The ELCA Church Council voted at its March 27-30 meeting in Chicago to transmit to the 2009 Churchwide Assembly the proposed social statement “Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust” and its implementing resolutions.
The council also discussed related recommendations on ministry policies that could lead to the rostering of gays and lesbians in committed same-gender relationships. The assembly will consider whether to accept the statement and recommendations Aug. 17-23 in Minneapolis.
The rostering recommendations are to be taken in four consecutive steps, considering a next step only if the previous is approved. The steps ask the assembly’s commitment to 1) finding ways congregations and synods can recognize same-gender relationships; 2) finding a way partnered gays and lesbians can serve on the ELCA roster; and 3) making steps 1 and 2 happen in a way that will “respect the bound conscience of any with whom they disagree.” Step 4 is a specific request for “flexibility ... to allow for people in publicly accountable, lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships to be approved” for ministry.
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