The ELCA Church Council approved a proposed genetics social statement, a review process for future social statements, a malaria campaign, and the church's relationship with the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church during its April 9-10 meeting in Chicago.
With some minor revisions, the council recommended 2011 Churchwide Assembly approval of "Genetics, Faith and Responsibility" and its implementing resolutions.
After the assembly considers the genetics proposal, the council will ask it to authorize — in consultation with the ELCA Conference of Bishops and the Communal Discernment Task Force — a review process of "current procedures for the development and adoption of ELCA social statements."
The council's request came in response to a recommendation from the Living into the Future Together task force. Since January 2010, LIFT has studied the ELCA's structure, relationships, and social and economic changes, with input from ELCA members, congregations, synods and institutions.
Diane Pederson, LIFT chair, said the task force believes a review process is necessary to nurture a larger "culture of discernment." A LIFT report says the Communal Discernment Task Force "seeks better ways to engage emotional and divisive issues, and make difficult decisions in this church by means that increase mutual trust, build respect for each other as the body of Christ and deepen spiritual discernment."
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