Author Topic: 2007 CWA & Sexuality - What do you tell your congregation?  (Read 74033 times)

J. Thomas Shelley

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Re: 2007 CWA & Sexuality - What do you tell your congregation?
« Reply #75 on: August 11, 2007, 09:04:19 PM »
I guess I'm old fashioned.  I think words signify something real.  There is a qualitative difference between marriage and committed relationships.  Many heterosexuals live in committed relationships as well, but they are not married.
The difference between a committed relationship and marriage are essentially the benefits given to married couples by the states and federal government. There is also a third category available in some states -- that of registered domestic partners. In California that is available for same-sex couples or heterosexual couples if one is over age 65. It gives them nearly all the same state benefits that married couples receive, but none of the federal benefits.

So we can look forward to the development of a commitment ritual and recording of the same on Synod registers...."same-sex marriage" for clergy, but not for laity.

And then, looking even farther forward, establishment of the same for laity and clergy alike...all in the name of  "justice".
Greek Orthodox Deacon -Ecumenical Patriarchate
Ordained to the Holy Diaconate Mary of Egypt Sunday A.D. 2022

Baptized, Confirmed, and Ordained United Methodist.
Served as a Lutheran Pastor October 31, 1989 - October 31, 2014.
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Maryland Brian

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Re: 2007 CWA & Sexuality - What do you tell your congregation?
« Reply #76 on: August 11, 2007, 09:10:39 PM »

Thank you for this. I whole heartedly agree. Reading many of the LCMS posts makes it clear why I don't have a home in the current Lutheran landscape as I watch the ELCA go adrift, I know I could never be at home in the LCMS.

Bill Crabtree
ELCA Pastor


Good to see your words Bill.  I remember well our talks and time we spent together in California.  Perhaps we should connect again.

Though I’ve known for some time it was coming, sitting here this evening it’s still hard for me to believe that a church built on the Lutheran Confessions could so quickly slew off into the weeds of this chaos.  I am a stranger in a strange land.

Brian Hughes
ELCA
StJohnMD.Org

Charles_Austin

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Re: 2007 CWA & Sexuality - What do you tell your congregation?
« Reply #77 on: August 11, 2007, 09:29:17 PM »
Tom Shelley writes:
So we can look forward to the development of a commitment ritual and recording of the same on Synod registers...."same-sex marriage" for clergy, but not for laity.

I comment:
Not necessarily. The issue of same sex ceremonies was referred to the task force developing the social statement on sexuality. However, it is well known that many ELCA pastors officiate at same sex ceremonies. Actually, one problem is that those advocating change want to say that homosexuals should be in committed relationships that are faithful and chaste; but there is no rite by which that relationship can be solemnized and recognized.

Dan Fienen

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Re: 2007 CWA & Sexuality - What do you tell your congregation?
« Reply #78 on: August 11, 2007, 09:38:16 PM »
What does this mean?  As one on the outside (Mo Synod) it rather seems to me that it is too early to tell.

The motion urging "restraint" in discipline until the process for discernment has run its course (task force report and CWA 2009) was a victory of sorts for Good Soil and LC/NA.  But on the other hand, the defeat of motions that would have made official changes in V & E now (or directed that changes be made) were defeated which was a victory of sorts for Lutheran CORE and Solid Rock et al.  You win some, you lose some (you have to decide what goes in which column).

I've read numerous posts that affirm that this changes everything, with some good reasoning attached.  I've also read numerous posts that affirm that this changes nothing, with some good reasoning attached.  It does affirm the discretion that Bishops' already had and apparently at least some were using.  It shows an openness on the part of the Assembly to at least consider the possibility of full acceptance of homosexual clergy under terms similar to that of heterosexual.  But note, they specifically did not call for that to be the policy of the ELCA, that was refered to 2009.  The question is not settled yet for the ELCA which should give all sides reason to pause and consider carefully their next moves.  Proclaiming complete victory could be as premature and foolish as accepting complete defeat.

