Leaders of Lutheran Coalition for Renewal or CORE said in November they will work to form a church body with a more traditional denominational structure. A gathering to consider such a move is set for an Aug. 26-27 convocation in Columbus, Ohio.
The group severed ties with the ELCA after the 2009 Churchwide Assembly approved a human sexuality social statement and voted to allow congregations — if they choose — to call clergy in committed same-sex relationships.
"We have not made any firm decisions about what this church body will be or how it will be structured. That reality will come into focus as the working group meets with the members of Lutheran CORE who are looking for a new church body and with other Lutheran church bodies and reform movements in North America," said Ryan Schwarz, a CORE Steering Committee member.
At a September 2009 meeting in Fishers, Ind., CORE leaders had asked for conversation "toward a possible reconfiguration of Lutheranism."
Some 122 of the ELCA's more than 10,400 congregations have taken the first of two votes required to leave the ELCA, the denomination's secretary, David D. Swartling, reported in early December. Of those, 35 failed to achieve the two-thirds majority required. Five congregations have already affirmed in two votes to leave the ELCA.
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