Tuesday, March 11, 2008

First Draft, Second Meaning

Shrimp here and, frankly, we're stunned. You already know, especially if you read Shellfish regularly, that tomorrow ELCA rostered leaders (that's Pastors, diaconal ministers, deaconesses, AIMs, and LMNOPs [okay, we made the last one up, but we're sure some (other) wag can use that to come up with a name for the ELCA's official lists of "ministers" who are not rostered in the ELCA]) receive that special e-mail giving instructions for downloading the First Draft of the proposed ELCA Social Statement on Human Sexuality. This way, they have 24 hours to read and digest it before it is publicly released, complete with explanatory press conference at ELCA HQ, Thursday at Noon so local religion reporters can skim for the statement's red flags and and start calling local clergy for their reactions, all so it can be published either in Friday's paper or, better yet, on Saturday's next to your Holy Week announcement.

Turns out that, even as this is a First Draft which will be studied and fine-tuned (or completely rewritten) for next year, that this is all happening just before Holy Week is likely to be a run-through for next year's Holy Week preparations, too. At least that's how it appears to Pastor Zip, who's compared the official timeline with an actual calendar:

2009 Timeline:
March 27 - 30
ELCA Church Council reviews text of proposed social statement and acts to recommend social statement on human sexuality, implementing resolutions, and roster recommendations, and directs that these be placed on the Churchwide Assembly agenda.

RECOMMENDED social statement on human sexuality, implementing resolutions, and roster recommendations are available to the church for discussion and response through synod assembly actions.
2009 Calendar:
April 5   Palm Sunday
April 9   Maundy Thursday
April 10  Good Friday
April 11  Easter Sunday
Remember, Synod Assembly season begins near the end of April (one is already scheduled to begin April 30) and, if a Synod wants to discuss or pass a resolution/memorial related to the Sexuality Statement, it'll be a lot more important to do so with the final proposal in 2009 rather that the First Draft this year, one of the reasons given to justify this year's date rather than delaying until after Easter.

So, when do you think the final proposal will be released? Anyone else think the Thursday before Holy Week, once again?

Shrimp suggests flogging someone (or perhaps the whole staff) at Higgins Road with palm branches. [Oh, wait a minute, the ELCA opposes corporal punishment...]

A blessed Holy Week! Shrimp out.

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