Where is the Lamb for the Sacrifice?: This issue marks the 6-month anniversary of LutheranConfessions.com, and we thank you for being here for the occasion. This will be an abbreviated issue because we're on vacation at an undisclosed location.
We're a little surprised to have made it this far. This whole thing started on a whim in the wake of Erik Christensen's ordination. There might not have been anything to write about, and indeed, there have been weeks when we approached the deadline with nothing to say, only to find at the last minute something newsworthy stuck in a nearby thicket. We have learned to trust the words of Abraham: "God will provide," and we hope to be around for many months, maybe even years to come.

Two-thirds Or Not Two-thirds?: That is the question, but don't expect an answer before August. The ELCA News Service did eventually report on the Church Council's action regarding standing rules for this year's Churchwide Assembly in Chicago, and indeed, as our sources said, the Church Council deleted the paragraphs that had been added in 2005 to mandate a two-thirds requirement for approving the measures put forward by the Sexuality Task Force.
Deleting that mandate,however, does not guarantee that a simple majority will be sufficient for measures that come before the 2007 Assembly. Both Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson and Secretary Lowell Almen indicated that the margin required for passage would depend on the substance of the measure being voted on.
Secretary Almen told the ELCA News Service: "It's very difficult to provide adefinitive answer on a margin of vote on a theoretical issue, because the exact languageof a resolution and its implications can have an impact on that margin of vote. One can give a general response like 'it takes a majority vote to approve a response to a memorial of a synod.' But there might be certain circumstances in which the text of a response may elevate the matter to two-thirds. It's impossible to really give an answer definitively... and some questions seem to be seeking that kind of definitive response related to a theoretical issue."


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    Bishop Hanson commented: "We didn't expect in 2007 that we would be possibly be revisiting actions of the 2005 assembly."
    Of course, one would be hard pressed to find any past ELCA churchwide Assembly that has not encountered the issue of gay and lesbian ordination in some form.

    O Delay, O Delay, O Delay: At its Synod Assembly, the North Texas-North Louisana Synod sent a memorial to this year's Churchwide Assembly to put off considering the matter of ordination for non-celibate homosexual persons until the ELCA adopts a social statement on sexuality. The sexuality social statement could not be adopted before the final report of the Sexuality Task Force, now scheduled for 2009. In the mean time we can all learn how to yodel.
    One wonders, if the decision to do nothing would require a two-thirds margin?

    Why Seek Ye the Living Among the Dead?: Some fifty years ago, the family of Pastor Don Deffner contributed a stained glass window of Jesus the Good Shepherd to University Lutheran Chapel in Berkeley, California (Pr. Deffner's church at the time). Recently that congregation undertook a project to create a columbarium to memorialize its dead. Various designs were considered and it was decided that the columbarium would eventually be installed in the space used by the Good Shepherd window (the window will be re-located). On Good Shepherd Sunday, however, worshipers arrived to find cardboard taped up over the window as part of a visualization exercise by the committee working on the columbarium design.

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