“Three pastors from the Twin Cities who are lesbians in committed relationships were embraced Saturday as Evangelical Lutheran Church in America pastors. The Reverends Anita Hill, Ruth Frost and Phyllis Zillhart were inducted during a service presided over by St. Paul Bishop Peter Rogness at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church of the Redeemer,” the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports.
In 2009, the ELCA voted at its biannual Churchwide AssemblyÂ to allow individuals in committed same-gender relationships to serve in the clergy. Hundreds of congregations in the ELCA have explored the possibility of exiting the denominations in the wakeÂ of theÂ assembly.Â The ELCA has at more than 10,0o0 congregations.
The Eastern North Dakota Synod of the ELCA will take up the issue of sexuality once again today, as the synod assembly considers a resolution calling the denomination to reverse its August decision to allow individuals in same-gender relationships to serve in the clergy.
Today’s vote will be interesting to watch. Yesterday the assembly opted against a resolution that would have called on the denomination to overturn its acceptance of a controversial human sexuality social statement. Critics saw it as betraying scriptural teaching on sexuality and as softening traditional teaching against homosexuality.
On the other hand, at last year’s END Synod assembly, Eastern North Dakota voting members narrowly defeated a resolution, 187 to 167, that would have called on the national denomination to change the ministry policy prohibiting individuals in same gender relationships from serving in the clergy.
The Eastern North Dakota Synod of the nation’s largest Lutheran body voted against a resolution calling for the church to remove or revise a controversial social statement on human sexuality.
Voting members at this weekend’s annual END Synod Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America shot down the resolution by a margin of 249-179.
“Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust” was passed at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s Churchwide Assembly and was seen by critics as betraying scriptural teaching on sexuality, particularly homosexuality.
The synod assembly is considering a motion that would call on the ELCA denomination to remove or revise the human sexuality social statement the ELCA passed in August.
Critics have seen that document as betraying church teaching on sexuality.
There was a motion not to discuss the resolution. A two-thirds majority was required to stop discussion. Though 220 to 199 voted not to discuss, the resolution to discuss did not achieve the two-thirds supermajority. So discussion of the resolution is now underway.
Bishop Bill Rindy challenged people in his synod to go the “Extra Mile for Missions,” and Rev. Kathy Brown along with the seven others at her table were quick to respond.
Rindy issued the challenged today in his State of the Synod address at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America END Synod assembly.The challenge was for each person to give $6 per month, or $72 per year.
“And we decided we could do that today,” said Brown, a Grand Forks pastor.
The individuals at the table where Brown was sitting agreed to do so and all wrote checks for $72, committed to give another $72 each when they get back to their respective congregations and plan to encourage others in their churches to do the same.
She said “it’s fun to share the spirit of ministry with others.”
The Eastern North Dakota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America will consider a resolution this weekend that would call the ELCA to reverse last August’s decision to allow individuals in same-gender relationships to serve in the clergy.
Another resolution on the agenda of the assembly, which opened this morning, would call on the denomination to remove or revise a human sexuality social statement that critics see as betraying scriptural teaching on traditional marriage.
The assembly will also address budget issues and are currently listening to Bishop Bill Rindy’s state of the synod address.
Assembly members will get outside the walls of the Jamestown Civic Center and do missions projects in the community.
The Eastern North Dakota Synod of the Evanagelical Lutheran Church in America is meeting this weekend in Jamestown. The sexuality issues that have been at the center of recent ELCA headlines will be back in the news. I’ll be blogging and reporting live from the Assembly. Check out my blog and www.inforum.com to keep up with what’s happening.
In a letter to members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), the vice president of the denomination discussed issues that some have had with the decisions regarding sexuality that the Churchwide Assembly made in August.
Carlos Peña asked members to consider actions of the ELCA’s 2009 Churchwide Assembly "as a catalyst to further strengthen our church and our relationships with each other."
For more info, you can read the ELCA press release on the letter here.