Tuesday afternoon plenary

Started by Richard Johnson, August 06, 2019, 06:01:19 PM

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Richard Johnson

Well, I seem to have managed to lose my live blogging this afternoon, but let me see if I can reconstruct it.  There wasn't that much to say. There were greetings from the federal chaplains. It was stated by the presentor (a military chaplain) that ELCA chaplains are especially valued because of their willing to work with persons of other denominations and religions, and their willingness to work with LGBTQI+ people with no caveats or qualifications. All the federal chaplains present came to the front to a long and enthusiastic standing ovation. Then there was a greeting and video from the mission investment fund, followed by the report of the President of the Conference of Bishops William Gafkjen. He noted that the Conference of bishops is now more diverse than it ever has been; 26 of the bishops are new since the last CWA. He also hinted that bishops are feeling that the Spirit is leading them to a more proactive role in ELCA leadership (after commenting about how restricted the original ELCA constitution was).

The Memorials committee reported. There were 88 memorials from synods, which were then grouped into three dozen or so topic categories, and the committee makes a recommendation on each of them--ranging from "thanks but no thanks" to referral to somebody for action. Assembly members had the opportunity to request any of these to be removed from the en bloc motion to pass them all, and only seven were removed. So all the rest were approved with no discussion. Many of these are not especially interesting, but, for example, they approved with no discussion a recommendation to ask the Office of the Bishop to "provide materials to facilitate education among ELCA members so as to build awareness of the broad varieties of gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation among God's people, as well as to provide pastoral care insights regarding concerns and issues of the transgender experience and gender nonconformity, and to request that the Church Council consider authorizing development of a social  message on gender identity and gender expression." Swell, just swell.

The report of the Endowment Fund was given; Bp. Eaton noted that this would be Christina Jackson-Skelton's last CWA, after serving the ELCA for 30 years in several different capacities.

Bp. Patricia Lull introduced the Inter-religious policy document--LONG introduction, with various task force members taking part.

Greetings from president of the Church of the Lutheran Confession of Brazil. She speaks a few paragraphs in Portuguese, followed by translation; could have cut the time in half by having the translation on the screen while she was talking, but oh well, we're back on schedule.

Secretary Boerger has a penchant for odd socks, so at the end of the session he revealed today's socks which feature the image of the presiding bishop. He said he didn't wear them yesterday because he didn't want to appear to be politicking.

Session closed with singing of "Lord I lift your name on high." Now off to hearings.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

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