The ELCA is in conversation with both ecumenical and global partners following Churchwide Assembly actions approving a social statement on human sexuality and modifying ministry policies to allow for rostered leaders in committed same-gender relationships (September, page 18).
Mark S. Hanson, presiding bishop, and Donald J. McCoid, executive of Ecumenical and Inter-religious Relations, wrote to the ELCA’s full communion and other ecumenical partners saying all recommendations were “given serious and protracted consideration.”
The Aug. 24 letter said: “These considerations reflect nearly 10 years of discernment, where whole communities have walked together through the arduous challenge of discerning the ecclesial call to all of God’s children in the church universal.
“We understand with you the need for ecumenical tables to discuss theological, ethical and morale concerns that are facing Christians today. We believe the most central way of engaging these deep-structured concerns is to enter into and remain with one another in the heart of constructive dialogue.”
A separate letter from Hanson and Rafael Malpica Padilla, executive director of the Global Mission unit, went to overseas partners. It acknowledged “continued disagreements” among Lutherans in the U.S. and globally on the topic of human sexuality.
“We will continue to be in a time of prayer and deep conversation within the ELCA, and wish to continue the conversation with you as companions in the common mission God has entrusted to us,” the letter said.
© 2016 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers