Archived Boards > ELCA Churchwide Assembly 2007

2007 CWA & Sexuality - What do you tell your congregation?

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Keith Falk:
To what extent do you address the '07 CWA in your congregation tomorrow morning?  Or your next newsletter... or next week... or whatever else.  With the potential of folks waking up to headlines of "Lutherans OK pastors in gay couples"... what, exactly, do you say?  Thanks in advance for your help... I'm 13 months into my first call, so any advice on points like this is appreciated!

Mel Harris:

--- Quote from: Keith Falk on August 11, 2007, 03:19:31 PM ---To what extent do you address the '07 CWA in your congregation tomorrow morning?  Or your next newsletter... or next week... or whatever else.  With the potential of folks waking up to headlines of "Lutherans OK pastors in gay couples"... what, exactly, do you say?  Thanks in advance for your help... I'm 13 months into my first call, so any advice on points like this is appreciated!

--- End quote ---

I think that it is important for pastors of ELCA congregations to address some of the things that have happened at the churchwide assembly at their service(s) in the morning.  It seems to me to be the honest thing to do.  To not do so could very well be seen as trying to hide something; especially as headlines about assembly actions are already out there and will likely be seen by many members and by many of their friends and neighbors.  I also think the assembly should be reported on in congregational newsletters, at congregational council meetings, etc.  Just what I will say tomorrow morning, and how I will say it, is something that I have been thinking and praying about, particularly since the substitute resolution was approved this morning.  Thinking and praying about this will likely keep me awake much of tonight.


--- Quote from: lowly on August 11, 2007, 03:37:16 PM ---
--- Quote from: David Baer on August 11, 2007, 03:33:44 PM ---A quick news search yielded these headlines:

"Lutherans to allow pastors in gay relationships" -- Reuters


"Gay clergy OK'd by Evangelical Lutheran Church in America" -- Chicago Sun-Times


"Lutherans Urged to Accept Gay Clergy" -- Associated Press

--- End quote ---


How do you speak to these headlines tomorrow at church?  How would the ELCA pastors want the LCMS to present this?

Kevin Jud - LCMS Pastor

--- End quote ---

I would hope that pastors of LC-MS congregations will try to explain that the ELCA is a church body divided by and struggling with very controversial issues, and encourage the members to pray for their fellow Lutherans who are in the midst of these struggles.

Mel Harris 

revklak:
Well, don't forget, the gospel is Christ saying, "Have no fear, little flock.  For it is the Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom."  Whose kingdom, though.... it will be interesting to see all the takes on this one.

djbaer:
I'm working on a little half-sheet bulletin insert that would explain what happened and address concerns that might develop from news coverage.  Here's what I'm thinking.  If you can recommend changes to make this better, please share them.  If you want to borrow this, feel free to do so.


Explanation of ELCA Churchwide Assembly decision

Many of you have seen news coverage of the 2007 ELCA Churchwide Assembly which met Aug. 6-11 in Chicago.  News reports have implied that the ELCA has voted to accept clergy in committed homosexual relationships. There has been no change in official church policy.

The ELCA is in the process of developing a social statement on human sexuality.  A draft statement is being prepared and will be available for consideration in 2009. The Churchwide Assembly decided to honor the process of preparing a social statement on human sexuality by making no changes to church policy.

The Churchwide Assembly rejected two resolutions that would have changed church policy which requires clergy to abstain from sexual relations outside of a heterosexual marriage to allow pastors to be in “committed same-gender relationships.”

The Churchwide Assembly did approve a resolution asking that bishops refrain from disciplining those in “committed same-gender relationships” during this time of deliberation.

Official church policy has not changed.

Following is the text of the actual resolution approved by the Churchwide Assembly:

Resolved, that in an effort to continue as a church in moral deliberation without further strife and pain to its members the Churchwide Assembly prays, urges, and encourages synods, synodical bishops, and the presiding bishop to refrain from or demonstrate restraint in disciplining  those congregations and persons who call into the rostered ministry otherwise-qualified candidates who are in a mutual, chaste, and faithful committed same-gender relationship, and be it further

Resolved, that the Churchwide Assembly prays, urges, and encourages synods, synodical bishops, and the presiding bishop to refrain from or demonstrate restraint in disciplining those rostered leaders in a mutual, chaste, and faithful committed same-gender relationship who have been called and rostered in this church.



I made changes to correct resolution text from "and" to "or" as noted downstream.

Richard Johnson:
Yes, I think the way to approach it is to say that policy has not changed. Bishops have always had discretion; they've been urged by the CWA to exercise it more gently. The motion, technically, was little more than a "sense of the house" motion.

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