Out-Of-Town Scoreboard: If you're wondering how the goodsoil memorials are doing at Synod Assemblies this year, here's a quick run-down as of May 20:
Eight Synods have passed "Memorial 1" (the measure to direct the owners of Vision and Expectations and Definitions and Guidelines for Discipline to remove from those documents the requirement of celibacy for homosexual clergy): Sierra Pacific, Southeastern Pennsylvania, South-Central Wisconsin, Northeastern Minnesota, Rocky Mountain, Metro New York, Oregon, and Southwestern Washington
Two synods have passed "Memorial 2" (a measure to encourage refraining from discipine against homosexual clergy in committed, same-sex relationships): Oregon and Rocky Mountain. Three synods have passed "Memorial 3" (a measure to endorse restraint in the enforcement of the celibacy requirement): Rocky Mountain, Oregon, and Southeast Michigan.
Three synods have rejected all of the goodsoil memorials: Eastern WA, Florida-Bahamas, and Northern Texas-Northern Louisiana.
And two synods have passed measures requesting no change in policy before 2009: North Texas-North Louisiana and Eastern North Dakota.

More Deathless Prose: The Traditional Values Coalition (TVC) failed in its bid to defeat HR 1592 (the "hate crimes" bill), but Rev. Lou Sheldon is a trooper and the show must go on:
Frankly, I'm encouraged by all of the attention we're getting from the fever swamp of liberalism and homosexual fanaticism on the web. It just proves to me that we're being effective in our efforts to stop them. They're going ballistic over our successes in slowing down their dangerous legislation that threaten to wipe out our First Amendment freedoms of free speech, association, and religion.

Those People At That (Other) Church: Thrivent Financial's Volunteer Excellence Award program recognizes people who have provided outstanding volunteer service and made a significant impact on their local communities. Awards are given in six categories and the 2007 national award in the "Families with Children" category went to Gene Lewis of Stone Mountain, GA. Among Gene's numerous accomplishments are fund raisers with the Atlanta Braves to benefit Lutheran Services of Georgia and a Spring College Tour to allow high school students in foster care the opportunity to visit college campuses throughout Georgia. Gene is a member of St. John (Atlanta), Pastor Bradley Schmeling's) congregation.

Spirit of Wholeness: Spirit of Wholeness in Christ is a racial, ethnic, multicultural event sponsored by the ELCA, the Reformed Church

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!

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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.

    , and the Presbyterian Church (USA). The event will be held July 12-15, 2007 at the Los Angeles Airport Marriott Hotel, Los Angeles, CA. The purpose of the gathering is to affirm the authenticity of God's people working together in solidarity, focusing on education, justice, and inclusiveness in multicultural settings in the life of the church and society, and its goals are to value and appreciate racial/cultural differences, to provide leadership development opportunities for our constituencies, and to provide tools for dismantling racism. Details and registration forms are available on the ELCA website.

    The Clergy Conundrum: We learned this week that a video clip from the 2007 Sierra Pacific Synod Assembly appeared on YouTube.com. Labelled The Clergy Conundrum, the clip features Bishop David Mullen, Pr. Jeff Johnson, and Pr. Robyn Hartwig in a discussion of Pr. Johnson's status as "clergy" and his candidacy for Synod Council. Pr. Johnson's candidacy was disallowed this year because he was deemed "clergy". The bishop indicates that Pr. Johnson will be ineligible for clergy positions on the council next year.

    Five Feet High and Rising: You should have a look at the list of workshops for the Let the River Flow, ELCA's "Large Congregation" event scheduled for June 18 - 21 in Burnsville, MN. If you're interested in these topics (e.g., "Backwards and in Heels"), your congregation might be larger than you think. Of particular interest is a workshop on The Alpha Course, a "low-key, friendly and fun" introduction to Christianity "supported by all the major demoninations."

    Bishop-less Ordinations?: At the recent Word Alone convention, a group of Luther Seminary students invited Word Alone members to sign a petition supporting the students' request for "non-episcopal" ordinations. The ELCA requires that new pastors must be ordained by a bishop, and ordinands desiring an exception for this requirement must provide a written explanation of their circumstances.
    Representing the seminarians, Luther Senior Tyler Hepner said:
    A corporately drafted statement, we believe, can help students through the process of applying for an exception, and show bishops of the ELCA that this is not principally a matter of individual preference.
    You can read the complete petition at the Word Alone website.

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