Human sexuality and ethnic diversity took center stage when the Lutheran Youth Organization met in convention July 20-23 in Atlanta.
Delegates voted to become a Reconciling in Christ organization, a welcoming program within Lutherans Concerned/North America listing communities of faith that welcome all sexual orientations/gender identities.
More than 250 delegates from all 65 synods meet every three years. The organization's board is a link between youth and churchwide units.
A racist remark allegedly made by a delegate resulted in a community lockdown that lasted for more than an hour. Leota Thomas-Breitfeld, St. Paul, Minn., LYO president, told delegates "this is a community problem" that must be dealt with as a community. She reminded delegates that the LYO is an inclusive organization committed to diversity. The person who made the remark didn't come forward.
In other action, the LYO:
• Elected Maren Hulden, 17, Moorhead, Minn., LYO president; Kwau Kuntu III, Calumet City, Ill., vice president; and Penny Kelly, Viborg, S.D., secretary.
• Asked the LYO board to advocate for educational programs and resources promoting disability awareness and multicultural youth ministry.
• Supported the blessing of same-sex unions and the ordination of "noncelibate individuals" of all sexual orientations in committed relationships.
• Urged delegates to press for human sexuality as a discussion topic in confirmation classes and synod youth events.
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