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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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What about same-sex unions?

ELCA synods struggle to define what the gospel means

 While Methodists, Presbyterians and Episcopalians nationally debated their policies regarding gays and lesbians, ELCA synods put their spin on the issue at this year's assemblies.

The Greater Milwaukee Synod voted in May to "recognize and affirm the blessing of committed same-gender relationships." A similar resolution, passed by the Southeast Michigan Synod, allows pastors to bless committed same-gender relationships "after counseling with couples seeking such a blessing."

The Metropolitan Chicago Synod voted to ask the ELCA at its 2001 Churchwide Assembly to develop a rite of blessing and provide pastors with helpful materials as they counsel same-sex couples. The Sierra Pacific Synod expressed support for University Lutheran Chapel, Berkeley, Calif., and its decision to call Jeff Johnson, who is not on the ELCA roster because he is in a gay relationship.

But others do not share enthusiasm for such resolutions.


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