Monday, January 16, 2006

Katie posted this, too:

Katie wrote,"Funny. I thought we voted no."

I said, "No, I thought that one was marvilously ambiguous, but the one THAT WE DID VOTE NO is being overturned thanks to Metro NY (whose bishop says "Nothing materially changed."

Bishop Payne OK's Same Sex Blessings

At the New England Synod Bishop's Convocation held in Nashua, N.H. on November 7-9, 2005, Bishop Margaret Payne in her bishop's address announced to those in attendance that she interprets Resolution 2 of the three resolutions regarding sexuality adopted in Orlando at the ELCA 2005 Church-wide Assembly to allow for the blessings of unions of same gender couples in committed relationships. These may take place in the churches [that is, the church buildings] provided that pastors, couples, congregations, etc. understand that there is not an official rite of the Church for such blessings. The bishop requested, however, that pastors who intend to perform such blessings should first:

1. inform Bishop Payne
2. discuss the matter with congregation councils
3. not allow same-gender union blessings to become media events.

Bishop Payne said that at present she did not feel called to "ecclesiastical disobedience," but she believes that Resolution 3 deprives the New England Synod and the ELCA of good and faithful pastors who are otherwise qualified to serve the Church. She also stated that she sees no convincing theological arguments for excluding gay and lesbian persons in life-long committed relationships from serving as pastors.
Furthermore, Bishop Payne said that she would respect those pastors, who for reasons of conscience, could not accept or perform same-gender union blessings.
Although Bishop Payne felt she needed to resign from the ELCA Sexuality Task Force, she believes her role on the Task Force was a call from God. She stated that she intends to spend more time among the people and congregations of the New England Synod, and that she will stand for re-election as bishop, "but that's up to the Holy Spirit," she said.

--The Rev. Jack R. Whritenour, Trinity Lutheran Church, Shelton, CT

Thanks to Pastor Rob for the tip!



Norsk said...

As I wrote over at ALPB, while Res 2 was in some sense "marvilously ambiguous" (sp), one count on which it was most certainly NOT in any way ambiguous was the desired locus of any decisions regarding ministry to homosexual persons. The resolution could not be more clear, quoting the 1993 COB statement of course, that PASTORS are to make decisions regarding ministry to, well, "all to whom they minister" (as amended) (whatever that means).

I think of this as the new ELCA don't ask don't tell policy. The CWA delegates voted to keep all that unpleasant sex stuff down at the local parish. Whatever an individual pastor decides to do is OK, long as he/she doesn't promote it -- we just don't want to hear about it. And we emphatically don't want a policy in this area -- the CWA rejected all amendments that would have clarified policy on same gender blessings in any way.

So what Payne has done, among other things, is reject the one facet of this issue on which CWA was actually clear -- she establishes a synodical process and inserts her bishopic nose into a matter on which CWA, for better or worse, said stay out.

WordAlone types will see episcopal heavy-handedness here, and there is probably some truth to that. But I see even more a clear effort, like Metro NY, to push the envelope relentlessly in favor of the revisionist agenda.

Ryan Schwarz

Shrimp said...

Always good to hear from you.

Another simple explanation as to what is going on is, "And everyone did what was right in their own eyes."

A good question to ask is "Why do we think that a perosn who is antinomian in theology will not be antinomian in practice?"

The revisionists have no clue to how deep the trouble will soon be. They think they can move from issue to issue, deciding as they go, as to what is right. This is due to their love of issues as well as a basic relativist approach to life.

So it leaves non-revisionists in the ELCA pondering, "If the only thing we have in common is polity and constition, and we see year after year of wrangling about or outright breakage of the constition, it seems we have no reason to be together except hymn preference...."

Anonymous said...

To: Shrimp

From: A North Dakota Non-Revisionist

RE: Your Post

My response: And the congregation said, "AMEN!"

Peace in the Lord!

Rob Buechler

The good ship ELCA...

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