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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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ELCA expels two San Francisco churches

Congregations refuse to back down on irregular ordinations

On Dec. 31 two San Francisco congregations celebrated their last worship services as part of the ELCA.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America expelled St. Francis and First United Lutheran churches because they violated ELCA policy by ordaining three persons not approved for ordination by the ELCA. The trio — Ruth Frost, Phyllis Zillhart and Jeff Johnson — were denied approval because they would not agree to being celibate gay and lesbian people. In 1990 an ELCA discipline committee upheld the Sierra Pacific Synod's charges and suspended the two congregations for five years. The churches were expelled when they did not come into compliance with ELCA policy.


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