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Draft of Proposed ELCA Social Statement on Sexuality Available March 13
ELCA News Service ^ | 4 February AD 2008 | Melissa Ramirez-Cooper

Posted on 02/04/2008 4:27:56 PM PST by lightman

Draft of Proposed ELCA Social Statement on Sexuality Available March 13 08-008-MRC

CHICAGO (ELCA) -- The draft of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's (ELCA) proposed social statement on human sexuality will be available March 13. The Task Force for ELCA Studies on Sexuality met here Jan. 25-26 to complete its work on the draft and give final instructions to its writing team.

The task force received a final report on responses for "Free in Christ to Serve the Neighbor: Lutherans Talk about Human Sexuality" -- part three of the "Journey Together Faithfully" study materials for members of the ELCA -- and the group spent eight sessions reviewing draft material of the social statement in closed, off-the-record sessions.

"When social statements are in the actual process of being written, things are very fluid," said the Rev. Peter Strommen, bishop, ELCA Northeastern Minnesota Synod, Duluth, and task force chair. "This is our last meeting before the draft is released. The task force continues to work very hard, securing participation from the entire group," he said.

Members of the church can expect a draft document that is theological and examines human sexuality from a "deep Lutheran perspective," said Strommen. He said the task force hopes the social statement will serve to benefit the church's discussion on the topic of human sexuality.

"A social statement needs to build a theological foundation that engages the social context. On something as broad and complex as human sexuality, specific topics cannot be addressed comprehensively. The social statement's implementing resolutions will lift up the areas that need greater attention from this church," said Strommen.

"One way of picturing the social statement is a bridge. We seek to fashion a theological bridge that can handle the heavy traffic of human sexuality issues of our times and (to) do so without losing our evangelical focus," said Strommen.

The draft of the proposed social statement on human sexuality will be posted at http://www.ELCA.org/faithfuljourney and sent to clergy and other professional leaders of the ELCA. Between March and November, a series of hearings on the draft document will be held across the church. Members of the task force will participate in the hearings and gather feedback on the draft until Nov. 1.

A proposed social statement on human sexuality is due in early 2009. The final proposed statement will be given to the ELCA Church Council with a request to place the document on the agenda of the 2009 ELCA Churchwide Assembly for action. The assembly will be held Aug. 7-13, 2009, in Minneapolis.

- - - Information about the ELCA Studies on Sexuality is at http://www.ELCA.org/faithfuljourney on the ELCA Web site.

For information contact: John Brooks, Director (773) 380-2958 or news@elca.org http://www.elca.org/news ELCA News Blog: http://www.elca.org/news/blog


TOPICS: Current Events; Mainline Protestant; Ministry/Outreach; Moral Issues
KEYWORDS: elca; homosexualagenda; lutheran
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It is a travesty beyond description, that, on the eve of the most sacred week of the Church Year, the kerygma of the Evangelical Luthern Church in America will be centered on sexuality rather than Christ.

The news media will have little interest in the proclamation of Jesus Christ, Crucified and Risen; but great interest in this latest chapter in the relentless march toward paganistic sexual license.

Would that the leaders at Higgins Road hear and heed the Easter Epistle:

If you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

1 posted on 02/04/2008 4:27:59 PM PST by lightman
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To: aberaussie; Aeronaut; AlternateViewpoint; AnalogReigns; Archie Bunker on steroids; Arrowhead1952; ..


Lutheran (ELCA) Ping!
2 posted on 02/04/2008 4:28:47 PM PST by lightman (The Office of the Keys should be exercised as some ministry needs to be Exorcised.)
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To: All
A good friend and respected colleague has posted some excellent thoughts on this abysmal timing on his blog.

The First Draft of the proposed 2009 ELCA Social Statement on Human Sexuality, which was completed earlier this week by the ELCA Task Force for ELCA Studies on Sexuality is scheduled to be publicly released on Thursday, March 13, at Noon (Central Daylight Time). While ELCA rostered leaders will be able to download it beginning 24 hours earlier, a quick look at the calendar reveals that most of us will have something a bit more serious in mind at that time -- Holy Week, which begins 2 1/2 days later on Sunday, March 16.

