Polite passion marks ELCA congregational meetings

I attended forums hosted by two ELCA congregations this weekend. The audiences, which leaned strongly toward middle-aged and older, were marked by what I would call polite passion.

The meetings come some weeks after the ELCA Churchwide Assembly approved a controversial social statement on human sexuality and moved to allow gays in committed relationships to serve as rostered ministers.

Northwestern Minnesota Bishop Larry Wohlrabe was at the meeting at Moorhead’s Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd where people spoke on both sides of the issue.

The congregational forum at Hawley Lutheran Church followed some vision-casting meetings in which the congregation’s relationship with the ELCA emerged as one of the main topics. And Pastor Jeff Teeples said the meeting was a starting point for looking into that issue.

The discussion in Hawley leaned more toward the side that feel the ELCA has erred in its recent decisions on sexuality.

Read more about the congregational meetings in Monday’s Forum.