Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Ya'll Get One of These in the Mail?

Did you receive a padded envelope with the following return address:

Rev. Paul A. Tidemann
St. Paul-Reformation Lutheran Church
100 Oxford Street N
St. Paul, MN 55104

It includes a cover letter from Tidemann and 3 DVD's. Two of them are DVD releases of the videos (VHS) sent to the voting members at the two previous assemblies:
"Call to Witness" and "This Obedience." The third is the new one for this year: "The ELCA in Dialogue: We Need to Talk." Tidemann says that this one "was very recently produced and features Lutheran LGBT persons who live in rural North Dakota and Minnesota, their family members, and their pastors."

Tidemann says in his letter:
"I hope you will stand with me in Orlando in supporting legislation that will remove the current policy, which unfairly penalizes people of a particular sexual orientation. I believe that our church should admit into its regular candidacy process all qualified persons, including LGBT people in covenanted same-gender relationships, and enforce no unique restrictions or requirements against them. A
complicated process of required exceptions for an entire class of people is unprecedented, unwarranted and unjust.The ELCA Church Council urges in one of its resolutions that the church 'live together faithfully.' Living together faithfully
requires us to take the necessary steps to create a safer church. The current policies and practices of our church undermine the very capacity to engage in mutual dialogue. Faithfulness requires a change in the policies of discrimination and exclusion. Faithfulness requires that provision be made for those congregations, bishops and synods that are now ready to welcome fully the gifts of LGBT people.
Faithfulness requires that the policies of discrimination be set aside. If you are like me and know LBGT people, you are aware that the environment in our church is anything but neutral for openly LBGT people, their children and their families. As persons denied full participation in the ELCA since its inception, LGBT families hear the language of 'welcome' as empty rhetoric when combined with policies
that demean their humanity and minimize their relationships. Dialogue cannot be faithful or mutually respectful when there is no equity among participants, and when those most affected by proposed legislative changes are regularly excluded from important conversations and decision-making."

What do you think?

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The good ship ELCA...

The good ship ELCA...
Or the Shellfish blog...