PDT · by lightman · 20 replies · 884+ views
    ELCA News Service ^ | 27 September AD 2009 | John Brook
    Lutheran Core Leaders, Members Map Organization's Future 09-212-JB FISHERS, Ind. (ELCA) -- Leaders and members of the Lutheran Coalition for Renewal (CORE) began planning for the organization's future by adopting a constitution, including plans for a "free-standing synod" not directly related to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). They also suggested ways for constituents to communicate concerns. With the adoption of its constitution, CORE's name was formally changed from "Coalition for Reform" to "Coalition for Renewal." Biblical teaching, the creeds and the Lutheran Confessions are key values of CORE, according to its constitution. Some 1,200 Lutherans from more than...
  • A Message to ELCA Rostered Leaders from Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson

    09/23/2009 3:51:29 PM PDT · by lightman · 33 replies · 1,213+ views
    Evangelical Lutheran Church in America ^ | 23 September AD 2009 | Mark S. Hanson
    September 23, 2009 Dear Colleague in Ministry, "And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly." (Colossians 3:15-16a) I give thanks to God for your faithful leadership and your committed partnership in the gospel. I am mindful of the varied responses to churchwide assembly actions on human sexuality -- joy, anger, hope, confusion, ambivalence, perhaps even detachment. In this letter please join me in reflecting on our witness together as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, particularly...
  • Lutheran bishop warns about withholding donations

    09/23/2009 2:12:10 PM PDT · by george76 · 79 replies · 3,867+ views
    Associated Press ^ | September 23, 2009
    The presiding bishop of the nation's largest Lutheran denomination warned Wednesday that withholding financial support to protest a recent gay clergy vote would be "devastating" to the church. Bishop Mark Hanson laid out his concerns in a letter to leaders of the 4.7 million-member Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, which is based in Chicago. The ELCA churchwide assembly voted last month to allow gays and lesbians in committed relationships to serve as clergy, dropping a requirement that gay clergy remain celibate. The Rev. Mark Chavez, director of Lutheran CORE, said the gay clergy vote was the devastating event — "a...
  • 'Ears to hear'? [The ELCA doesn't have them]

    09/22/2009 2:16:34 PM PDT · by rhema · 11 replies · 1,225+ views
    WordAlone Network ^ | September 15, 2009 | Mark C. Chavez
    The 2009 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Churchwide Assembly made grievous decisions that will not help the denomination in the years ahead. Those decisions were the adoption of a social statement on sexuality and four resolutions that approve of sexual relationships outside of marriage and direct a change in the ELCA’s ministry standards to allow for practicing homosexuals to serve as ordained pastors and lay ministers. One biblical phrase kept coming to mind in the weeks leading up to the ELCA churchwide assembly and very often during the August assembly—“ears to hear.” The phrase occurs repeatedly in the Old and...
  • Joining the Unchurched

    09/21/2009 8:21:45 PM PDT · by lightman · 11 replies · 856+ views
    WordAlone Network ^ | 21 September AD 2009 | Rev. James Arne Nestingen, STS
    Joining the Unchurched James Arne Nestingen In its August assembly in Minneapolis, going by the definition set down in Augustana VII, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America effectively declared that it is no longer a church. Among those unchurched by this decision, a poignant question remains: What in the world do we do now? Consideration of this question requires among other things, some careful examination of definitions. Going back to the sources, some alternatives should emerge. The seventh article of the Augsburg Confession, which has united Lutherans since the l6th century, defines the church as the people of God gathered...
  • Wearing the Disguise of Faithfulness [ELCA]

    09/21/2009 6:08:43 PM PDT · by rhema · 32 replies · 1,322+ views
    Al Mohler.com ^ | August 24, 2009 | Dr. Albert Mohler
    Meeting barely a month after the Episcopal Church voted to end its ban on the consecration of openly homosexual bishops and the blessing of same-sex unions, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America [ELCA] has taken similar steps. Meeting last week in Minneapolis, the Lutherans voted first to adopt a comprehensive statement on human sexuality that at least allows for the recognition and blessing of same-sex relationships in the church. Beyond this, it establishes a platform for the eventual acceptance and affirmation of same-sex marriage ceremonies. Then, acting just as the week came to an end, the denomination voted to eliminate...
  • Two San Francisco Congregations Weigh Possible ELCA Reinstatement

    09/18/2009 1:16:30 PM PDT · by lightman · 16 replies · 686+ views
    E:LCA News Service ^ | 18 September AD 2009 | Frank Irons
    CHICAGO (ELCA) -- Two independent Lutheran congregations in San Francisco watched the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Churchwide Assembly in Minneapolis with special interest. St. Francis Lutheran Church and First United Lutheran Church were expelled from the ELCA in 1995 for violating church standards the assembly voted to change. The 2009 Churchwide Assembly approved a series of proposals to change the denomination's ministry policies, including a policy to allow Lutherans in publicly accountable, lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships to serve as ELCA associates in ministry, clergy, deaconesses and diaconal ministers. "What does this mean?" was a question asked at council...
  • How the ELCA Left the Great Tradition for Liberal Protestantism

