The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Heading for the pier

Churchwide Assembly time of joy, patience

The first full week of August brings the ELCA Churchwide Assembly. The “party” for a few thousand church leaders and supporters, always a cause for celebration, is no less so for this year’s gathering on Chicago’s Navy Pier (see "Churchwide Assembly to elect officers").

The assembly marks the 20th anniversary of the denomination, the 60th year of the Lutheran World Federation (see "LWF celebrates 60 years of 'making a difference'") and 100th year of Lutheran Campus Ministry. Voting members will also elect a presiding bishop and secretary. A host of reports and initiatives from budgets and Bible study to mission funding and education are also scheduled.

Resolutions or “memorials” from synods and proposals from assembly voting members are in the wings. Among those are a number of requests to address the discipline of an Atlanta pastor living in a same-sex relationship. That issue prompted a recent call to the magazine from a member in North Carolina. He was disturbed that the ELCA “keeps bringing up” sexuality issues, specifically homosexuality. He wanted to know why.

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