Saturday, August 22, 2009

Lutherans vote for full inclusion

You might not have caught the news from Friday: The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA), meeting in its national convention, voted to allow non-celibate gays living in monogamous relationships, to serve as pastors. The debate reportedly went all day, with emotions high on both sides of the issue. The vote was close.

The debate echoed the debate in our own church, with those against expressing concern that Scripture is being violated. The feeling by those voting in favor of full inclusion was summed up by The Rev. Mark Lepper of Belle Plaine, Minn., who said, “Let’s stop leaving people behind and let’s be the family God is calling us to be.”

To read the New York Times story on the vote, click HERE.

Earlier this summer, our Episcopal General Convention voted to open all orders to gay people, acknowledging the fact that already exists. The ELCA vote could have an impact for the Episcopal Church because of the agreement we have with the ELCA to allow their pastors and ours to serve in each others' churches. The vote could make it easier for Episcopal clergy who are gay to serve in a Lutheran church.

The vote in the ELCA was close, and we can expect that individual congregations will leave much as many have left our church. Please keep the Lutherans in your prayers.

Photo by Dawn Villella of the Associated Press

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