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To Resolve or Not to Resolve?
Abstract: Bishops discourage resolutions on sexuality issues for this year's synod assemblies. At least one synod will buck the trend.
We hear that Bishops throughout the ELCA are suggesting to anyone who will listen that resolutions addressing "sexuality issues" not be brought to synod assemblies in 2008.
Some thoughtful observers have noted however, that postponing resolutions from synods until the 2009 synod assembly season (April - June) means that these resolutions would come too late to be considered by the ELCA Church Council which will do much of its 2009 Churchwide Assembly planning at its March, 2009 meeting.
No one wants to find out in August of 2009 that their proposals can't be acted upon because the Church Council wasn't given adequate notice.
We don't know if St. Paul Area Synod Bishop Peter Rogness is among the bishops discouraging memorials on sexuality issues this year, but on February 24 the South Central Conference of that synod approved three resolutions for this year's Synod Assembly, expecting that, if approved by the synod assembly, the resolutions would come to the ELCA Church Council in time to be considered for the agenda of the 2009 Churchwide Assembly. The resolutions are:
A Memorial to Amend Policies on the ELCA’s Ministry Rosters would direct the relevant churchwide units to amend their respective policy documents to open the ELCA ministry roster to qualified people in committed same-gender partnerships.
A Memorial Encouraging Same-Gender Couples’ Promises of Lifelong Fidelity requests the development of churchwide resources to support pastors and congregations in affirming same gender partnerships and providing pastoral care for same-gender couples.
A Resolution Against Violence and Discrimination on the Basis of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity calls in part for the Church council
"...to amend Church Council Action CC93.03.37 so that it incorporates gender identity along with sexual orientation in terms of the ELCA’s (a) opposition to harassment or assault as well as (b) support for legislation protecting civil rights and prohibiting discrimination in housing, employment, and public services and accommodations..."
The St. Paul Area Synod Assembly will be May 30-31 at Prince of Peace Lutheran in Burnsville.