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Hint of Hope from Minneapolis

Timothy Kincaid

August 18th, 2009

A vote at the Lutheran (ELCA) convention last night gives up a hint of hope that the body may side with inclusion in Friday’s vote on clergy in same-sex relationships.

Those opposed to allowing partnered gay ministers proposed that Friday’s vote require two-thirds for passage rather than a simple majority. (Christian Post)

supporters of the supermajority said a higher hurdle was needed to signal wide support for a proposal they view as a major change in the church’s approach to homosexuality

However, delegates defeated this parliamentary change by a margin of 57-43. Friday’s vote will be a simple majority.

All sides caution that Monday’s vote is not a predictor of the eventual vote on policy change. However, it does hint that the proposed change has significant support.

As an interesting side note, it was in Minneapolis in 2003 that the Episcopal Church ordained Gene Robinson as a Bishop, thereby igniting an international firestorm with has likely led to schism in the Anglican Communion. This midwestern city may earn a reputation as a site central to the greatest restructuring of American Christianity since the Civil War.

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Richard W. Fitch
August 18th, 2009 | LINK

The next thing would be if opponents suspected there might be two-thirds in favor they would require a unanimous vote?? With the recent decisions by major American church bodies to honor the committed relationships of gay members, can we have more hope that the legal, civil rights will soon follow?

David C.
August 18th, 2009 | LINK

With the recent decisions by major American church bodies to honor the committed relationships of gay members, can we have more hope that the legal, civil rights will soon follow? —Richard W. Fitch

We might expect that there will be moderate Christian voices counterbalancing those of the more conservative and fundamentalist Christian voices—if those moderate voices will but speak up and be heard.

If the political discourse surrounding social policy becomes rational and less shrill, there is perhaps a chance that the truth will be heard in the halls of power where access to civil rights is controlled. But if social policy debate continues to be conducted in the echo chamber of Right Wing conservatism and manufactured dissent without a moderating force of reason to dampen the vibrations, nothing will change.

tavdy79
August 18th, 2009 | LINK

This midwestern city may earn a reputation as a site central to the greatest restructuring of American Christianity since the Civil War.

There’s a good chance it will earn a reputation as a site central to the greatest restructuring of Christianity since the Reformation.

Scott
August 18th, 2009 | LINK

I can see how someone would vote against this “changing the rules of the game” but then also vote against allow gay or lesbian partnered pastors.

I am glad that my own pastor and the delegate from my congregation are there to weigh in.

Piper
August 18th, 2009 | LINK

When I was working as a camp counselor in a Lutheran Bible camp one of my fellow counselors had a short joke that we all felt was very typical of the Lutheran sentiment.

A Lutheran hears the word change and gets really confused for a moment. He then smiles and nods his head, “change you say? , We call that death.” It was meant that young Lutherans we would get very frustrated at some of the older members of the church, who it seemed wouldn’t know change until they died.

Lutherans are very stubborn, it can be one of our best traits, but it can also shoot us in the foot. I’ve heard this kind of vote often in the past. It’s common to read the reports from different synod meetings say that they struck down this very same motion. it is a tactic that seems to be used often.

P.S. I thought my Pastor was going, but he’s taking a vacation, not going to the assembly.

Bill Herrmann
August 18th, 2009 | LINK

Don’t forget that it was also in Minneapolis in 1976 that the Episcopal Church’s General Convention approved ordination of women to be priests and bishops.

Maybe the Methodists and Presbyterians should schedule their next conventions there.

Richard W. Fitch
August 19th, 2009 | LINK

The vote PASSED by just 66.67%. Maybe every national church general convention should be in Minneapolis.

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