Friday, February 27, 2009

Lower Susquehanna Synod Bishop's Statement

Lower Susquehanna Synod Bishop B. Penrose Hoover writes:

Bishop’s Letter to Rostered Leaders related to proposed Social Statement on Human Sexuality and Recommendations on Policy for Ministry

February 19, 2009

Dear Pastors and Lay Rostered Leaders,

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and His Son Jesus, the Christ.

Today at 1:00 p.m. the proposed social statement on human sexuality and the recommendations on policy for ministry will be available to the general public at on the ELCA web site. I hope that you have had the opportunity to carefully read and prayerfully consider these documents.

As you read them, and discuss them with your people, I would like to draw your attention to a few things to keep in mind:
  1. The proposed social statement and the report and recommendation are two separate documents, and will be considered by the Churchwide Assembly as two separate matters for debate and action.
  2. There are implementing resolutions attached to the proposed social statement that are distinct from the recommendation on ministry policy.

  3. The proposed social statement and recommendation (but not the report) may be amended by Church Council. Both also may be amended by the Churchwide Assembly. The assembly may approve or reject either or both of these documents.
  4. The proposed social statement has been changed from the draft version (shortened by 1,000 words), so please read it to know for yourself what it now says.
  5. The report and recommendations contain two dissenting positions.

I appreciate the faithful work of the Task Force for ELCA Studies on Sexuality. The members of that task force, including Bishop Carol Hendrix, have spent countless hours in study, prayer, listening, discussion, and writing. I give thanks to God for their dedicated service. The documents are intended to be a faithful reflection of the ELCA’s study, prayer, and discussion process about human sexuality.

The process is far from over. The ELCA Church Council will review the documents March 27-30 and may choose to make amendments. Many synods will respond to the documents by adopting memorials at synod assemblies to be considered at the ELCA Churchwide Assembly August 17-23, 2009. Of course, there will be many amendments offered at the August assembly. I believe and affirm that, in the midst of all disagreements and difficulties, God does not abandon God’s church and the Holy Spirit is still at work in our process of deliberation and discernment.

As the process continues, I ask that you will join with me in prayer: Gracious Father, we pray for your holy catholic Church. Fill it with all truth and peace. Where it is corrupt, purify it; where it is in error, direct it; where in anything it is amiss, reform it; where it is right, strengthen it; where it is in need, provide for it; where it is divided, reunite it; for the sake of Jesus Christ, your Son our Savior. Amen.

Faithfully, your bishop,

+ B. Penrose Hoover

No comments:

The good ship ELCA...

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