Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Lutherans Say 'Committed' Relationships OK for Gay Clergy

From Citizen Link

'This decision will be an excuse for bishops to disobey policy.'

The 4.8 million-member Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) continues to loosen its standards on homosexuality and clergy celibacy.

During its weeklong assembly that ended Saturday, members voted to encourage church leaders to "refrain from or demonstrate restraint" in disciplining gay clergy who are in committed relationships. The thousand church members, meeting at Chicago's Navy Pier, voted down a measure that would have ended the church's celibacy requirement for gay clergy.

"To refrain from discipline in the home is bad parenting, but we're about to do so in Christ's Church," said Jaynan Clark Egland, president of WordAlone Network.

WordAlone is a Lutheran grassroots network concerned that the ELCA is losing its Christ-centered focus.
The Rev. Mark Chavez is director of WordAlone and Lutheran CORE, a coalition that includes WordAlone. "This decision will be an excuse for bishops to disobey ELCA policy," he said. "This decision does not reflect the will of the people, but of bishops and clergy who disregard God's word.

Chavez encourages Lutherans to get involved in the decision-making process of their denomination. "Take responsibility for the future of the denomination," he said. "We do not hope for further division. We are hoping for just the opposite."

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