LuAnn Barnes, Maureen Corrigan, Harry J. Deitz, Jeff Drake, Thomas Drobena, Marilyn Fursman, Dan Glamann, Paul F. Heykes, George Kegley Lorraine V. Jordan, Barb Myers, Cindy Koonce, Arthur Murphy, Judith J. Rogers, Steve Talmage, Catherine A. Ziel, Jan Zook, and synod Web sites.
As synod assemblies came to a close for 2009, 19 of the 32 reporting in by presstime had urged adoption of the “Social Statement on Human Sexuality” and 15 wanted the “Report and Recommendations on Ministry Policies” passed. (See July, "Synods sent human sexuality statement, other concerns to Churchwide Assembly," for results from previous assemblies.)
|Participants at the East-Central Synod of Wisconsin assembly in June listen to Kenneth Innskeep, executive for ELCA Research and Evaluation, who explained statistical trends that can help congregations and synods set ministry policies. |
Seven called for resources that ministers and congregations might use to support gay and lesbian people in relationships of lifelong love and fidelity. And seven asked that provisions be made to reinstate to the roster gay and lesbian leaders if policy changes are made.
Nine synods asked that a two-thirds vote be required for any such changes.
Synods also asked that financial support be made available for resources in Braille, large print and audio, that an advisory committee be created to guide and support Lutheran Disaster Response, that there be a task force on suicide prevention and a social statement on disabilities.
Voting members urged continued activism in bringing peace to Israel and Palestine, called for immigration reform and pledged to end racism.
Southern Ohio Synod
May 20-22, Springfield, Ohio
• Forwarded to the Churchwide Assembly a social statement implementing resolution that encourages regulations permitting widows and widowers to marry without losing pension or Social Security benefits. The resolution requests resources for age-appropriate sexuality education; pastoral care to all sexual orientations and gender identities without the expectation for changing such orientation or identity; supporting same-gender couples and holding them accountable in love and fidelity.
• Asked that the recommendation for ministry policy not be approved.
• Urged rejection of the social statement in favor of current teaching documents.
• Encouraged support for those who are poor and hungry.
• Asked that financial support be provided for church resources to be created in Braille and large print.
• Requested a social statement on disabilities.
• Urged its congregations to create justice teams and explore the biblical call to be doers of justice.
• Adopted, with one minor change, a “Core Statement for the Christian Community,” an ecumenical document related to welcoming immigrants and refugees.
• Asked the Churchwide Assembly to pass the social statement on human sexuality and the recommendations on ministry policies. Defeated two resolutions that would have asked for a two-thirds vote (rather than a majority) on changes to ministry policies.
Upstate New York Synod
May 29-30, Rochester, N.Y.
• Asked the church to provide support for ELCA resources in Braille, large print and audio.
• Asked for adoption of the sexuality social statement and the recommendation on ministry policies, and for the development of resources upholding same-gender relationships and that those precluded by previous policies be reinstated on the roster.
June 4-6, Fort Wayne, Ind.
• Asked for a two-thirds vote on any changes in rostering policies.
East-Central Synod of Wisconsin
June 5-6, Green Bay, Wis.
• Adopted a 2010 fiscal plan that supports the ELCA and synod, including an increase in the minimum base salary for pastors.
• Decided against giving an additional 1 percent to World Hunger.
• Asked the Churchwide Assembly to adopt the sexuality social statement and recommendations on ministry policies. Also requested resources supporting same-gender relationships and that gay and lesbian people be restored to the rosters if policies change.
Metropolitan Chicago Synod
June 5-6, Rosemont, Ill.
• Urged creation of an ELCA suicide prevention ministry task force.
• Asked for adoption of the social statement on human sexuality and the ministry policies. Also requested resources for congregations and pastors wanting to support same-gender relationships, and for procedures reinstating those precluded by previous policies.
Southwest California Synod
June 5-7, Thousand Oaks, Calif.
• Asked for a church-wide statement requesting that U.S. foreign aid to Columbia include more funding for social and economic assistance and less funding for military and police assistance.
• Decided to start training lay members to conduct communion when ordained people are not available.
Central States Synod
June 5-7, Lindsborg, Kan.
• Asked for adoption of the human sexuality social statement.
• Requested ways for congregations to recognize, support and hold publicly accountable people in same-gender relationships.
• Urged the ELCA to find ways for people in such relationships to serve as rostered leaders.
• Approved passage of the social statement on human sexuality.
• Voted to reject the policy recommendations and reaffirm current standards.
• Asked for a two-thirds vote on any motion coming before the Churchwide Assembly regarding rostering.
• Urged the ELCA to take necessary steps to abolish racism and develop a model of reconciliation.
