Saturday, August 11, 2007

What the Lutherans Did

One Step Forward ...

It seems that the ELCA did a good thing today. I am grateful for that. However, reading this happy press release from Goodsoil, this soundbyte really struck me: "Today this church moved one giant step from the punitive rejection of partnered LGBT ministers to the willing tolerance of them." Are gay men and lesbians supposed to feel all warm and fuzzy that we're willingly tolerated?

Some days, I grow weary of seeing that kind of move as "progress." I wish all the heterosexuals I know could hear what it feels like to read that "willing tolerance" of them is a step forward.

Thanks be to God. And Lord, have mercy.

Other bloggers are reporting this news. Check out Father Jake especially for a round-up of the news.

Contact: Phil Soucy
August 11, 2007

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Encourages its Bishops to Refrain from the Discipline of Ministers in Same-Gender Relationships

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) decided to encourage its bishops to refrain from or demonstrate restraint in the discipline of rostered ministers in committed same-gender relationships. While the assembly deferred outright elimination of its policy that prohibits LGBT ministers from living in loving, lifelong family relations with their life partner, asked the church to prepare for such decision at its next assembly in 2009.

Emily Eastwood, Executive Director, Lutherans Concerned/North America said,
"Today this church moved one giant step from the punitive rejection of partnered LGBT ministers to the willing tolerance of them. We see this decision as interim. Full inclusion and acceptance is still down the road, but the dam of discrimination has been broken. This is a great day for LGBT clergy who will walk into their pulpits tomorrow knowing perhaps for the first time that this church values their gifts for ministry more than the policy that would exclude them. The church is on the road to acceptance. The end of exclusion is in sight. With this decision the voting members signaled a desire for policy change, but the need for two more years to bring more of the church along."
The ELCA policy that prohibits loving, committed, lifelong, same-gender relationships for LGBT ministers remains in effect. Therefore, Goodsoil and its partners and allies will continue the efforts to help the Lutheran church recognize the eternal truth that God has known all along: that LGBT people are part of the wondrous diversity of creation, God's children, followers of Christ, and gifted as are all others to serve the mission of the church in outreach with the message of the Gospel.


Blogger Kelly Fryer said...

Thanks for picking up this story in your blog. We need our ecumenical friends watching over our shoulder. But I wish the news was even as good as you are reporting. I was at this assembly...sharing reflections at

8/11/2007 9:38 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

We are watching indeed! Thanks for the link. I was glad to read your "inside" story.

8/11/2007 10:17 PM  
Anonymous Bill Carroll said...

I think the good news in it concerns some preliminary indication where the votes will be in 2009. Certainly no cause for celebration, but I think that, given the decision to postpone consideration of a more thorough movement forward till 2009 (disagree as we may) it's a good sign. One might have argued against bringing the language about refraining from punishment forward at all, but once its on the table, I don't see how one could vote against it.

8/12/2007 11:12 AM  
Blogger Kelly Fryer said...

You're welcome!

8/12/2007 8:53 PM  
Blogger Grandmère Mimi said...

This is a very good beginning, but there's a way to go.

8/16/2007 1:07 PM  
Anonymous Linda McMillan said...

A way to go indeed, Mimi...

I only hope I'll be able to "tolerate" the Lutherans until they come 'round.


8/17/2007 2:19 PM  
Blogger Missy said...

I just want to say thank you. God bless you. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about...

8/18/2007 11:48 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Missy, I'm really glad to hear from you. (And, yeah, I do know what you're talking about. I wish I could do more.) You remain on my prayer list.

8/18/2007 12:05 PM  
Blogger Muthah+ said...

It is a beginning, but there was a tremendous sacrifice of those who outted themselves for the Church. I pray that their crosses do not become deadly for them. I hate seeing LGBTQ folks taking on more of the sin of the world than is necessary. We do it all the time--make ourselves victim when the straight world can't even see our gifts

8/24/2007 3:41 PM  
Anonymous Linda McMillan said...

Muthah+ is right. Where were the straight allies? You know, our "friends?"

Lisa, you haven't updated in awhile. was it something I said?


8/25/2007 4:44 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Thanks for asking, Lindy. It's mostly that I've been spending my blog energies over at The Episcopal Majority.

8/25/2007 11:38 AM  

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