Saturday, March 15, 2008

Argus Leader: "ELCA panel debates marriage"

The Sioux Fall (South Dakota) Argus Leader features some quotes from the South Dakota Synod Bishop:

ELCA panel debates marriage

Same-sex unions stance too lenient, critics say


A task force drafting a statement of sexuality, originating from a request years back by the South Dakota Synod, said Thursday the church should continue defining marriage as the union of one man and one women.

The panel did not condemn same-gender relationships and acknowledged that some congregations already accept same-sex couples.

The report released by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the nation's largest Lutheran group, is part of the denomination's seven-year effort to bridge internal differences over the Bible and homosexuality. It probably will be the topic of conversation during an upcoming pastors' conference in Watertown, according to the Rev. David Zellmer, bishop of the South Dakota Synod.

Zellmer called the report "a nice piece of work," though he knew not everyone would be happy with it, including those who say the draft study seems to tolerate homosexual relations but does not celebrate them.

"There's always a chance for it to become polarizing," Zellmer said. "It speaks very clearly to what marriage is. Is everyone going to be happy? No. Is everyone going to be unhappy? I don't think that's true, either. But I'm pretty impressed with this initial start."

The Rev. Karen Soli, interim pastor at Messiah New Hope Lutheran in Sioux Falls, said she hopes church members read the draft and absorb it more than react to it.

"I would hope they would ... think and talk and pray about it," Soli said. "Instead of going back to our polarized positions, whatever they might be, I would hope we would have an open mind and spirit. They are very difficult issues."

Called a "Draft Social Statement on Human Sexuality," the report is a wide-ranging study of Christian views on sexual morality, premarital sex, domestic abuse and families.

But the most anticipated part of the document was whether the task force would recommend equal standing for gay and heterosexual couples in the 4.8 million-member church.

Zellmer said he was certain the document would be discussed at a spring pastors' conference in Watertown in 10 days. There also will be two hours set aside at the Synod Assembly at the end of May to discuss it.
The full article is here.

No comments:

The good ship ELCA...

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