The ELCA takes its first step toward implementing changes in ministry policies

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This week the ELCA Church Council adopted the Reinstatement Process Revision:

“For former clergy and other professional leaders who were removed from the church’s official rosters for disciplinary reasons or resigned in lieu of discipline — solely because they were in a lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationship.”

This action by the Church Council is the first official enactment of the church council pursuant to actions at the August 2009 Churchwide Assembly in Minneapolis that ordered the elimination of the policy that precluded service in the church by ministers in committed, same-gender relationships.

ELM was represented and present for the meeting which took place over the weekend of November 13-15 in Chicago, IL.

The change, adopted Nov. 15, applies to former ELCA associates in
ministry, deaconesses, diaconal ministers and ordained ministers.

Even under the new reinstatement policy, a final decision on an applicant’s reinstatement request cannot be made until other policy documents are revised and approved. But this is still a step in the right direction!