Where the ‘Journey’ led
Journey Together Faithfully, Part Two: The Church and Homosexuality is the study booklet created for congregations, part of the ELCA study of homosexuality called for by the 2001 Churchwide Assembly. Recommendations from the study task force with reference to the blessing of same-sex unions and to the ordination of people in committed same-sex unions will be presented to the 2005 Churchwide Assembly.
Included in the task force deliberations will be responses from all ELCA congregations that did the study. In February, The Lutheran introduced three of those congregations. Now we revisit each, learning something of what the members discovered as they went on this Journey together.
By exploring the Journey Together Faithfully homosexuality study, Mount Carmel Lutheran Church, San Luis Obispo, Calif., may havse armed its members with a healthy dose of information regarding the various sides of perhaps the most controversial issue in ELCA history.
But the journey through the material also left no doubt that this congregation is one of the church's most divided.
Against the intentions of its lead pastor, Russ Gordon, and a 12-member panel that developed five discussion sessions using the material, several parishioners brought to a vote a resolution that would have supported the ELCA's current position regarding homosexuality.
The ELCA has no policy on the blessing of same-sex unions. In 1993 the Conference of Bishops stated that they did not approve of an official ceremony for such unions (www.elca.org/sr/blessing.homosexual.relations).
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© 2013 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers