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Lutheran Organization Votes to Include Monogamous Gay Clergy Members

Posted on Aug 21, 2009
Lutheran voters
AP / Dawn Villella

Evangelical Lutheran Church of America voting members, left to right, Orinda Hawkins-Brinkley, Diane Yeager, Marj Ellis and Steven Schnittke, along with other members, stop for a moment of prayer Friday morning during the organization’s assembly at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

The largest Lutheran organization in the U.S., the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, voted Friday to bring gay and lesbian clergy members into its fold—provided they are in committed relationships—signaling another seismic shift in the American Protestant scene this year.  —KA

The New York Times:

The vote made the denomination, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the latest mainline Protestant church to permit such ordinations, contributing to a halting sense of momentum on the issue within liberal Protestantism.

By a vote of 559 to 451, delegates to the denomination’s national assembly in Minneapolis approved a resolution declaring that the church would find a way for people in “publicly accountable, lifelong, monogamous same-gender relationships” to serve as official ministers. (The church already allows celibate gay men and lesbians to become members of the clergy.)

Just before the vote, the Rev. Mark Hanson, the church’s presiding bishop, led the packed convention center in prayer. When the two bar graphs signaling the vote’s outcome popped up on the hall’s big screens seconds later, there were only a few quiet gasps, as delegates had been asked to avoid making an audible scene. But around the convention hall, clusters of men and women hugged one other and wept.

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By Dakotahgeo, August 22, 2009 at 7:25 am Link to this comment
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Having been raised in the old ELC, aka ALC, the ECLA has studied this topic to death for at least the last 35 years, taken it seriously for the last 8, I know somewhat of the struggles it has encountered. I applaud the decisions of the Convention…it’s about time. I’m surprised a second tornado didn’t mysteriously appear in Minneapolis at 6:04 PM when the final vote was cast on final acceptance of all of God’s children into the ministerial fold. Maybe now the church can be about the business of Christian love and caring, rather than reading and interpreting their Bibles as a pastime.
Dakotahgeo, Pastor/Chaplain (Ret.)

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By eileen fleming, August 22, 2009 at 5:19 am Link to this comment

The Bible was not faxed in from heaven; but is a collection of stories of ancient people who struggled with the Ultimate Mystery of the Universe.

There are NO words attributed to Jesus regarding the mystery of gay love-but many regarding how God LOVES ALL people!

From the beginning many of his disciples couldn’t/wouldn’t follow his examples-such as publicly talking with and respecting women as fully equal to men-and not as real estate or chattel.

About 2,000 years ago, when Christ was about 33, he hiked up a hill and sat down under an olive tree and began to teach the people;

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.”

In other words: it is those who know their own spiritual poverty, their own limitations and sins honestly and trust God loves them in spite of themselves who already live in the Kingdom of God.

How comforted we will all be, when we see, we haven’t got a clue, as to the depth and breadth of pure love and mercy of The Divine Mystery of The Universe.

God’s name in ancient Aramaic is Abba which means Daddy as much as Mommy and He/She: The Lord has said, “My ways are not your ways. My thoughts are not yours.” -Isaiah 55:8

Christ proclaimed more: “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”

The essence of meek is to be patient with ignorance, slow to anger and never hold a grudge. In other words: how comforted you will be when you also know humility; when you know yourself, the good and the bad, for both cut through every human heart.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, they will be filled.”

In other words: how comforted you will be when your greatest desire is to do what “God requires, and he has already told you what that is; BE JUST, BE MERCIFUL and walk humbly with your Lord.”-Micah 6:8

“Blessed are the merciful, they will be shown mercy.”

In other words: how comforted you will be when you choose to return only kindness to your ‘enemy.’

“For with the measure you measure against another, it will be measured back to you” Christ warns his disciples as he explains the law of karma in Luke 6:27-38.

“Blessed are The Peacemakers: THEY shall be called the children of God.”

And what a wonderful world it would be when we all seek peace by pursuing justice; for there can be none without the other.

“Blessed are those who are persecuted because they do what God requires, theirs is The Kingdom of Heaven.”

And one fine day the lion will lie down with The Lamb and man will make war no more and that is the Kingdom of God.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they see God.”

In other words: how comforted you will be when you WAKE UP and see God is already within you, within every man, every woman and every child. The Supreme Being is everywhere, the Alpha and Omega, beginning and end. Beyond The Universe -and yet so small; within the heart of every atom-and every expression of LOVE.


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By Dakotahgeo, August 22, 2009 at 2:46 am Link to this comment
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I was raised in the ELC, aka ALC, now ELCA. If the church and its doctrines are so weak that this historic vote will break the relationships of people and churches, quite frankly, it wasn’t that strong a church to begin with.
I am no longer in the ELCA but that is not due to the GLBT situation. This battle has been brewing for years. They just simply would not accept the elephant in the china shop and kept sweeping it under the rug, so to speak.
Now that they have made a final decision after 35 years, they can move on to more important things.
Blessings, Peace, and Joy to the ELCA in this decision!
Dakotahgeo, Pastor/Chaplain

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