Lutheran defectors plan new church body: May expedite launch

December 29, 2009

Lutheran dissidents said in late September they would hunker down for a year and study whether to leave the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Amer ica and create a new church body. But in mid-November, Lutheran CORE (Co alition for Renewal) announced that such a body will likely be necessary sooner. “What happened was the idea of a discussion for a year became kind of scary for people who want to leave now,” said David Baer, a CORE spokesperson and pastor of an ELCA church in Whitewood, South Dakota. CORE said no “firm decisions” have been made about how the new church body will be structured; recommendations will be released in February.

Conservative Lutherans have been distressed since the ELCA’s Churchwide Assembly voted in August to allow gays and lesbians in committed, same-sex relationships to be ordained as clergy.