The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Discipline upheld, pastor defrocked

An appeals group upheld a disciplinary ruling that an ELCA pastor in Atlanta was in violation of the church’s policy regarding partnered gay or lesbian pastors and ordered his defrocking (April, "Mixed ruling on openly gay pastor").

On July 2, the ELCA Committee on Appeals decided that Bradley E. Schmeling be removed immediately from the clergy roster of the ELCA. He had acknowledged living in a same-sex relationship.

The committee ruled in favor of Ronald B. Warren, bishop of the Southeastern Synod, who had sought Schmeling’s removal. It also declined an appeal from Schmeling.

The appeals committee is a 12-member panel of clergy and lay people, elected by the ELCA Churchwide Assembly to six-year terms. Its decisions are final, and there is no further appeal.

“This is what happens when human law becomes an end to itself. The judicial process has proven to be an ecclesiastical dry hole,” said Emily Eastwood, executive director of Lutherans Concerned/North America, a group that works for the inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Lutherans in the church. “We now turn to the ELCA Churchwide Assembly in August. ... The struggle is not over, LGBT Lutherans and their allies both clergy and lay will not relent until justice and mercy prevail.”


Long Time Member

Long Time Member

Posted at 11:06 am (U.S. Eastern) 8/1/2007

Some readers may be interested in what has and is going on at St. John's, Pastor Schmeling's church, or the experiences of this congregation with a gay pastor at the helm.  I've created an unofficial blog about it.  It's at www.stjohnsatlantablog.blogspot.com

I believe that the experiences at St. John's are relevant to the national debate on the full inclusion (or not) of GLBT persons in the work of the ELCA.

Feel free to check it out.

Long Time Member at St. John's

The Rev. Frederick Lentz

The Rev. Frederick Lentz

Posted at 8:24 pm (U.S. Eastern) 8/1/2007

How have we so missed what Jesus came to free us from?  We cling to our rules and our laws and miss the gospel among us.  Shame on the church.  It's time for full inclusion of all our GLBT brothers and sisters.

Stephen Miller

Stephen Miller

Posted at 1:13 pm (U.S. Eastern) 8/24/2007

Rev. Frederick Lentz,

People with gay or transexual tendencies should not be excluded.  I agree wholeheartedly.  We are all sinners and there are no degrees of good sinners / bad sinners.  We all fall short of the glory of God.  "...there is no one who does good, not even one." Psalm 53:3

BUT, immorality must be rebuked.  1 Corinthians 5.

Practicing homosexuals should not be allowed to have leadership roles or any type of ministry within the church.  Please read 1 Timothy 3. 

Also, Read Romans 1:18 - 32; practicing homosexuals "...did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer...God gave them over to a depraved mind..." .

Reverend, I'm surprised you don't know your bible better.  What do we have if not the Word of God to go by?  NOTHING.  Please don't buy into political correctness.  Satan LOVES political correctness.

Jesus is not tolerant.  He is forgiving, if we repent.  Don't take the wide road.  Remember the gate is narrow.  

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