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Underground Pastoral Message
Abstract: Pastoral Message from ELCA Conference of Bishops circulates underground.
A communique purporting to be a "pastoral message" from the recent ELCA Conference of Bishops meeting in Galveston, Texas tiptoed into our email so quietly we almost doubted that it was genuine It was passed to us third-hand with email attribution from people in 3 different synods. We try to check our facts, but we have no idea who the source is or if the message is in tact. No press release, no hoopla, nothing on the COB website. But still there it was, and here it is in its entirety:
Message of the Conference of Bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America March 6, 2007
This pastoral message of the Conference of Bishops is offered as we prepare for upcoming Synod Assemblies and the Churchwide Assembly.
We remind this church that the 2005 Churchwide Assembly resolved that the "members, congregations, synods, churchwide organization, and agencies and institutions [of this church] be urged to concentrate on finding ways to live together faithfully in the midst of disagreements, recognizing the God-given mission and communion that we share as members of the body of Christ" ( CA05.05.17).
This church is engaged in a careful study of issues related to human sexuality with the intention of adopting a social statement at the 2009 Churchwide Assembly. We urge the members of this church to engage fully and faithfully in the study process as part of our "living together faithfully" during this time.
We trust the Holy Spirit to guide us and have confidence in the constitutional process that orders our conversation as we engage together in moral deliberation at Synod Assemblies and the Churchwide Assembly.
The Conference of Bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America commits itself to faithful leadership as, together, we seek the mind of Christ on these matters.