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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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What now, ELCA?

Rush to judgment not in collective best interest

Virtually all in leadership across the church are asking members to take a collective deep breath in the aftermath of the Churchwide Assembly’s adoption of the sexuality statement and related ministry resolutions ("Assembly takes dramatic step" and "Ministry door opens to partnered gays and lesbians").

Yes, the door has been cracked open to recognizing same-gender relations and the rostering of gay and lesbian people. But formally, nothing changes until guidelines and rules are drafted, reviewed by the Conference of Bishops and adopted by the Church Council. The earliest that can happen is Nov. 13-15. Leaders caution it will likely take months to get all the work done.

Even once articulated and approved, one thing won’t change — the authority to extend calls still rests with congregations. No congregation will be forced to accept a pastor or other rostered member they don’t want.


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