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ELCA Witness

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This page highlights topics of interest to Lutheran CORE members who are members of the ELCA.

Bishop Thomas Skrenes of the Northern Great Lakes Synod ELCA greets the Northwoods Lutheran CORE chapter at their recent convocation in Crystal Fall, Michigan.

“Radical Hospitality,” an opinion article by CORE Director Pr. Steve Shipmen, comments on the latest proposal facing the ELCA in terms of its faith and practice.

“We need each other,” ELCA Witness Chair Pr. Cori Johnson tells the 2014 Lutheran CORE Convocation. Read her remarks here.

ELCA Witness responds to the May 2014 Forum Letter article, “Same-Sex Marriage and the ELCA.” (Forum Letter and response reprinted with permission from American Lutheran Publicity Bureau).

Pr. Steve Gjerde provides a reflection on the ways renewal groups have made connections in the ELCA and how Lutheran CORE can assist in making connections among confessional ELCA members.

Learn how to provide an effective witness at synod assemblies with these suggestions from ELCA Witness.

Read You are not alone! An article by Pr. Cori Johnson, chair of ELCA Witness. En Espagnol: Usted no esta solo!

The May 2013 CORE Connection included an article, ELCA asked to set aside time for reflection and self-examination during 25th anniversary, that mentioned an open letter sent to Bishop Mark Hanson and all synodical bishops. Read the letter here.

Read Witnessing in the ELCA: A Philosophy and Strategy for Lutheran CORE to Engage with the ELCA

Read Steering Committee member Mike Bennett’s account of Presiding Bishop Eaton’s Installation on October 5, 2013.

 

2009 CHURCHWIDE ASSEMBLY RESOLUTIONS

Introduction:

These are the actual resolutions approved by the ELCA regarding “rostered persons” in same-sex relationships. It is important especially to note those parts that we have put in bold type, and to hold bishops and other leaders accountable for observing them.

CA09.05.27

2009 Churchwide Assembly + Legislative Update

WHEREAS, guided by the Holy Spirit, this church raises
up, calls, supports, and maintains rosters of ordained
ministers, associates in ministry, deaconesses, and diaconal
ministers for public ministry in service of the mission of
Christ and seeks faithfully to discern in each situation what
will best serve that mission; and

WHEREAS, this church maintains these four rosters
according to policies and procedures that are developed
and applied according to the specifications of chapters 7
and 20 of its Constitution, Bylaws and Continuing
Resolutions; and

WHEREAS, this church has a polity, processes, and
procedures that trust designated individuals and bodies to
use churchwide standards to make decisions about fitness
for rostered ministry in general and for call to a specific
ELCA ministry; and

WHEREAS, some members, congregations, candidacy
committees, and synods of the ELCA have discerned gifts
and skills for rostered ministry in some people who are or
contemplate being in publicly accountable, lifelong,
monogamous, same-gender relationships and have
indicated their conviction that rostering and calling such
people would serve the mission and ministry of this church;
and

WHEREAS, other members, congregations, candidacy
committees, and synods of the ELCA acknowledge those
gifts and skills for ministry, but believe that this church
must maintain an expectation of celibacy for any gay or
lesbian person, whether or not that person is in a publicly
accountable, lifelong, monogamous, same-gender
relationship, and thus believe that this church cannot call
or roster people in such relationships; and

WHEREAS, the Church of Christ sometimes has been
surprised by the actions of the Spirit, as is reported in the
book of Acts when the inclusion of Gentiles was affirmed;
and

WHEREAS, public accountability of rostered leaders in
the ELCA is essential to nurturing the trust that is
necessary for effective ministry; and

WHEREAS, although there is no generally recognized
civil or ecclesial status that corresponds to heterosexual
marriage for publicly accountable, lifelong, monogamous,
same-gender relationships, this assembly has committed
itself to find ways to recognize, support, and hold publicly
accountable lifelong, monogamous, same-gender
relationships; and

WHEREAS, present ELCA policies prohibit the rostered
service of any and all people in publicly accountable,
lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships, but this
assembly has committed itself to find a way for people in
publicly accountable, lifelong, monogamous, same-gender
relationships to serve as rostered leaders of this church;
therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that the Evangelical Lutheran
Church in America call upon its members to commit
themselves to respect the bound consciences of those
with whom they disagree regarding decisions on the
call and rostering of individuals in publicly
accountable, lifelong, monogamous, same-gender
relationships, in this church and with churches
ecumenically and globally; and be it further

RESOLVED, that this church, because of its
commitment to respect the bound consciences of all,
declare its intent to allow structured flexibility in
decision-making regarding the approving or
disapproving in candidacy and the extending or not
extending of a call to rostered service of a person who
is otherwise qualified and who is living or
contemplates living in a publicly accountable,
lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationship; and
be it further

RESOLVED, that the Evangelical Lutheran
Church in America make provision in its policies to
eliminate the prohibition of rostered service by
members who are in publicly accountable, lifelong,
monogamous, same-gender relationships; and be it
further

RESOLVED, that the Evangelical Lutheran
Church in America make provision in its policies to
recognize the conviction of members who believe that
this church should not call or roster people in a
publicly accountable, lifelong, monogamous, same-
gender relationship; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the appropriate churchwide
unit(s) be directed to develop, in consultation with the
Conference of Bishops, and the Church Council be
directed to approve, appropriate guidelines for a
process by which congregations, synods, and the
churchwide organization could hold people publicly
accountable in their relationships who are in or
contemplate being in lifelong, monogamous, same-
gender relationships and who seek to be on the
rosters of this church; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the Committee on Appeals be
directed to develop, in consultation with the
Conference of Bishops, and the Church Council be
directed to approve, appropriate amendments to
“Definition and Guidelines for Discipline” and the
Vocation and Education program unit be directed to
draft, in consultation with the Conference of Bishops,
and the Church Council is directed to approve,
appropriate amendments to the “Vision and
Expectations” documents and the Candidacy Manual
to accomplish the intent of this resolution; and be it
further

RESOLVED, that additional policies be
developed, as necessary, so that those whom this
church holds responsible for making decisions about
fitness for rostered ministry in general and for call to
a particular specific ELCA ministry may discern, and
have guidance in discerning, the fitness for ministry
of a member living in a publicly accountable, lifelong,
monogamous, same-gender relationship; and be it
finally

RESOLVED, that this church continue to trust its
established processes and those to whom it has given
the responsibility to discern who should and should
not be rostered or called to public ministry in this
church.