Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Kirk Offers Hint to the ELCA

Shrimp again. Every once in a while, someone suggests that the ELCA simply refuse to discuss sexuality matters for a period of time. You know, if we just agree to make no decisions about sex for a generation or two and concentrate on evangelizing the unchurched, our grandchildren will be able to discuss the matter (in a much larger, more firmly established ELCA).

Now the Church of Scotland is trying to do just that, well sort of, for 2 years. Read about it in The Scotsman, which also offers an old idea for those who find themselves in dissent from any ELCA Assembly action this summer. Tip of the claw to

Kirk orders ban on gay minister debate

The Church of Scotland last night effectively gagged its members from public discussion of gay ministers and postponed a potentially divisive vote on the issue for two years in a desperate bid to avoid a schism.

A debate on a call to ban openly homosexual people from appointment to the ministry was torpedoed by an 11th-hour motion that dominated the General Assembly yesterday.

Instead of proceeding with the vote – which many traditionalists had warned could split the Kirk – members agreed to establish a commission to study the issue and report back in 2011.

Until then, no more openly gay ministers can be appointed and no members can speak in public on the issue of openly homosexual, non-celibate ministers.

Only the Church and Society, HIV/Aids Project and Mission Discipleship committees can speak out on the broader issue of human sexuality.

One hardliner said last night Kirk members were now "effectively prevented from speaking out in public on this".

The decision came as 121 Kirk ministers and Church members showed their disapproval of the decision to allow the openly gay Scott Rennie to be appointed to a ministry when they signed a notice of dissent.

Before yesterday's General Assembly proceedings were able to start, a point of order was brought by one commissionaire that he wished to dissent against Saturday's decision to allow Mr Rennie to take up his ministry at Queen's Cross Church, Aberdeen.

Moderator Bill Hewitt said a document had been set up for those who wished to dissent on the decision to have their names recorded in the minutes of the assembly.

Although it will have no bearing on the decision itself, it was an expression of the strength of opposition to the crucial vote on Saturday that backed Mr Rennie's appointment. The vote was carried 326 to 267 and it is thought that many of those who opposed it would have signed the petition of dissent...

Read it all here. Shrimp out.

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