"Jesus looked into the eyes of the adulterer and loved her. He looked into the eyes of the tax collector and loved him," Richard Little, Charlotte, N.C., told ELCA Church Council members. "I'm not sure how many times the church has looked into the eyes of gay and lesbian people and loved them. We'd have to face our fears. We'd have to see gay and lesbian people as loved and redeemed by our Lord."
Little and three other ELCA pastors comprised a panel that presented theological perspectives on homosexuality to the Church Council when it met in Mundelein, Ill., July 28-30 for what was largely a nonlegislative session. Most of the weekend was spent in a discussion style known as moral deliberation. Council members held small-group discussions on issues of ministry and hospitality, gay ordination and blessing same-gender unions. The discussions were punctuated with worship and prayer.
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