Next month marks the second anniversary of the ELCA Churchwide Assembly's decision to open the roster of this church to gays and lesbians in committed relationships. The Lutheran addresses that action this month by featuring the ordination of two gay men ("R. Guy & Keith Fry ... ") and updating as best we can the numbers of such men and women admitted to the church roster.
The magazine has touched on this decision nearly every month since the vote, including a running report on the number of congregations taking votes to leave the ELCA, stories on budget decisions due to declining revenue and major articles. In April 2010, "Assessing the fallout" looked at the divisions, sadness and hope since the vote. Then last January "Moving forward" addressed congregational splits and the sorrow and joy found in those situations.
The stories of R. Guy Erwin and Keith Fry in this issue are far more personal. Their profiles tell of men qualified in every way to be ordained in the ELCA. That couldn't happen officially before the assembly vote.
The rules were changed, and ordinations like these are certain to grow in numbers and frequency. Their tale needs to be told because it is now a fact of life within the ELCA, just as it was 40 years ago with the ordination of women.
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© 2013 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers