The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


ELCA Sexuality Studies: Task force asks to delay social statement

After the release of its Jan. 13 report and recommendations (February, page 48), the Task Force for ELCA Studies on Sexuality met Feb. 18-20 in Chicago to discuss its second task: developing a social statement on human sexuality. The group was charged by the ELCA Church Council with issuing a draft of the statement by January 2006, in time for consideration by the 2007 Churchwide Assembly.

Expressing concern about the timeline, the task force asked the ELCA Church Council and Division for Church in Society board for a delay. In discussion, task force chair and New England Synod Bishop Margaret Payne asked if this was still "the group to see this through.... There's a weariness among us now because of the work done on the report.... I don't know if the whole church will understand how much work we've poured into the report and recommendations or that [under the current plan] we really don't have two years, but five months, to do a social statement on sexuality."

Varied responses

"I would like to see us finish the work we started," said task force member Susan Salomone, Syracuse, N.Y.

Diane Yeager, Arlington, Va., said, "It's up to the Church Council whether they want us to continue on past 2007. A list could be submitted of which task force members want to continue."

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