ELCA Convention Underway, by Pr. Rossow

The ELCA Churchwide Assembly is underway. You can watch it live by clicking here.

I do not have time this week to do much by way of watching it and reviewing it for you. We will have posts on it as we have time. If anyone has been watching/listening please feel free to offer your editorial comments below.

I did hear enough this morning to note that they will begin the debate on the sexuality issue this afternoon. As I understand it they will debating whether or not to allow practicing homosexual clergy in the ELCA. More to come…

Update at 12:30 Central – Since posting about an hour ago we have had some excellent suggestions on how to keep up on teh ELCA Assembly:

  1. Dan at Necessary Roughness has posted this commentary (click here).
  2. Ed Weise (aka Calfiowan) provided this info for us:

    For those of you who don’t really want to watch:

    Richard Johnson, Editor of “Forum Letter,” is posting regularly with updated commentary on the E?CA confab on the ALPB’s “Forum Online” website. Very thorough, almost excruciatingly so at times!

    Some of the “comments” on his commentaries are more revealing than the commentaries themselves.

    Johnson is critical of much of what is going on, and has been going on, in E?CA.

    Worth a periodic look.

     

About Pastor Tim Rossow

Rev. Dr. Timothy Rossow is the Director of Development for Lutherans in Africa. He served Bethany Lutheran Church in Naperville, IL as the Sr. Pastor for 22 years (1994-2016) and was Sr. Pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran in Dearborn, MI prior to that. He is the founder of Brothers of John the Steadfast but handed off the Sr. Editor position to Rev. Joshua Scheer in 2015. He currently resides in Ocean Shores WA with his wife Phyllis. He regularly teaches in Africa. He also paints watercolors, reads philosophy and golfs. He is currently represented in two art galleries in the Pacific Northwest. His M Div is from Concordia, St. Louis and he has an MA in philosophy from St. Louis University and a D Min from Concordia, Fort Wayne.

Comments

ELCA Convention Underway, by Pr. Rossow — 11 Comments

  1. For those of you who don’t really want to watch:
    Richard Johnson, Editor of “Forum Letter,” is posting regularly with updated commentary on the E?CA confab on the ALPB’s “Forum Online” website. Very thorough, almost excruciatingly so at times!
    Some of the “comments” on his commentaries are more revealing than the commentaries themselves.
    Johnson is critical of much of what is going on, and has been going on, in E?CA.
    Worth a periodic look.
    Ed Weise

  2. My brother, who is stuck in a fairly conservative ELCA congregation in the Mid-South, sent me this the other day:

    ———————————————————

    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Leaders of the largest U.S. Lutheran denomination prayed for unity as they waded into a weeklong debate over homosexuality and the clergy, while a rule change that would allow people in same-sex relationships to serve as ministers cleared its first hurdle.

    The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, which is meeting this week in Minneapolis, is debating a proposal to allow individual congregations to hire gays and lesbians in committed relationships as clergy. A final vote is not expected until Friday.

    But delegates on Monday rejected a move by critics of the proposal to require approval from a two-thirds supermajority instead of a simple majority when the measure comes to the final vote.

    Supporters of the supermajority said a higher hurdle was needed to signal wide support for what they called a major change in the church’s approach to homosexuality. But the move received support from just 43 percent of the 1,045 voting delegates.

    ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson said earlier in the day that the outcome of the majority versus supermajority vote shouldn’t be seen as strongly indicating the ultimate outcome of the debate.

    The ELCA delegates gathered at the Minneapolis Convention Center also will consider a broader statement on human sexuality, a 34-page document that tries to establish a theological framework for differing views on homosexuality. Critics say it would simply liberalize the ELCA’s attitudes. A vote on that document is scheduled for Wednesday.

    At 4.7 million members and about 10,000 congregations in the United States, the ELCA would be one of the largest U.S. Christian denominations yet to take a more gay-friendly stance on clergy.

    In 2003, the 2 million-member Episcopal Church consecrated its first openly gay bishop, deepening a long-running rift over homosexuality in the worldwide Anglican Communion and leading to the formation of the more conservative Anglican Church in North America, which claims 100,000 members.

    ——————————————————-

    I guess we’ll know more by Friday, but it doesn’t look good. “Stacking the deck,” I believe is the correct term for this type of vote.

  3. There is a time slot on the schedule for Saturday in which there will be a brief greeting from the LCMS. President K has done these in the past, but his officialy speaking schedule from the LCMS website doesn’t mention it. I wonder who will represent us, and what they will say (ESPECIALLY since this will be the day after “the big vote”).

    We’ll be watching.

  4. Diane Jacobson just finished talking about the Book of Faith Initiative. How Lutherans interpret the bible. So she exposited on the Parable of the Prodigal Son.
    I’ve never heard an interpretation like that. I’m no theologian.
    Maybe it’s just me but it was man centered, religious humanism, social justice.
    Just my .02

  5. May those who chose thus, per Jim Pierce, be forgiven for their ignorance & idolatry (social/human divinity or whatever they call it now). May those who have fellowship, should this be true, do what IS good, right & true…AND END IT POST HASTE. Heresy is heresy, not matter which direction it may come from.
    May the Lord be merciful to all, chief of thus thought I may be, of His children!

  6. I’m sure it is no revelation to many, but listening and watching the convention online I am more convinced that the ELCA is basically a social service agency that occasionally invokes God and Love to justify any action or behavior.

    (God made us this way, God is love, so logically everyone has to accept and support [INSERT DEVIANT BEHAVIOR HERE])

  7. The “Affirmation of Faith” used at the convention worship service Wednesday night:

    I believe in God,
    Maker of an unfinished world,
    Who calls us to participate in bringing about the fullness of Creation.
    God, who created abundant resources to provide for all.
    God, who has not divided people into rich and poor, owners and slaves,
    Nor pitted us against each other because of race, color, social class or sex.

    I believe in Jesus Christ who was ridiculed, tortured and executed for the sins of humankind.
    He has overthrown the rule of evil and injustice
    and continues to judge and redeem the hatred and arrogance of human beings.

    I believe in the Spirit of God whose flame comforts us with divine presence
    and causes our hearts to burn for righteousness and justice.
    I believe in the reconciling power of God in our lives and in the world.
    I believe that God, through people, can bring peace and hope,
    justice and equality, the relief of suffering and pain, and the final triumph of love and grace. Amen.

  8. Jim Claybourn–one could recite this at a political convention or a ball game. Well, you’d have to get rid of that offensive “Jesus” stuff, kind of like the Pledge of Allegiance without “Under God.” Let’s hear it for “motherhood, apple pie, the flag, liberty and justice for all.”
    Now that I think about it, if you got rid of that offensive Jesus stuff, this would go very nicely at the next Unitarian/Univeralist convention. Change the “Spirit of God” to the “spirit of man,”. The first reference to God could read, “I believe in evolution, maker of an unfinished world…” Etc., etc. You get the drift.

  9. Thanks be to God that ELCA uses the Bible to welcome all people into the fellowship of God’s grace rather than to beat all sinners (as in all people) over the head.

    an ELCA ordained pastor … and female!

  10. #10 Anonymous,

    Thanks for posting on our site. We welcome your comments. Dialogue is a good thing.

    I listened to hours of the ELCA convention and heard a lot more Bible quotations from those who spoke against the statements than those who spoke in favor of them.

    Once in a while a pro speaker would quote the Bible but rarely. Can you summarize the Biblical teaching that supports your view so that our readers can better understand what you mean by saying that you use “the Bible to welcome all people into the fellowship of God’s grace?”

    TR

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