Saturday, August 15, 2009

Lutherans (ELCA) to consider ordination of partnered gays

August 11, 2009 Birmingham Gay Community Examiner - by Joe Openshaw

Next week (August 17-23) in Minneapolis the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America will hold their biennial General Assembly. On the agenda: whether gay and lesbian clergy who are in committed relationships can hold their positions.

They already ordain gay men and lesbians who are celibate, and some individual churches allow those in relationships to continue without punishment (though in the past such clergy have been removed). Read complete article on Birmingham Gay Community Examiner

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Lutherans prepare for big decision on gay clergy

By PATRICK CONDON (AP Associated Press)

FRIDLEY, Minn. — The Rev. Dave Glesne stood before the members of Redeemer Lutheran Church a few weeks ago and told them there might be some painful decisions in the near future.

Glesne is against letting people in same-sex relationships serve as pastors of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, and he says his congregation is behind him. They're worried this suburban Minneapolis church could find itself on the losing side as leaders of the nation's largest Lutheran denomination vote on whether to take that step at their biennial national convention, which starts Monday in Minneapolis.

"Of course the question was asked: What will we do, Pastor Dave, if this goes?" Glesne said. "The conversation we had left me no doubt that we will definitely have a discussion about leaving the ELCA."

Avoiding such divisions was a main goal of an ELCA task force that prepared recommendations for debate by the 1,045 voting members at the convention. One is a revision of ministry standards that would let individual congregations employ gay and lesbian people in committed relationships as clergy. The other is a broader statement on human sexuality, a 34-page document that tries to craft a theological framework for differing views on homosexuality — but which critics say would simply liberalize the ELCA's attitudes.

At 4.7 million members and about 10,000 congregations in the United States, the ELCA would be one of the largest U.S. Christian denominations yet to take a more gay-friendly stance on clergy. Read complete article on AP Associated Press

Gay Clergy: Lutherans Join the Battle on Queering the Church Read more

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