Seeking to maintain unity in the ELCA, the Conference of Bishops, meeting March 2-7 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., adopted a pastoral letter on Called to Common Mission in response to "continuing tensions" within the church.
The letter, adopted after long debate, expressed appreciation for conversations that have taken place in the church on CCM. It affirmed CCM's adoption and invited an "exploration of possible ways" to allow a synod bishop — "in unusual circumstances" — to authorize an ELCA pastor to preside at an ordination. The bishops also asked the ELCA Church Council to work with the presiding bishop to pursue this exploration.
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