• Requested support for a program making ELCA material available in Braille, large print and audio.
• Resolved to take further steps to abolish racism and ask the ELCA to do the same.
• Urged passage of the human sexuality social statement, recommendation on ministry policies, and the development of resources to support same-gender relationships and policies to reinstate to the roster those precluded by previous policies.
• Urged church leaders and members to call on President Barack Obama and Congress for immigration reform and called on congregations to care for those most affected by anti-immigrant sentiment.
North Carolina Synod
June 4-6, Hickory, N.C.
• Urged passage of the social statement on human sexuality.
• Asked the ELCA to seek consensus and clarity (and develop a teaching statement) regarding the theological foundations of the authority of Scripture, ecclesiology and sanctification.
• Requested the creation of a suicide prevention task force.
• Urged the Churchwide Assembly to adopt the human sexuality social statement and the ministry policies. Also called for resources to support same-gender relationships and for procedures that expedite the reinstatement of those whose status was precluded by current policies.
• Endorsed efforts to pass legislation in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee giving teachers, parents and students anti-bullying authority.
June 5-7, Great Falls, Mont.
• Asked the Churchwide Assembly to adopt the social statement on human sexuality and the ministry recommendations. In a separate, related resolution, resolved to proclaim grace of the Spirit and mutual regard among the ministries and people of the synod.
South-Central Synod of Wisconsin
June 6-7, Wisconsin Dells, Wis.
• Resolved to draw upon resources such as The Use of the Means of Grace in urging congregations to offer ongoing catechesis for families and children, and administer weekly communion and welcome to all to the table from the time of baptism.
• Asked for a one-year extension of the radio ministry “Grace Matters” while funding be explored, further input gathered and a review conducted on how the decision to cancel the ministry was made.
• Declared Reformation Sunday 2009 “God Says It Is Good Sunday” in the synod, urging each baptized member to give $1 that is designated for mission of the churchwide organization.
• Asked the Churchwide Assembly to call on the ELCA Board of Pensions to change its policies to justly support domestic partners by allowing them to opt out of health benefits, just as married participants do.
• Urged passage of the social statement on human sexuality and the recommendations on ministry policies.
• Asked for a two-thirds vote at the Churchwide Assembly on any matters of rostering policy.
• Urged the Churchwide Assembly to pass the human sexuality social statement.
• Asked that a churchwide advisory committee be created to craft a clear vision for Lutheran Disaster Response and affiliates.
• Directed the ELCA to review recent studies of factors inhibiting people of color from experiencing the fullness of leadership in the church, and develop action to address the factors.
Central-Southern Illinois Synod
June 11-13, Springfield, Ill.
• Requested a Lutheran Disaster Response advisory committee and national and local coordinated services in disaster response.
• Asked for a two-thirds majority to change ministry policies.
• Urged support of the Tour de Revs, three pastors who are biking to raise money and awareness of hunger.
• Asked the Churchwide Assembly to pass the sexuality statement, the recommendation on ministry policies, and requested resources supporting same-gender relationships and for procedures to reinstate to the roster those precluded by previous policies.
Southwestern Pennsylvania Synod
June 18-20, Greenville, Pa.
• Called for a super majority to change ministry policies.
• Rejected the social statement on human sexuality in favor of current teaching documents.
• Decided to continue to work toward abolishing racism and experiencing the fullness of leadership in the ELCA.
• Asked the Churchwide Assembly to require a two-thirds vote regarding any rostering changes.
• Voted for a two-thirds vote on any rostering policy changes.
• Endorsed a two-thirds vote on any changes in rostering policies.
• Asked the Churchwide Assembly to reaffirm current ELCA standards for pastors and other rostered leaders, “as expressed in ‘Vision and Expectations’ and ‘Definitions and Guidelines for Discipline.’ ”
Southwestern Minnesota Synod
June 12-14, St. Peter, Minn.
• Resolved to help promote the Lutheran Campus Ministry of Minnesota Mission Fund.
• Defeated a resolution to reject the social statement on human sexuality.
• Asked the Churchwide Assembly to reject the recommendations on ministry policies, but closely defeated requiring a two-thirds vote for any resolutions related to the report of the Task Force for ELCA Studies on Sexuality.
Sierra Pacific Synod
May 28-30, Fresno, Calif.
• Encouraged its congregations to join the Book of Faith initiative.
• Urged its congregations to give a minimum of $100 annually to support a seminarian’s tuition.
• Asked the Churchwide Assembly to also help amend policies to no longer preclude rostered leaders in gay and lesbian relationships, expect mutual fidelity and love in such relationships, and develop a process to reinstate gay and lesbian ministers.
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