Steven L. Ullestad, bishop of the Northeastern Iowa Synod, in January requested a meeting with the president of Zion United Lutheran, Clear Lake, Iowa, to discuss a disputed congregational vote on a resolution to leave the ELCA.
Ullestad claims the congregation's Dec. 13 initial vote didn't achieve the required two-thirds. Zion's leaders say the 238-119 vote is exactly two-thirds.But Ullestad said the vote is invalid because 366 members attended the meeting and the ELCA Constitution requires "a two-thirds majority of voting members present."
Three Zion members wrote to Ullestad questioning the vote. The bishop told the congregation he wouldn't begin a required consultation period with them that follows an initial vote.
Carole Roth, Zion's president, accused the bishop of accepting "hearsay" from unnamed individuals and demanded a public apology from him. At presstime she said she will meet with him and the required second vote will be taken in the spring.
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