Message: ELCA Churchwide Assembly 2009: “God’s Work. Our Hands.”

It has been a passion-filled week here at the ELCA’s 2009 Churchwide Assembly in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This assembly took up a number of exciting new initiatives that will involve our church in God’s work addressing malaria and HIV/AIDS; calls us to become more fluent in the first language of faith – scripture; and to study the status of women and the impact of sexism in our church and in the world.

It is also a week in which our church voted on the proposed social statement, “Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust” along with its implementing resolutions and ministry policies. After decades of waiting, this church is now committed to finding ways to live together in the midst of deep disagreement on these issues, respecting the bound conscience of those with whom we disagree; finding ways to bless “publicly-accountable, life-long, monogamous, same-sex relationships”; and rostering LGBT people in such relationships for ministry in the church. Thanks be to God!

There will be much to share with you all when Judi, Bill and I return to Chicago. Thank you for your prayers of love, encouragement and support while we’ve been away this past week. Your presence has been felt and appreciated during these long days of plenary meetings and tension-filled votes. Now we are charged with taking all of these decisions and finding ways to live them out faithfully in our world. I can think of no community of people I would rather do that with than the one we have in each other.

In Christ,

Pastor Erik

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