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What are they doing to us?
Gays and lesbians achieved what their lobbyist called a huge victory at the national assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America earlier this month.
Delegates in Chicago passed resolution 538-43 1, urging bishops not to discipline or defrock active ordained ministers who are in same gender relationships.
Among the seven synods presenting the resolution was that of Northwest Washington, (Seattle north to the Canadian border and east to the mountains).
Phil Soucy of Lutherans Concerned/North America which lobbies on behalf of gays and lesbians, called the victory huge because over half the delegates at the assembly have said dont punish anyone for what is a simple violation of the policy, where the offense is simply that they have a partner.
The current policy in ELCA is that homosexual pastors may be rostered (eligible to serve in the pulpit) so long as they are celibate. Over 100 at last count, however, flouted the rule and were ordained, in some cases with approving bishops in attendance.
Homosexual marriages also have been blessed, another ban of the church.
Resolutions seeking approval for ordaining of active homosexual pastors and blessings for same gender couples were not okayed in Chicago, but passed on to the ELCA Task Force for Studies on Sexuality, which has been directed to come up with a social statement in 2009.
This is the third time the hierarchy of the church has sought to brainwash its members into acceptance of gay clergy and same gender marriages. I blame the influence of the Episcopalian church which began discussions with the Lutherans over 35 years ago about becoming partners, sharing churches and pastors. The merger was achieved in 1999, over the objections of many, hundreds of Lutheran congregations joining anti-merger groups such as CrossAlone Lutheran Churches.
A worldwide furor was kicked off in 2003 by the ordination by the Episcopalians of V.
Gene Robinson, who is openly gay, as bishop of New Hampshire. Anglican church leaders asked the Episcopalians to promise not to ordain any more gay bishops or bless same gender unions. Episcopal church leaders said theyd take it up in 2009. They also elected last year as their presiding bishop, Katharine Jeffens Schori, who supported Robinson, says she doesnt believe homosexuality is a sin and homosexuals were created by God to love people of the same gender. So much for trying to get along.
Lutheran churches have been sent study material on suggestions for the sexual statement to be made in 2009, but few are responding, according to the latest issue of the Lutheran Magazine.
With a deadline of Nov, 1, only 132 responses have been received, which is fewer than the first time they tackled the subject and far fewer than the 28,000 that came back in 1993. Attitudes in my Lutheran church center on how many times do we have to say no? We overwhelmingly rejected both gay clergy and blessings for same gender couples.
Lutheran membership is dropping. The Northwest Synod has gone from 58,890 in 2001 to 52,125; Southwest Synod from 43,757 to 40,177 and eastern Washington from 40,020 to 35,121.
We also have the new hymnals now or will have in use shortly, the ones where a committee minimized unnecessary use of gender specific terms, Such as masculine pronouns in at least 70 hymns, for example, Father all glorious to Maker all glorious.
My God, what are they doing to us?
Adele Ferguson can be reached at P.O. Box 69, Hansville, WA 98340.