The ELCA voted this summer to allow local Synods the option to roster clergy who are in committed same-sex relationships. The fact that this is now a possibility for some has caused some Lutheran congregations to separate from the ELCA. Bishop Hanson though says that the numbers leaving are not as great as they might seem.
“Hanson said he doesn’t want to minimize the loss of congregations, but just a small number of the ELCA’s 10,400 congregations — less than 1.5 percent — so far have held votes about whether to leave the denomination.
‘I don’t want people to sense that that’s the totality of the church,’ he said.
Fewer than 150 congregations have taken the first of two votes needed to formally withdraw from the ELCA, and about 30 didn’t reach the two-thirds majority needed to move forward with leaving, Hanson said.”
Read the full article here.
What’s particularly interesting from our Episcopal perspective is that the rules binding congregations to Synod are much less restrictive than is the case in the Episcopal Church. And yet their numbers of leaving congregations is about comparable to what we’ve experienced.