    09/04/2009 6:14:42 PM PDT · by rhema · 29 replies · 1,909+ views
    Christianity Today ^ | 9/02/2009 | Robert Benne
    There is no authoritative biblical or theological guidance in the church. There are only many voices. During last week's biennial Church Wide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), the church affirmed major policy recommendations to allow for the blessing of same-sex unions (which practice will soon inflate to same-sex marriage) and the rostering of gay and lesbian pastors in partnered relationships. Earlier in the week it also passed by one vote—out of over 1,000 total votes cast—a Social Statement on Sexuality that admitted there was no consensus on the moral evaluation of homosexual conduct, and offered no...
  • So Your Pastor Is Gay?

    08/27/2009 7:31:14 AM PDT · by Walter Scott Hudson · 49 replies · 1,960+ views
    RightNation.US ^ | 08/27/2009 | Walter Scott Hudson
    Let us detour for a moment from the recent death of Senator Ted Kennedy and the continuing debate over health care reform to consider a bizarre little happening in the Twin Cities that occurred last week. The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America convened for an annual meeting at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Among the items on its agenda was a vote to decide whether to allow non-celibate homosexuals to be ordained as pastors. On Wednesday, the day of the vote, a freak storm unexpectedly swept through town without warning, bringing a tornado that damaged both the convention center and the...
  • ELCA Churchwide Organization Begins Revising Its Ministry Policies

    08/27/2009 8:43:55 PM PDT · by lightman · 13 replies · 1,015+ views
    ELCA News Service ^ | 27 August AD 2009 | Staff
    ELCA Churchwide Organization Begins Revising Its Ministry Policies 09-189-FI CHICAGO (ELCA) -- The 2009 Churchwide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) directed that ministry policies be revised to eliminate prohibitions against partnered gay and lesbian members serving as lay and ordained leaders of the church. When the policy documents have been revised, congregations will have the option of calling a person in a publicly accountable, lifelong, monogamous same-gender relationship, but they will not be required to do so, said the Rev. Stanley N. Olson, executive director, ELCA Vocation and Education. The assembly also directed that the policies...
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Succumbs to Heresy

    08/23/2009 2:23:37 PM PDT · by tcg · 38 replies · 2,293+ views
    Catholic Online ^ | 8/24/09 | Deacon Keith Fournier
    What happened is that representatives of the ECLA succumbed to heresy. Oh, I can hear it now, “how dare he say such a thing?” Because… it is true, and there is nothing compassionate about failing to help fellow Christians to reject error. Christians abandoning the clear teaching of the Sacred Scriptures and the unbroken Christian Tradition is not a new phenomenon in the 2000 year history of the Christian Church. What is new is the massive support that such a sad turn of events receives from this kind of media report. ... All one has to do is look to...
  • PASTORAL LETTER FROM PRESIDING BISHOP MARK HANSON

    08/23/2009 12:21:30 PM PDT · by lightman · 34 replies · 1,354+ views
    Evangelical Lutheran Church in America ^ | 22 August AD 2009 | The Rev. Mark S. Hanson
    PASTORAL LETTER FROM PRESIDING BISHOP MARK HANSON August 22, 2009 Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ: Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. -- Colossians 3:14-15 I write to you from the 2009 ELCA Churchwide Assembly in Minneapolis with official information about the actions of this assembly related to human sexuality. I am grateful for the manner in which this church has engaged in this conversation. The way this assembly has...
  • ELCA Assembly Friday afternoon 3: The day has ended

    08/21/2009 5:11:21 PM PDT · by lightman · 15 replies · 1,433+ views
    American Lutheran Publicity Bureau ^ | 21 August AD 2009 | Richard O. Johnson
    Pr. Cory Johnson, N Great Lakes moved amendment B-MP-7. This would add the following wording in the second resolved: RESOLVED, that this church, because of its commitment to respect the bound consciences of all, declare its intent to incorporate structured flexibility in decision-making into its policies and procedures so that synods, bishops, congregations, candidacy committees, and others involved in the candidacy process and in the process of extending calls will be free to act according to their convictions regarding the approving or disapproving in candidacy and the extending or not extending of a call to rostered service of a person...
  • Pastor Blames Tornado On Church's Vote On Gays

    08/21/2009 1:04:45 PM PDT · by SmithL · 15 replies · 1,538+ views
    Much of the damage may be gone but there's a lot of blame left behind after a tornado touchdown in downtown Minneapolis. The storm struck the cross at Central Lutheran Church. Crews spent Thursday removing it from the steeple. Some bloggers say what happened to the church is a reaction from God to what's going on across the street. John Piper the pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, wrote in a blog: "the tornado in Minneapolis was a gentle but firm warning to the ELCA and all of us: Turn from the approval of sin." Nearly 2,000 Lutherans from...
  • ELCA Assembly Thursday morning: apologies and offenses

