ELM Statement Following the 2009 ELCA Churchwide Assembly

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Halleluiah! What an amazing time to be a Lutheran!

Immediately following the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s historic votes to allow congregations to recognize same-sex relationships and to allow ordination of people in same-sex relationships, many people have asked: “What does this mean for Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries?”

In the coming weeks and months we will be talking with supporters, ELM Roster members, affiliated congregations, coalition partners and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. We will be gathering responses, reactions, questions and reflections to inform our work in the days and weeks to come. Working together with our partners in this movement, ELM remains committed to supporting the full inclusion of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities in the life of the church as we explore together what that means in light of the ELCA’s recent decisions.

We express our profound gratitude to Lutherans Concerned/North America and the Goodsoil coalition for their hard and successful work to organize within the church to enact policies that welcome and support people of all sexual orientations and gender identities in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. We joyfully celebrate together during this time of watershed change in the Lutheran church!

Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries is the result of a twenty year movement within the Lutheran church to affirm the calls of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. For a long time, we have been saying yes in the face of church policies that said no to the gifts and talents of gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual pastors. We express our deep appreciation to the members of the Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries Roster and the congregations that have opened their call process to our roster, and all those who have demonstrated for many years what it looks like to affirm the calls of lesbian, transgender, gay and bisexual people.

We remember and grieve the loss of those who resisted these policies as long as possible, but who left our denomination, or the Church, or did not live to see this day. We recognize that there are still pastors for whom the possibility of coming out is tempered by the reality that they may be serving in a congregation or synod that may not affirm their call based on sexual orientation or gender identity. We pray that someday all people may live and serve openly and authentically without fear of rejection from their church.
We will continue to keep you informed about further developments for ELM.