At its Oct. 1-3 meeting in Chicago, the ELCA Studies on Sexuality Task Force began funneling all it has learned since May 2002 into a report and recommendations that will go to the 2005 Churchwide Assembly, Aug. 8-14 in Orlando, Fla.
The recommendations will deal with whether the church should bless same-gender unions and whether to include people in such relationships on ELCA ministry rosters. While the ELCA has no official policy on such blessings, the Conference of Bishops stated in 1993 that it doesn't approve of these ceremonies. Current policy does expect ministers to refrain from all sexual relations outside marriage.
The 2001 Churchwide Assembly mandated the study on these issues in preparation for the 2005 assembly. The task force also was charged with developing a proposed social statement on human sexuality for the 2007 assembly to consider.
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