Okay, the timing may not be quite as mind-bogglingly dumb as when the ELCA promoted "Central American Week 1989" and encouraged pastors and congregations to focus on the death of the martyred Archbishop Oscar Romero while the Church Calendar was directing us to observe Holy Week and Easter. Unless, of course, there turns out to be something interesting in this First Draft and local reporters start contacting nearby ELCA pastors for comments.

A seminary classmate serving as an ELCA pastor in Southern California has an interesting idea. He writes: I am ridiculously trying to see if we can get the ELCA to postpone the release of the new sexuality draft to AFTER Easter. This is an action that has NO concern for the content. Right now the new draft is scheduled for release to the media the Wednesday before Holy Week. I wrote Rebecca Larson who is the director of Church and Society and got the following email (see below). If you concur that it would be better to release this AFTER Easter I invite you to send and email to Pastor Larson, Bishop Hanson and your local Bishop. Here are the points I have.

---Easter is one of the biggest evangelism days for many of our congregations; we work hard to be especially inviting and centered on the good news for our many guests and seekers. I can tell you without doubt that negative media exploitation of this study will in my context turn people away from our parish.

---Parish pastors work extremely hard during Holy Week and the weeks before in preparation. If there is negative media exploitation upon the release of this study and this adds to the stress, hours and work load of clergy, it will be received as as big a blunder as the October '93 incident.

---I realize there can be no way to anticipate how the media will respond to the release of this draft. However, we all know the possibility of headlines taken out of context and small portions of a document used for sensationalism. Why would we risk alienating our own people the week before the holiest time of the year? I have to say in my context 'brand' loyalty is not strong, and such potential negative publicity would impact our parish tremendously.

If you think the above points are worthy of postponing the release of this document to the press by a week and a half, please add your email voice to mine. Also please feel free to pass this on to any ELCA clergy that you think might be interested.And then he gives the public e-mail addresses for Dr. Larson, the ELCA's Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson, and an assistant to Bishop Hanson. I won't quote Dr. Larson's full letter to my friend. She assures him that

...the decision for the timing of the release was very carefully considered and had to take into consideration many factors including the ones that you raise. ... I do now need to say that, while it may not be ideal, the timeline that we have is the one that we will be using. At the same time I am confident that pastors and congregations will use the theological and liturgical context of Holy Week to assist this church to engage in whatever comes before us that week, including this draft on human sexuality. Yeah, Jesus died so I can comment on what the ELCA Task Force thinks this church ought to say about sexuality.

I think my friend is on to something. What could possibly be lost by delaying the release a couple of weeks until after Easter?

3 posted on 02/04/2008 4:35:32 PM PST by lightman (The Office of the Keys should be exercised as some ministry needs to be Exorcised.)
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To: lightman

One sip at a time......and those in the pews think they are drinking God’s tonic. I can’t think of anyone I loathe more than these false teachers trying to serve liberalism behind the shield of religion.


4 posted on 02/04/2008 4:38:19 PM PST by Archie Bunker on steroids (Hillary Supporters ....... Fags and Hags)
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To: Archie Bunker on steroids

Amen.

Never has the ultimate allegience and priority of many of these mis-leaders been so blatantly obvious.

If their first love and loyalty is writing liberal social policy why don’t they get a job working for the Democratic National Committee or the National Education Association?


5 posted on 02/04/2008 4:46:26 PM PST by lightman (The Office of the Keys should be exercised as some ministry needs to be Exorcised.)
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To: lightman

The churches under the NAtional Council of Churches are aligned with those two organizations 100%


6 posted on 02/04/2008 4:52:31 PM PST by Archie Bunker on steroids (Hillary Supporters ....... Fags and Hags)
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To: lightman

With all due respect...

“By “Contentions,” he means, with heretics, in which he would not have us labor to no purpose, where nothing is to be gained, for they end in nothing. For when a man is perverted and predetermined not to change his mind, whatever may happen, why shouldest thou labor in vain, sowing upon a rock, when thou shouldest spend thy honorable toil upon thy own people, in discoursing with them upon almsgiving and every other virtue?

How then does he elsewhere say, “If God peradventure will give them repentance” (2 Tim. ii.25); but here, “A man that is an heretic after the first and second admonition reject, knowing that he that is such is subverted and sinneth, being condemned of himself”? In the former passage he speaks of the correction of those of whom he had hope, and who had simply made opposition. But when he is known and manifest to all, why dost thou contend in vain? why dost thou beat the air? What means, “being condemned of himself”? Because he cannot say that no one has told him, no one admonished him; since therefore after admonition he continues the same, he is self-condemned. +John Chrysostomos Homily VI on Titus

Rev. 2:7!


7 posted on 02/04/2008 6:17:19 PM PST by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: lightman

I find the reply to the concerns of pastors to be very arrogant. Basically, we have our reasons and we are going to do it our way. There is no concern for how this will affect the local church.


8 posted on 02/04/2008 6:39:47 PM PST by aberaussie
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To: aberaussie
I find the reply to the concerns of pastors to be very arrogant. Basically, we have our reasons and we are going to do it our way.

I fear it runs far deeper: "We have our priorities and proclamation, and so what if it distracts or detracts from proclaming Christ Crucified and Risen".

It was such as these that St. Paul had in mind--with tears in his eyes--when he described those who are "enemies of the cross of Christ, whose god is the belly, who glory in their shame."

9 posted on 02/04/2008 6:47:47 PM PST by lightman (The Office of the Keys should be exercised as some ministry needs to be Exorcised.)
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To: lightman

Can I assume this will be along the lines of “the Holy Spirit doing a new thing” sexual theology of The Episcopal Church? The Bible and Christian tradition make it clear what the Christian teaching on sexual morality is — it shouldn’t be done outside of marriage between a man and a woman. Why is a “task group” necessary to come up with a new teaching?


10 posted on 02/04/2008 7:28:03 PM PST by Unam Sanctam
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To: lightman
"...and so what if it distracts or detracts from proclaming Christ Crucified and Risen".

In fact, it appears that is the intent.

11 posted on 02/04/2008 7:34:27 PM PST by joebuck
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To: Unam Sanctam
Can I assume this will be along the lines of “the Holy Spirit doing a new thing” sexual theology of The Episcopal Church

That is certainly the way that the gaysbian lobby is hoping and tirelessly advocating. In fact, at the AD 2007 Churchwide Assembly there was a completely illict "eucharist" celebrating the "new pentecost" at which the defrocked, non-celibate gay former Pastor Bradley Schmeling was the preacher. The presider was Bishop Margaret Payne of the New England Synod--the former chair of the supposedly neutral and "open to all voices" Task Force!

The hermeneutic of suspicion (a la "Jesus Seminar") has been applied to both the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions. Everything is pure Zeitgeist.

12 posted on 02/04/2008 7:35:55 PM PST by lightman (The Office of the Keys should be exercised as some ministry needs to be Exorcised.)
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To: lightman
I wonder ... will The Task Force for ELCA Studies on Sexuality settle back, thoroughly gratified, and have a cigarette when the final draft comes out??
13 posted on 02/04/2008 8:13:33 PM PST by RobinOfKingston (Man, that's stupid ... even by congressional standards.)
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To: lightman; aberaussie; redgolum; Archie Bunker on steroids; Kolokotronis; RebelBanker
I have always been taught--and practiced--that Christians and their parishes, synods/dioceses, etc. were to concentrate on Holy Week and Pascha, and keep attention to other matters to a bare minimum until the Great Feast is over!!!!

Therefore, the best thing to do is to not even read the "sexuality statement", let alone study it or comment upon it, until a decent interval after Pascha.

If one is a pastor, that would mean telling anyone who asks your opinion on the statment that you have not read the document, and exactly why you have not done so. It would also mean advising your flock of the great importance of focusing on Holy Week and Pascha, and eliminating ALL distractions as much as possible.

There wull be plently of time to read, reflect on, and comment on the statement, after the Feast, and after the usual pastor's post-Paschal rest period or vacation. And observing that decent interval will show the ELCA mis-leaders what it is like to focus on what is REALLY important.

14 posted on 02/04/2008 8:40:18 PM PST by Honorary Serb (Kosovo is Serbia! Free Srpska! Abolish ICTY!)
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To: Honorary Serb

Excellent advice.


