Friday, August 21, 2009

The ELCA Vote

Today the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's national synod, gathered at Central Lutheran Church in downtown Minneapolis, will vote whether to allow non-celibate gay men and lesbians to be ordained as ministers.

For a time I was an active member of the ELCA. I have witnessed these kinds of assemblies at the local level. I have participated in ELCA conferences designed to discuss and study the issue of homosexuality. I have been a member of an ELCA task force designed to promote dialogue on this issue. I have witnessed the kinds of debates that I am certain will take place today a few blocks from where I live and work. I know people whose lives will be profoundly affected by the outcome of today's deliberations. Part of me is glad I am not a part of this particular debate. I'm certain it will be painful, and I don't think I could bear to watch.

I'm grateful for the faithful work of Rev. Peter Strommen, pastor of Shepherd of the Lake Lutheran Church in Prior Lake, MN, who accepted and carried to completion the thankless job of heading the task force whose recommendations will be voted on today. God bless him.

I think I can honestly say that the actual outcome of the vote is less important to me than how they reach the outcome. I will be praying for them today.

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