The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America on Friday approved a resolution to allow gays and lesbians in same-sex relationships to be ordained.
ELCA's highest legislative body voted 559-451 during the biennial Churchwide Assembly in Minneapolis.
It was a moment of celebration for supporters of the resolution, which overturned the denomination's ban on noncelibate gay and lesbian clergy. But opponents warn the action will likely lead to an exodus of churches. more >>
The chief legislative authority of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) adopted a full communion agreement with the United Methodist Church (UMC) on Thursday by a 958-51 vote.
Under the agreement, the two church bodies express a common confession of Christian faith; mutual recognition of Baptism and sharing Holy Communion; mutual recognition of ordained ministers for service in either church; and a common commitment to evangelism, witness and service.
The two denominations also agree to freely join worship and exchange members; engage in common decision-making on critical matters; and lift criticisms that may exist between the churches. more >>
The chief legislative authority of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) adopted a new social statement on human sexuality Wednesday with exactly the number of votes needed to pass it.
“Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust,” the denomination’s tenth social statement, was passed on a 676-338 vote that met the two-thirds vote requirement on the dot.
The statement – which emphasizes two principles, trust and bound conscience – addresses a spectrum of topics relevant to human sexuality from a Lutheran perspective, including social structures, cohabitation, sexual exploitation, abuse, and homosexuality, the latter of which has drawn the most attention and controversy. more >>
Debate on a proposed social statement on human sexuality began Tuesday at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Churchwide Assembly.
Opponents of the statement argued that adopting it would constitute abandonment of Scripture. more >>
Voting members at this week’s gathering of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s chief legislative authority turned down a motion to require a two-thirds majority to approve changes to the denomination’s policies on the hiring of church leaders.
The 57-43 percent vote against the proposal came in the evening of the first day of the 2009 ELCA Church Assembly in Minneapolis, where more than 2,300 Lutherans, including 1,045 voting members, have convened.
Though supporters of the supermajority said a higher hurdle was needed to signal wide support for a proposal they view as a major change in the church's approach to homosexuality, Monday’s vote effectively leaves in place a recommendation that a simple majority vote be sufficient for the proposed policy changes. more >>
More than 2,300 Lutherans opened up the biennial gathering of their denomination’s chief legislative authority on Monday, well aware that great attention has been placed on proposals to change church policy on gay and lesbian clergy.
But the Rev. Mark S. Hanson, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, said Monday that he approached the assembly “in a spirit of confident hope” that the church could learn to live with its differences.
“Those talking about a dissension leading to division have not been listening to the church over the past four years,” he said as the 2009 ELCA Churchwide Assembly opened its first day in Minneapolis. “The intensity of the rhetoric has been diminished and replaced by a very thoughtful engagement.” more >>