15 posted on 02/04/2008 8:56:09 PM PST by lightman (The Office of the Keys should be exercised as some ministry needs to be Exorcised.)
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To: Unam Sanctam; lightman
LM: If their first love and loyalty is writing liberal social policy why don’t they get a job working for the Democratic National Committee or the National Education Association?

Because lying and misrepresenting their beliefs has proven to be more effectively subversive.

US: Can I assume this will be along the lines of “the Holy Spirit doing a new thing” sexual theology of The Episcopal Church?

That would be a safe bet, as TEC and ELCA are in full communion.

The Bible and Christian tradition make it clear what the Christian teaching on sexual morality is — it shouldn’t be done outside of marriage between a man and a woman. Why is a “task group” necessary to come up with a new teaching?

To give it the veneer of being a consensus of opinion on a carefully argued and prayerfully well-thought position; as opposed to the liberal, elitist, pre-determined conclusion that it is.

Any more questions?

LM: Everything is pure Zeitgeist.

See? You DO get it!

16 posted on 02/04/2008 8:56:33 PM PST by Zero Sum (Liberalism: The damage ends up being a thousand times the benefit! (apologies to Rabbi Benny Lau))
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To: aberaussie; Aeronaut; AlternateViewpoint; AnalogReigns; Archie Bunker on steroids; Arrowhead1952; ..

In view of Honorary Serb’s truly excellent advice about avoiding distraction during Holy Week (Pascha) there shall be no Lutheran Ping coming from me on March 13; nor shall I post any ELCA News Service releases concerning this report.

Bookmark this link http://www.elca.org/scriptlib/CO/ELCA_News/encArticleList.asp to access the latest news.


17 posted on 02/04/2008 9:17:09 PM PST by lightman (The Office of the Keys should be exercised as some ministry needs to be Exorcised.)
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To: lightman; Honorary Serb

Excellent advice lightman and HS. It could be part of our Lenten discipline to not focus on this sort of foolishness the entire Lenten season!


18 posted on 02/04/2008 9:47:21 PM PST by aberaussie
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To: Archie Bunker on steroids
Here's the list.

• African Methodist Episcopal Church
• The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church
• Alliance of Baptists
• American Baptist Churches in the USA
• Diocese of the Armenian Church of America
• Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
• Christian Methodist Episcopal Church
• Church of the Brethren
• The Coptic Orthodox Church in North America
• The Episcopal Church
• Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
• Friends United Meeting
• Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
• Hungarian Reformed Church in America
• International Council of Community Churches
• Korean Presbyterian Church in America
• Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church
• Mar Thoma Church
• Moravian Church in America Northern Province and Southern Province
• National Baptist Convention of America
• National Baptist Convention, U.S.A., Inc.
• National Missionary Baptist Convention of America
• Orthodox Church in America
• Patriarchal Parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church in the USA
• Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends
• Polish National Catholic Church of America
• Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
• Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc.
• Reformed Church in America
• Serbian Orthodox Church in the U.S.A. and Canada
• The Swedenborgian Church
• Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch
• Ukrainian Orthodox Church of America
• United Church of Christ
• The United Methodist Church •

19 posted on 02/05/2008 4:02:54 AM PST by Conservativegreatgrandma
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To: lightman; aberaussie

Good!!!!

Pastors and lay leaders might also inform their bishops (or “bishops”, if you have an unapostolic pseudo-bishop), the presiding “bishop”, and the committee why you are neither reading nor commenting on the “statement” until well after Pascha. One might also post on this issue on ALPB and other Lutheran forums, and/or on blogs.

Everyone should realize that the “sexuality statement” is meant to be an ELCA “social statement”, to guide the church body on dealings in the public sphere. It is NOT meant to deal with church disciplinary matters, such as “partnered” gaysbian pastors or “blessings” of same-sex “unions” or “marriages”. However, the last CWA asked the committee to draft a guidance statement on these matters as well.

This whole issue just goes on and on and refuses to die—until Lutheran Christians realize that God is telling them that it is time to go home.


20 posted on 02/05/2008 7:38:36 AM PST by Honorary Serb (Kosovo is Serbia! Free Srpska! Abolish ICTY!)
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