The highest legislative authority of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) will consider lifting a ban on gay and lesbian clergy who are in lifelong, monogamous relationships as it gathers this week for its biennial gathering.
More than 1,000 elected delegates will debate church policy at the 2009 ELCA Churchwide Assembly in Minneapolis, which commences Monday and concludes the following Sunday.
Among the proposals being considered is a statement on human sexuality and proposals that conservatives say would allow non-celibate homosexuals to be ordained. more >>
The presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is calling on his denomination’s members to ask President Obama to help secure lasting peace for the people of Sudan.
In a recent letter, Bishop Mark S. Hanson called on the church’s 4.6 million members to add their name to an interfaith letter that urges the United States to be diplomatically active in achieving peace in war-torn Sudan.
“The Gospel inspires us with courage in the face of conflict and calls us to be active in the quest for peace among all nations,” Hanson wrote. “Together, we must stand for peace in Sudan in both word and deed, faithful to God’s calling to be peacemakers and ever hopeful in the power of the Spirit.” more >>
Baptized members of the nation’s largest Lutheran denomination on average gave more in 2008 than in 2007, continuing an upward trend that began in 2000.
"Despite the challenging economic times that began in 2008, ELCA members continue to be faithful stewards of the resources that God has provided," commented David D. Swartling, secretary for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).
Notably, however, the number of baptized members in ELCA dropped by 76,069 to 4,633,887 and the number of ELCA congregations dropped by 52 to 10,396 congregations in 2008. more >>
A group of Hispanic pastors from Florida released an open letter to members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America pleading against adopting changes to the denomination's positions on homosexuality.
"When the Assembly votes on these matters, your vote will not simply decide on possible changes to ELCA policies but will also be a vote on whether or not Holy Scripture will be the final authority for our faith and life in the ELCA," the pastors state in the letter, released Friday.
Already several groups of Lutheran scholars and church leaders have released similar open letters urging votes for and against changes. Their pleas come ahead of the denomination's Churchwide Assembly, which convenes in Minneapolis starting Aug. 17. more >>
The head of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) said this week that he has “deep confidence” that the unity within the nation’s largest Lutheran denomination will not be lost amid concerns that a “church-dividing decision” might result from next month’s churchwide assembly.
Furthermore, unity will not be won or lost at the 2009 ELCA Churchwide Assembly in a plenary session vote, clarified ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson ahead of the Aug. 17-23 gathering in Minneapolis.
“Sometimes, when I hear concerns about division in the ELCA, I worry that they express a fear that unity depends on the actions of church leaders or assemblies,” Hanson expressed in a statement. “Our unity, however, comes to us because God gives it freely and undeservedly in Jesus Christ. more >>
The head of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is asking for members of the nation’s largest Lutheran body to devote more time to prayer and the study of Scripture over the 50 days leading up to its 2009 assembly.
The ELCA Churchwide Assembly, which convenes every two years, is the denomination’s highest legislative authority and is scheduled to meet in Minneapolis starting Aug. 17.
This year’s gathering will be particularly significant as the denomination is expected to adopt its first statement on human sexuality based on proposals that conservative Lutherans have rejected as ones that would liberalize the denomination's stance on homosexuality. more >>