National Lutheran News

NO EXCEPTIONAL ORDINATIONS IN ELCA

A recommendation from the Division for Ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) has been affirmed by that church body’s Church Council. It rejects a proposal that would allow for possible exceptions to its statement of standards for ordained ministers. In this case, the issue dealt with ordaining gay and lesbian people who engage in committed homosexual sexual relationships.

During its November 10-13 meeting in Chicago, the council reaffirmed the commitment of the ELCA “to continue thoughtful, deliberate and prayerful conversations throughout the church” on the issue.

St. Paul-Reformation Lutheran Church sought an exception for Anita Hill, a lay minister who has served the congregation for several years and completed a master of divinity degree this year, a requirement for ordination in the ELCA. On behalf of the congregation, the Saint Paul Area Synod Council petitioned the ELCA Church Council to amend “Vision and Expectations,” a document the council adopted in 1990. The document defines the ELCA’s standards for ordained ministers.
The Saint Paul Area Synod proposed that the Conference of Bishops be empowered to grant exceptions to the ELCA standards for ordained ministers. — ELCA News

The complete version of this story appears in the December print edition of Metro Lutheran.