How do we understand human sexuality with the context of Jesus’ invitation to love God and love our neighbor? That’s a question the 15 members of the Task Force for ELCA Studies on Sexuality hope to help the church address within “Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust,” the proposed social statement released Feb. 19.
The 2009 ELCA Churchwide Assembly will consider making the proposal — called for by the 2001 assembly — an official social statement of the church. Social statements offer Lutheran perspectives and help the church with moral deliberation, institutional policies and public advocacy work.
The statement includes key Lutheran principles and addresses a wide range of issues, including trust, marriage, family, sexual education for and the safety of youth, sexual exploitation, adult cohabitation and same-gender relationships. The statement calls for “profound respect for the conscience-bound belief of the neighbor” and opposition to “non-monogamous, promiscuous or casual sexual relationships.”
Both the proposed social statement on human sexuality and the recommendations for ministry were to be reviewed by the ELCA Church Council at its March 27-30 meeting in Chicago (held after presstime, visit our breaking news blog for updates).
Upcoming synod assemblies may request that the Churchwide Assembly take actions related to the documents.
The 2009 assembly, meeting Aug. 17-23 in Minneapolis, will consider both documents and any actions from synod assemblies.
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