To consider a possible change in the rostering of gay and lesbian ministers, the ELCA Churchwide Assembly must first agree “in principle” on these relationships and related rostering questions, said a Feb. 19 report from the Task Force for ELCA Studies on Sexuality.
The task force’s “Report and Recommendation on Ministry Policies” came at the request of the 2007 Churchwide Assembly. It began the study of sexuality at the direction of the 2001 assembly (see story below).
Current ELCA policy holds that marriage is between a man and a woman. The church’s “Vision and Expectations” requires those ministers “who are homosexual in their self-understanding” to “abstain from homosexual sexual relationships.” However the 2007 assembly asked ELCA leaders to “refrain from or demonstrate restraint in disciplining” ministers in same-gender relationships and congregations that call them.
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