    08/20/2009 11:11:44 AM PDT · by lightman · 6 replies · 1,017+ views
    American Lutheran Publicity Bureau ^ | 20 August AD 2009 | Richard O. Johnson
    The Assembly began with breakfast and “table talk,” small group discussion around tables, and then they convened in plenary As the public session began, two speakers expressed great concern that following the adoption of the social statement yesterday, there was loud applause and cheers. It was noted that our rules declare this kind of response to be out of order, and the PB did nothing to call the assembly to order. The cheers were hurtful to those whose “bound conscience” were sorely wounded. The PB agreed, and apologized for his mistake. Kirsten --- (didn’t get her name or synod) urged...
  • Lutherans move toward more open view on gays

    08/19/2009 5:13:02 PM PDT · by Cheap_Hessian · 33 replies · 1,104+ views
    Breitbart (AP) ^ | August 19, 2009 | Patrick Condon
    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Leaders of the country's largest Lutheran denomination have moved toward a more welcoming view of homosexuality. Delegates of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, meeting in Minneapolis, approved a "social statement on human sexuality" on Wednesday that acknowledges differing views on homosexuality among congregations. It says the ELCA is strong enough to accommodate such differences.
  • Press Conference - ELCA Churchwide Assembly

    08/17/2009 12:29:07 PM PDT · by lightman · 23 replies · 743+ views
    American Lutheran Publicity Bureau ^ | 17 August AD 2009 | Richard O. Johnson
    Press Conference The press conference began with an overview of the assembly from Bp. Hanson. We begin in a “spirit of confident hope.” The story has not yet been written, but it will be written this week. “We have an opportunity . . . to bear witness to a culture that often wants to polarize.” We are “not always of one mind, but united in faith.” That unity is exhibited first and foremost in worship. ELCA will consider AIDS and Malaria strategies. Each day we’ll study scripture, hear it read, sung, debated. We will consider continuing our ecumenical engagement by...
  • Americans planning to start a civil war in the Church of England

    08/07/2009 11:49:14 AM PDT · by Schnucki · 7 replies · 603+ views
    Telegraph Blogs (U.K.) ^ | August 7, 2009 | Jonathan Wynne-Jones
    Could the American Church be about to start planting churches in England? That’s the intriguing possibility raised by one of its most influential clerics, who has indicated that this might be the only option given that Rowan Williams has sided with the conservatives. Geoffrey Hoare, the Eton-educated vicar of All Saints Atlanta, one of the largest churches in TEC, has asked colleagues to consider how they could begin “seeking partners throughout the world” if effectively evicted from the Anglican Communion. Given the Archbishop’s comments last week, which were much bolder and firmer than many expected, it looks as though the...
  • Gay, lesbian priests nominated for bishop

    08/02/2009 11:09:52 PM PDT · by Publius804 · 6 replies · 796+ views
    www.washingtontimes.com ^ | August 3, 2009 | ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Gay, lesbian priests nominated for bishop LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Two Episcopal priests in same-gender relationships are among the nominees for assistant bishop of Los Angeles, officials said Sunday. The Rev. John L. Kirkley of San Francisco and the Rev. Mary Douglas Glasspool of Maryland will be among six candidates on the ballot when lay people and clergy vote in December, despite a long-standing request from world Anglican leaders for a moratorium on consecrating openly gay bishops. Los Angeles Bishop Jon Bruno said in a statement Sunday that he was "pleased by the wide diversity" of the nominees. Separately, the...
  • L.A. Episcopal leaders nominate 2 openly gay, lesbian priests as bishops

    08/02/2009 5:13:37 PM PDT · by Zakeet · 34 replies · 2,397+ views
    Los Angeles Times ^ | August 2, 2009 | Duke Helfand
    Episcopal Church leaders in Los Angeles today nominated an openly gay priest and an openly lesbian priest as bishops, becoming one of the first dioceses in the national church to test a controversial new policy that lifted a de facto ban on gays and lesbians in the ordained hierarchy. The nominations of the Rev. John L. Kirkley of San Francisco and the Rev. Canon Mary Douglas Glasspool of a Baltimore-based diocese are likely to further inflame theological conservatives in the U.S. church and their global partners in the Anglican Communion, who have repeatedly warned about the repercussions of such action....
  • Diocese of Minnesota Nominates Partnered Lesbian for Bishop [Episcopal Gay Church Alert]

    08/01/2009 3:01:49 PM PDT · by kaehurowing · 17 replies · 743+ views
    Stand Firm in Faith ^ | August 1, 2009 | Greg Griffith
    Barely two weeks after General Convention, the Diocese of Minnesota has nominated Bonnie Perry, a partnered lesbian, for bishop. Integrity is "delighted" at the news, saying that "the actions of our General Convention will put a sad chapter of discrimination against the LGBT baptized behind us."