The Daily Lutheran is the newsletter of the 9th Churchwide Assembly. It’s published by the staff of The Lutheran, the magazine of the ELCA. Editor: Sonia C. Solomonson. Writers: Elizabeth Hunter, Kathleen Kastilahn, Julie B. Sevig and Ann Hafften. Photographer: Michael D. Watson. Production editor: Andrea S. Pohlmann. Web production: Amber Leberman.
At a press conference following yesterday’s business, Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson said the ELCA has made significant decisions regarding sexuality and there are more to come. “Today this church affirmed its current standards in regard to ordained ministry,” he said.
“Prayerful attention has been given to Scripture, to gay and lesbian persons, and to congregations about whom should be called into leadership. Don’t think for a minute that any of this was about who is welcome in this church or who will be,” Hanson said.
He noted that “respectful expression of disappointment” by supporters of gay and lesbian viewpooints, “standing in silence, helped to sustain calm in the room.”
Hanson said, “The work that is ahead of us on human sexuality in the broadest understanding of issues will include gay and lesbian people as part of the family, seeking what it means to be stewards of the gift of sexuality as the body of Christ in the world.”
Jeff Johnson, co-chair of Goodsoil.org told the press, “The issue is more for the church than for gay and lesbian Lutherans. The trajectory is clear.” At some point in the future the church will claim responsibility for all its members, he added.
Johnson pointed out that on same-sex blessings “the church didn’t institute a prohibition or step back in any way. It provided for pastoral care, which the church has always given.”
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