Religious leaders are lending their voice to a newly launched video project, joining celebrities and political figures who assure young bullied gays and lesbians that "it gets better."
In a video message added Thursday, the presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America told victims of bullying that God loves them.
"I've listened with pain and shock to reports of young people taking their lives because they've been bullied and tormented for being different, for being gay or perceived to be gay, for being the people God created them to be," the Rev. Mark S. Hanson said. more >>
Three lesbian ministers were received Saturday on to the official clergy roster of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Anita Hill, Ruth Frost and Phyllis Zillhart, who were ordained at least a decade earlier, beamed wide smiles after the "rite of reception" was complete.
The three are not newcomers to the church, noted the Rev. Peter Rogness, bishop of the St. Paul synod. They are long-distance runners who have been part of the ministry for years. Only now, the ELCA is opening the door more widely and "drawing the circles of welcome more broadly," he said before hundreds of people at Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in St. Paul, Minn. more >>
WASHINGTON – Christian and Jewish leaders are standing with the Islamic community to condemn anti-Muslim bigotry.
At an "emergency interfaith summit" on Tuesday, a broad group of prominent religious leaders expressed deep distress and sadness against recent incidents of violence and the desecration of Islamic houses of worship.
"In recent weeks, we have become alarmed by the anti-Muslim frenzy that has been generated over the plans to build an Islamic community center and mosque at the Park 51 site near Ground Zero in New York City," the group told the media. "Our concern here is not to debate the Park 51 project anew, but rather to respond to the atmosphere of fear and contempt for fellow Americans of the Muslim faith that the controversy has generated." more >>
More than 1,100 Lutherans, many of whom split from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, established a new denomination on Friday.
The North American Lutheran Church was born after an overwhelming vote during a meeting in Grove City, Ohio.
"Our Lord’s reconfiguring of the Lutheran landscape not only in North America, but worldwide, is breathtaking and exciting," said the Rev. Mark Chavez of Landisville, Pa. "It has been wonderful to witness the joy and hopeful excitement of so many Lutherans to move forward and do the main thing – proclaim Jesus Christ and His Gospel to make disciples." more >>
After being "outed" by a GLBT magazine and being placed on leave, the Rev. Tom Brock returned to Hope Lutheran Church on Sunday.
He didn't preach to the Minneapolis congregation of some 450 people. But he admitted to his flock for the first time that he struggles with same-sex attraction.
It's a struggle he's had since college but the Lutheran pastor has never given in to the temptation. He has been attending a Catholic accountability group called Courage and has always believed and continues to believe that homosexual behavior is a sin. more >>
Delegates from the conservative Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod agreed on Thursday to continue its cooperative relationship with the Evangelical Lutheran Church despite the latter body's latest decisions on sexuality.
While the LCMS believes the ELCA's action last year to allow partnered homosexuals on the clergy roster is contrary to Scripture, the synod approved a resolution, affirming that "cooperation in externals with other Lutheran churches, including the ELCA, continue with theological integrity."
At the same time, LCMS delegates called on the Commission on Theology and Church Relations to "develop more in-depth theological criteria for assessing cooperative endeavors, determining what would necessitate termination of such cooperative efforts." more >>