Shuck and Jive

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Lutheran-Love You Betcha

Saw this by Rev. Dr. Cindi Love in the Huffington Post:
After twenty-five years of deliberation, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Church Council has abolished its anti-gay policies, effective immediately. Following from discussions at the ELCA Churchwide Assembly last summer, the ELCA will now allow people in same-sex relationships to serve as rostered leaders. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) human beings are no longer considered abominations but blessed church members with full standing. Same-sex partners and families can now fully participate in the ELCA Pension Plan.

Best of all, the ELCA is reinstating people who were removed from ministry positions because they were truthful and came out of the closet, as well as those who conducted holy unions for non-heterosexual couples. The ELCA has practiced restorative justice.
Here is the article from Lutherans Concerned:
This weekend, the ELCA Church Council meeting in Chicago moved the decision of the 2009 Churchwide Assembly into policy by replacing the language in church documents that excluded ministers in committed same-gender relationships with a policy that allows congregations and organizations to call a fully-qualified minister in a committed, same-gender relationship. And, the Council also approved the way to reinstate ministers who have been removed from the roster because of the previous policy and to receive ELM pastors onto the roster of the ELCA. The Council also made the benefits of the ELCA pension plan available to rostered ministers and employees in committed, same-gender relationships.
If the Lutherans can do it, the Presbyterians can too.

Looking forward to General Assembly in Minneapolis (where hopefully some of that Lutheran-Love will warm the hearts of the Calvinistas).


  1. That sound you just heard was the collective draws of the busybodies, fusspots, tattletales and scolds in the other mainline denominations hitting the floor. :)

  2. It seems that this went a lot easier for the Lutes than any of the other denoms. The rest of us are saying, "You mean, we could have just changed?" Yup.

  3. I am really happy for the ELCA, if not still disappointed in my own denomination. The only struggle I have with this post is the tone it takes. Perhaps sheer jubilation is the way to go but it strikes me as very self-congratulatory. We all, each of us from the mainline denominations that slowly start to get it, still have a lifetime worth of penance to do for the harm caused to LGBTQ community in our name and with our religion. I just think she should have spoken a little more to that reality as well as the increase in justice in the world in which the ELCA has participated.

  4. Point well-taken James. On one hand victories are so rare we need to celebrate them when we can (need the joy to keep momentum), and on the other hand recognize that there is a long way to go and acknowledge the harm inaction has done in the past (and still does).