August 21, 2009
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Loosens Gay Clergy Policy
Earlier this week, we blogged that the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America ("ELCA") was set to discuss the issue of gays and lesbians in committed relationships serving as members of the clergy. Reuters is reporting that the church has indeed taken steps to allow gays and lesbians to serve in ministry. The Reuters report states in part:
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America also encouraged its congregations to find ways to support or recognize members in "accountable lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships."
But it did not give official sanction to gay marriage or approve any rites for such ceremonies.
The report continues:
The resolution, approved by a vote of 559 to 441, said the church was committed to finding ways to allow people in "accountable, lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships to serve as rostered leaders of this church."
The measure applies to clergy as well as professional lay leaders.
The assembly still has to approve procedural changes to allow the resolution to go forward. [John] Brooks[, the director of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's news service and a spokesman for the church,] said he expected the new policy to be in place by 2010.
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