Friday, July 22, 2005

Please do keep folks in your prayers

"The Tenth Biennial Convention of the ELCIC will be July 21-24 at the
Univ. of Manitoba in Winnipeg. Please do keep folks in your prayers,
as they will be dealing with the election of the National Bishop and
the following resolution:

15. The National Church Council recommends that the ELCIC acknowledge the inadequacy of sections of _Sex, Marriage and the Family, A Social Statement of the Lutheran Church in America, 1970_ referring to homosexuality and homosexual behavior in light of developing theological, pastoral and sociological scholarship and that the ELCIC
suspend the application of those references.

That the ELCIC allow pastors to perform blessings for same-sex couples who want to make a lifelong commitment to one another in the presence of God and their community of faith. Authorization to perform such blessings shall require the consent of the pastor, the consent of the congregation or calling agency as expressed by a third-thirds majority vote (sic, I'm unsure if thats Canadianese) at a duly called meeting, and consultation with the synodical bishop. These blessings shall use a rite authorized by this church.

That the ELCIC's Program Committee on Worship be requested to develop a provisional rite for the blessing of same-sex couples in committed relationships.

The resolution is followed by a background statement that includes observations such as "many people in the ELCIC are sincerely struggling with attitudes toward homosexuality in church and society. Nevertheless, many are open to gay and lesbian people affirming their commitment to their partners" and "there is a growing understanding in some contexts that the provision of same-sex blessing is primarily
an issue of pastoral care and not confessional integrity. The ELCIC needs to develop a pastoral practice to address the expressed needs of gay and lesbian people". On a more positive note, the reference and council report also includes a position statement that holds to biblical teaching and was supported by 14 churches across 3 provinces."

We have reporters who will be attending the convention. Two have indicated that they will file some "reports from the front"?

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The good ship ELCA...

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