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Not Quite Unprecedented
Abstract: Sherman, set the Wayback Machine for 1990.
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.