Meeting Nov. 14-17 in Chicago, the ELCA Church Council approved an implementing resolution for full communion with the United Methodist Church. The council also recommended rules of procedure to the 2009 ELCA Churchwide Assembly, which meets Aug. 17-23 in Minneapolis.
In addition to the United Methodist pact, the 2009 assembly is set to consider a proposed social statement on human sexuality with implementing resolutions and a separate report with recommendations on ministry standards. The Task Force for the ELCA Studies on Sexuality is preparing both documents, to be made public Feb. 19.
The ministry standards report and recommendations are the result of a 2007 Churchwide Assembly request. At that time the task force was asked to “specifically address and make recommendations to the 2009 Churchwide Assembly on changes to any policies that preclude practicing homosexual persons from the roster of this church.”
The Church Council will consider both documents at its March meeting. It will then transmit the documents, with its recommendation for actions, to the 2009 Churchwide Assembly. Beginning in April, synod assemblies will be able to discuss and send memorials to the 2009 assembly related to the documents.
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