Decision time for mainline Lutherans

ELCA considering same-sex blessings
The nation’s largest Lutheran denomination will finally speak with a collective voice this month on whether to allow gay and lesbian pastors and on whether same-sex couples may receive rites of blessing. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, whose biennial Churchwide Assembly meets August 8-14 in Orlando, is one of the last mainline church bodies to act on the controversies. Few figure that the ELCA’s debates will end in Orlando.

Preconvention estimates are that it is unlikely two-thirds of the 1,000 delegates—the required margin for approval—will vote to open pulpits to gay pastors, despite a proposal by ELCA leaders that “exceptions” could be created “for the sake of outreach, ministry and the commitment to continuing dialogue.”

 

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