Nothing in the sexuality task force report (February, page 48) justified why baptized and confirmed ELCA members should continue to be discriminated against because they're in committed same-sex relationships. Even if one were to decide that being in a loving, committed same-sex relationship is a sin (and I don't concede that point), not blessing relationships or ordaining individuals because they are sinners would bring an immediate cessation to all marriages and all ordinations. No one in a heterosexual marriage is without sin. No pastor, married or celibate, gay or straight, is without sin. The task force should have talked about what establishing a blessing of loving, committed same-sex relationships could do for the individuals, for the community at large and for the ELCA. It should have talked about the contribution gay and lesbian people (both celibate and in loving, committed relationships) can bring (and already do) to the ELCA and the community at large — and why accepting such people would be good for the ELCA. Or it should have tried to explain why not. But it did neither.
The Sunday after the report was made public, our congregation sang We Are All One in Mission as its closing hymn. I'm struggling to understand, as the mother of a gay son, just how my church can sing, "We are all one in call, our varied gifts united, by Christ the Lord of all." If our gay brothers and sisters, baptized children of God, feel called by God to serve the church, our answer is to "refrain from disciplining" them. What kind of welcome is this?
The rest of this article is only available to subscribers.
© 2016 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers