Good News from St. Luke: Luke 6:22-23: Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.
Good News from Word Alone: Our friends at Word Alone have done the church the great favor of publishing Guidance for Pastors and Congregations of the New England Synod, ELCA Regarding the Blessing of Unions of Same-Sex Couples. Guidance is a statement about you-know-what adopted by the Synod Council of the New England Synod in December, 2006. Copies were sent to clergy in the Synod in early February, but the document hasn't appeared on the Synod website as of this writing. The Word Alone folks don't care much for it, but we think it's pretty good and worth reading. Thank you, New England Synod, and thank you, Word Alone!
Not Quite Unprecedented: Exceprt from "Decision of the Discipline Committee": We also earnestly hope and pray that the church will now face the issue of ordination of homosexuals faithfully and in dialogue with all of its members. We have no power to dictate... the policies of the ELCA. We can only ask that the Churchwide Assembly faithfully examine those policies after appropriate study and communication.
Those words may sound like they came from the decision rendered on Feb. 8, 2007 regarding Pr. Bradley Schmeling, but they are actually from the 24-page (though of course, size doesn't matter) decision delivered in July,1990 by the Discipline Committee that removed St. Francis and First United in San Francisco from the roll of ELCA Congregations. The committee imposed a 5-year suspension period in the hope that ELCA policy would change and there would be no need to expel the congregations. The policy did not change, and the congregations were expelled.
Veteran of an Earlier Trial: Regretfully, I must point out that the Committee on Appeals is NOT aconstitutional court with a recognized right of judicial review. They have never had a recognized ability to overturn policy or actions of the Churchwide Assembly or the Church Council. These arguments have been made to them before and with no effect. Sinfully Delicious: You'll be the envy of everyone in your lectionary study group, and your Fair Trade Coffee will be sinfully delicious because you're drinking it from the Official LutheranConfessions.com MUG! Be the Life of the Party:
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Sinfully Delicious: You'll be the envy of everyone in your lectionary study group, and your Fair Trade Coffee will be sinfully delicious because you're drinking it from the Official LutheranConfessions.com MUG!
Be the Life of the Party:
Pr. Sophie is all a-Twitter. Again.
Pr. Sophie's Tweets:
Hot Dish Hotline: "We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard." What have you seen or heard that other people really need to know about? Use the Hot Dish Hotline to submit your item online.
The status quo of injustice and oppression continues unabated.
Not So Good News from Word Alone: WordAlone Director Mark Chavez commenting on the Schmeling verdict:The hearingcommittee, like all ELCA committees dealing with the sexuality matters, is lopsided in support of approving homosexual relationships. It says that if the ELCA policy was changed, 'this committee would find almost unanimously that Pastor Schmeling is not engaged in conduct that is incompatible with the ministerial office, and would find with near unanimity that no discipline of any sort should be imposed against him.'
Lumping together the Schmeling verdict and the New England Synod Council's action regarding the blessing of same-sex relationships, Word Alone President Pr. Jaynan Clark Egland said: ELCA leaders in the New England Synod, and in the Southeastern Synod and churchwide discipline committees, have with these actions, shown their complete disregard for the authority of the Word of God in all matters of faith and life,
Manifesto: Finally tiring of their lame joke about the Gay Agenda, the Queer Lutheran Liberation Front (QLLF) has issued a manifesto. Apparently they will not wait for the church policy to change and are not packaging legislative initiatives for the 2007 Churchwide Assembly in Chicago.
Run On Water: The Central Great Lakes Synod team (led by Bishop Thorvald "Wally" Noe-Effingway) entered in the annual Run on Water in the Apostle Islands will have to wait three more weeks. On Feb. 10, the scheduled date for the event, it was too cold (3F) to run 2.5 miles across the frozen lake and back. The event has been rescheduled for March 3.
More Deliberation: We hear that testimony has ended in the ecclesiastical trial of Pr. Sophie Fortresson, a transgender pastor in the Central Great Lakes Synod. The Discipline Hearing Committee has two weeks to deliver its verdict.
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