Breaking. Updated 2:30 pm EDT Today the Churchwide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church is voting on a major piece of legislation that modifies their ministry policies. If passed in its entirety then the ELCA will allow people "in such publicly accountable, lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships to serve as rostered leaders of this church."
The proposal may be found here. They are voting on each section one-at-a-time that is listed in bold type. There are four resolutions:
1. Step one asks the assembly whether, in principle, this church is committed to finding ways to allow congregations and synods that choose to do so to recognize, support and hold publicly accountable, lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships.
2. Step two asks the assembly whether, in principle, this church is committed to finding a way for people in such publicly accountable, lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships to serve as professional leaders of this church.
3. Step three asks this church whether, in the future implementation of these commitments, it will make decisions so that all in this church bear the burdens of the other, and respect the bound consciences of all.
4. Step four proposes the specifics of how this church can move toward change in a way that respects the bound consciences of all.
You may follow the debate via live video stream here.
As we watch from the sidelines as our sisters and brothers in the ELCA debate the proposed Ministry Policies at their 2009 Churchwide Assembly, there is a sense of deja vu for Episcopalians. For example, the Roman Catholic Church has fired the same warning shot.
The AP reports:
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has been warned that its decisions on homosexuality could impair relations with the Roman Catholic church and other Christian denominations.
The warning, in a videotaped greeting from Archbishop Wilton Gregory, was played for ELCA delegates as their convention prepared to vote today on whether to let partnered gays and lesbians serve as ministers.
As one watches the debate on these resolutions, the prayer, the struggle and faithfulness of our sisters and brothers in Christ is both very apparent and very familiar.
Updated: The order of the resolutions above were changed, so that resolutions one and three have been voted, and the second resolution was being debated before they recessed for worship. (See Comment below. Thank you, Dr. Shy! - atg)
The third resolution was voted first and passed 771 to 230.
The firstresolution was voted second passed 619 yes to 402 no. A simple majority was required.
They are in recess for worship and lunch until 2 p.m.Central time. The debate on the second motion will continue at that time.