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Questions for 2009

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jrubyaz:

I have some questions regarding 2009. The strategy from the revisionists this time seemed to be to get the simple majority on the memorial. My understanding is that any policy change will require 2/3 vote. Is this true? Also my understanding is that V and E is not in the constitution and by-laws, so what actions would be taken to change them, and does CWA have the ultimate power or does it rest with the council or COB?

Thanks,

Jeff Ruby 

Brian Stoffregen:

--- Quote from: jrubyaz on August 13, 2007, 10:23:25 AM ---I have some questions regarding 2009. The strategy from the revisionists this time seemed to be to get the simple majority on the memorial. My understanding is that any policy change will require 2/3 vote. Is this true? Also my understanding is that V and E is not in the constitution and by-laws, so what actions would be taken to change them, and does CWA have the ultimate power or does it rest with the council or COB?
--- End quote ---
I'm not sure about the 2/3 vote. This year, by asking other groups to do something, the resolutions only required simple majority. I believe that the CWA as the ultimate authority in the ELCA, has the power to change V&E and D&G. If there was a resolution that directly amended either document, I'm not sure what would be required to approve it.

Richard Johnson:
My understanding is that approval of a Social Statement takes a 2/3 vote. The talk all along has been that we should not make changes in our policies unless they are consistent with our Social Statements. Thus one argument against changing the standards in V&E is that those standards are, in fact, consistent with our policies (meaning the harmonious policies of the ALC and LCA which we have inherited as the ELCA).

So there are all kinds of scenarios. Maybe the statement on sexuality will say there is no moral or ethical question about same sex relationships that are committed and faithful. Maybe it won't. My guess (and this may send many of us running screaming to somewhere) is that either way, it may be tough to get a two-thirds vote on a social statement.

If we adopt a social statement, then the idea is that this statement becomes the basis for developing policy. Thus if such a statement gives a moral green light to homosexual unions, standards on ministry would be changed to incorporate that change. If the statement continues to see moral and Biblical problems with homosexual unions, it seems unlikely that standards could coherently be changed.

But then the churchwide assembly has taken a big step away from coherence by saying, in effect, "standards are fine, but bishops are free to ignore them."

Brian Stoffregen:

--- Quote from: Richard Johnson on August 13, 2007, 01:25:52 PM ---My understanding is that approval of a Social Statement takes a 2/3 vote. The talk all along has been that we should not make changes in our policies unless they are consistent with our Social Statements. Thus one argument against changing the standards in V&E is that those standards are, in fact, consistent with our policies (meaning the harmonious policies of the ALC and LCA which we have inherited as the ELCA).
--- End quote ---
Yes, 2/3 for Social Statements; 2/3 for amendments to the Constitution and Bylaws; but if there were a motion at CWA to remove "Ordained ministers who are homosexual in their self-understanding are expected to abstain from homosexual sexual relationships" from V&E and "Practicing homosexual persons are precluded from the ordained ministry of this church" from D&G; would that take a 2/3 vote to approve?

My hunch is that if there were such a memorial directed to the CWA by a synod or synods, the recommendation from the memorials committee (or whatever they are called) would be to refer it to the Church Council. The vote to refer would take a majority vote.

Richard Johnson:

--- Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on August 13, 2007, 01:32:11 PM ---
--- Quote from: Richard Johnson on August 13, 2007, 01:25:52 PM ---My understanding is that approval of a Social Statement takes a 2/3 vote. The talk all along has been that we should not make changes in our policies unless they are consistent with our Social Statements. Thus one argument against changing the standards in V&E is that those standards are, in fact, consistent with our policies (meaning the harmonious policies of the ALC and LCA which we have inherited as the ELCA).
--- End quote ---
Yes, 2/3 for Social Statements; 2/3 for amendments to the Constitution and Bylaws; but if there were a motion at CWA to remove "Ordained ministers who are homosexual in their self-understanding are expected to abstain from homosexual sexual relationships" from V&E and "Practicing homosexual persons are precluded from the ordained ministry of this church" from D&G; would that take a 2/3 vote to approve?

My hunch is that if there were such a memorial directed to the CWA by a synod or synods, the recommendation from the memorials committee (or whatever they are called) would be to refer it to the Church Council. The vote to refer would take a majority vote.

--- End quote ---

In the convoluted way ELCA does things, that would be an inappropriate motion. It would have to be a motion to request (maybe even "direct" would fly) the appropriate committee or Council to make the change.

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