Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Countdown Begins

Shrimp here. In less than 22 hours, Noon Central Time tomorrow, ELCA rostered leaders will be able to download a copy of the proposed Social Statement on Sexuality and the report on what to do about practicing homosexuals who want to be (or are) on the ELCA's ministry rosters. The rest of us get to wait another 24 hours, as described below. Shrimp out...

February 13, 2009

Dear sisters and brothers in Christ:

Grace and peace to you as we prepare to remember the transfiguration of our Lord.

This update brings information about the next steps in the work of the Task Force for ELCA Studies on Sexuality.

As you know the 2001 ELCA Churchwide Assembly requested that this church develop a social statement on human sexuality. The 2009 Churchwide Assembly will discuss and make a determination about the social statement.

As mandated by the 2007 Churchwide Assembly, the task force also has prepared a report and recommendation to "address and make recommendations to the 2009 Churchwide Assembly on changes to any policies that preclude practicing homosexual persons from the rosters of this church" (CA07.06.27).

The proposed social statement and the report, as well as supplementary material, will be made available to the general public on February 19 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern time at www.elca.org/faithfuljourney on the ELCA Web site.

These documents will be reviewed by the ELCA Church Council, March 27-30 2009. The council may choose to amend the proposed social statement and will recommend action on it. The task force's report on ministry policies and the council's recommendations for action will be forwarded to the 2009 Churchwide Assembly, which will be held August 17-23, 2009, in Minneapolis.

Please keep in mind these points about the proposed social statement and the report and recommendation on ministry policies and possible responses to them:

1. Both documents were created by a task force made up of people with diverse backgrounds and opinions. The task force received and considered responses from ELCA members to the Draft Social Statement on Human Sexuality.

2. Many synods will respond to these documents by adopting memorials at their synod assemblies for consideration by the 2009 Churchwide Assembly.

The task force thanks you for your accompaniment in this journey together and your leadership role in receiving and studying both the proposed social statement and the report and recommendation on ministry policies. We will continue to pray for your ministry and ask for your prayers as the ELCA now considers the work of the task force.

Kind regards,

The Rev. Rebecca S. Larson
Executive Director
ELCA Church in Society

The Rev. Stanley N. Olson
Executive Director
ELCA Vocation and Education

P.S. For a detailed timeline on the social statement process, please go to www.elca.org/faithfuljourney/timeline on the Journey Together Faithfully Web site.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I really wish we could get an early leak about whether they decided to recommend allowing gay ordination or not. I mean, really, at the end of the day, that is the issue - all of the rest of the statement is just candy coating of the ultimate decision of the task force. Either they will say yay, nay, or local option to gay ordination. Any sources out there for an early leak?

The good ship ELCA...

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