Some 1,025 voting members from the ELCA's 65 synods and nearly 10,000 congregations descend Aug. 15-19 on the Orlando [Fla.] World Center Marriott for the 2011 Churchwide Assembly.
Gathered this year under the theme "Freed in Christ to Serve," the assembly is the ELCA's highest legislative authority.
While the agenda is full, the event doesn't carry the air of anticipation as did the 2009 assembly in Minneapolis when voting members adopted a social statement on sexuality and revisions on ministry policies that opened the roster of leaders to gays and lesbians in committed relationships. In fact, the 2011 assembly was cut in length by one day.
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