Emotions are running high at this time, as well they should, this is an important issue.  But before proclaiming what these actions really mean it would probably be well to wait and see what the actual results will be.  Let none gloat nor despair over much - the result of this Assembly are not clear cut for either side.

What this should probably do (well, what I think people should do, but as I said I have no dog in this fight so what do I know?) is encourage people from all sides of this issue to start working toward 2009.  Participate fully in the Task Force deliberations.  As I understand it, it is the Task Forces' mandate to listen to the church as they prepare their report.  So talk to them!  Search and explore the Scriptures for what God is telling His people at this time in history.  It probably is also necessary to explore how we are to read Scripture, what the proper hermeneutical tools are to understand and apply Scripture.  May this be decided among you not on the basis of emotional appeals, nor clinging to tradition but clear eyed engagement in trying to discern from the sources God has given us what His will is.  (Of course, I realize that part of the argument is over just what those sources are.  You do not have an easy task before you if you do it right.)

Pray.  And may all your brothers and sisters across Christendom hold you up in prayer.  Pray that all ears may be open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and that He would guide everyone into the truth (especially me).

I pray for you.  The stakes are very high for the next two years no matter where you sit in this discussion.  I pray for you that this may be decided not on the basis of enemies to be defeated or positions vindicated, nor as political or beaurocratic battles to be won, but as God's people to be served and His Kingdom advanced.  (And yes, I know that all sides are sure at this point that their victory will do just that.  That is part of the problem, no one - at least I hope and pray that no one - is engaging in this process with the idea of destroying God's people.)  

I do not envy you the jouney, even though my denomination has its own troubles as have been well discussed in these fora.  May God bless you on your way.

Dan
Pr. Daniel Fienen
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Charles_Austin

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Re: 2007 CWA & Sexuality - What do you tell your congregation?
« Reply #79 on: August 11, 2007, 09:44:51 PM »
Presiding Bishop Hanson was asked at the final news conference what he would say to those who disagreed with the action taken today. He said "We have not made changes in our policies." Then he said (to those who disagreed) "Now, more then ever your voice is being invited into this church. The next two years will be a lively time and no time to sit and be an observer."

Dan Fienen

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Re: 2007 CWA & Sexuality - What do you tell your congregation?
« Reply #80 on: August 11, 2007, 09:52:55 PM »
Another thought, if I may.  From personal experience with the Missouri Synod that streches over 30 years back to the days of the St. Louis walk out (I was a student at the Senior College at the time) it often seems expedient and easier to operate by means of manipulating and carefully applying rules and bylaws.  A careful adherance to the rules by which we have agreed to live is important.  But winning on a technicality has a way of coming back to haunt.  It seems to me that it would be better on all sides to at least try to come to a theological understanding - even if it is only an understanding of where your theologies clash and disagree.  Then at least if it ends up a political fight, you at least all know not only why you are fighting but why the other is also.  Who knows, it could even suggest if not solutions at least a way to arrive at a fair ending of the battle.  Not every conflict has to end in scorched earth.

Dan
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David Charlton

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Re: 2007 CWA & Sexuality - What do you tell your congregation?
« Reply #81 on: August 11, 2007, 09:55:31 PM »
The congregation I currently serve took part in the previous study leading up to the 2005 CWA.  After taking part faithfully in the study, they, along with the majority of people in the ELCA recommended no changes to V & E.  Now, two years later, that well considered decision was disregarded by a majority of the CWA.  I anticipate their response to Bishop Hanson being this:  "You invited our participation last time too, only to ingore it.  So we don't think you really mean it."
« Last Edit: August 11, 2007, 09:58:30 PM by David Charlton »

Kurt Strause

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Re: 2007 CWA & Sexuality - What do you tell your congregation?
« Reply #82 on: August 11, 2007, 09:55:37 PM »
Presiding Bishop Hanson...  ....said (to those who disagreed) "Now, more then ever your voice is being invited into this church. The next two years will be a lively time and no time to sit and be an observer."

Invited *into* this church? Where are they now?

I sincerely hope this was merely a slip.

Kurt Strause
ELCA pastor, Lancaster, PA

Dan Fienen

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Re: 2007 CWA & Sexuality - What do you tell your congregation?
« Reply #83 on: August 11, 2007, 09:59:27 PM »
Charles,

Pardon me if I sound snide, I really don't mean to be, but does the make-up of the groups responsible for listening to the various voices in the church, especially the Task Force reflect an openness to those people and groups that could have reason to disagree with the CWA actions?  Does the Task Force have someone associated with Lutheran CORE for example?

Dan
Pr. Daniel Fienen
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prfrontz

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Re: 2007 CWA & Sexuality - What do you tell your congregation?
« Reply #84 on: August 11, 2007, 10:07:01 PM »
Charles,

Pardon me if I sound snide, I really don't mean to be, but does the make-up of the groups responsible for listening to the various voices in the church, especially the Task Force reflect an openness to those people and groups that could have reason to disagree with the CWA actions?  Does the Task Force have someone associated with Lutheran CORE for example?

Dan
Dan,

Actually, the Task Force prior to 2005 was not open to people who were in agreement to the current (former?) policy, Lou Hesse being the only exception.  After '05, Sarah Hinlicky Wilson (upcoming editor of Lutheran Forum) and Bp. Carol Hendrix, outgoing bishop of the Lower Susquehanna Synod, were invited on, for the appearance of or for the purpose of balance.

Gladfelteri

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Re: 2007 CWA & Sexuality - What do you tell your congregation?
« Reply #85 on: August 11, 2007, 10:25:09 PM »
Reuters News Agency released this news item earlier this afternoon:  "Lutherans to allow pastors in gay relationships"  Link to the article on Reuters' website:  http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUSN1131383720070811

Blessings,
Irl

Maryland Brian

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Gladfelteri

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Re: 2007 CWA & Sexuality - What do you tell your congregation?
« Reply #87 on: August 11, 2007, 10:29:40 PM »

Thank you for this. I whole heartedly agree. Reading many of the LCMS posts makes it clear why I don't have a home in the current Lutheran landscape as I watch the ELCA go adrift, I know I could never be at home in the LCMS.

Bill Crabtree
ELCA Pastor
  There are Synods / Churches large and small, where gay clergy and the blessing of same-sex unions and the underlying hermeneutic will never be accepted; and there are the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches as well.  You do have options.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2007, 10:32:21 PM by Irl Gladfelter »

Keith Falk

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Re: 2007 CWA & Sexuality - What do you tell your congregation?
« Reply #88 on: August 11, 2007, 10:33:01 PM »

  Here's the latest UPI link:

http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/Top_News/2007/08/11/lutherans_vote_to_allow_gay_clergy/8680/



A quote from the listed source:  "It’s a huge victory,” said Jeremy Posadas, a delegate from Decatur, Ga. “The gospel of inclusion has won and we’re going to keep winning.”  I always thought I was supposed to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ, Son of God, crucified, died and buried... who rose from the dead, defeating sin, death, and the devil.  You know, that Gospel... but I guess I was supposed to proclaim the gospel of inclusion... silly me!
Rev. Keith Falk, STS

Christopher Miller

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Re: 2007 CWA & Sexuality - What do you tell your congregation?
« Reply #89 on: August 11, 2007, 10:35:37 PM »
Ok, back on the topic of the original thread.  We have decided to hold a forum on Wednesday (not tomorrow, too quick) for anyone interested in discussing the issue.  No decisions are going to be made, and it will also give us a couple of days to cool off before discussing it.  We are going to announce it in church tomorrow (each of us, because we're two-point), and anyone interested can come.  It's going to be the assembly-in-general, not just sex, but that's what it will probably turn into.

It's a true middle of the road way.  Something Churchwide has no idea about.