The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


LYO discusses sexuality, ethnicity

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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