Tuesday, April 13, 2010

No Longer Precluded from the Full Life of the Church

This past weekend, the ELCA Church Council made a great many textual changes to ministry policies. Among these changes were those presented below.  Strikethroughs indicate language from the original policies deleted by the council. Underlines indicate new language adopted by the council.

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EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH IN AMERICA
April 9-12, 2010
“Vision and Expectations: Ordained Ministers”
Exhibit Q, Part 3a
Page 10
[From the section on Holy Living]
A married ordained minister is expected to live in fidelity to his or her spouse, giving expression to sexual intimacy within a marriage relationship that is mutual, chaste, and faithful. Ordained ministers who are homosexual in their self-understanding are expected to abstain from homosexual sexual relationships.
An ordained minister who is in a publicly accountable lifelong, monogamous same-gender relationship is expected to live in fidelity to his or her partner, giving expression to sexual intimacy within a publicly accountable relationship that is mutual, chaste, and faithful.


EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH IN AMERICA
April 9-12, 2010
“Definitions and Guidelines for Discipline”
Exhibit Q, Part 2a
Page 2
Sexual MattersThe biblical understanding which this church affirms is that the normative setting for sexual intercourse is marriage. The expectation of this church is that an ordained minister is to lead a chaste and decent life in word and deed. In keeping with this understanding expectation, chastity and abstinence are required outside of marriage or outside publicly accountable, lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships, and chastity and fidelity are required within marriage or within such same-gender relationships. before marriage and fidelity within marriage are the norm. Adultery, infidelity, casual sexual relationships, promiscuity, the sexual abuse of another, or the misuse of counseling the pastoral relationships for sexual favors activity constitute conduct that is incompatible with the character of the ministerial office. Practicing homosexual persons are precluded from the ordained ministry of this church.

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