AP: Lutheran Church seeing fallout over approving non-celibate same sex unions for Clergy

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Until a few weeks ago, the Rev. Gail Sowell was pastor at two Lutheran churches in the small Wisconsin town of Edgar. That was before members of both congregations jumped headfirst into the simmering debate over gay clergy in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.

"It was pretty gruesome," Sowell said, recalling shouting matches inside the sanctuary; the mass resignation of one church's council, save one member; even whispers around town that she was a lesbian. "For the record, I'm not," she said.

When the smoke cleared, the congregation at St. John Lutheran Church narrowly voted to not leave the ELCA. Across town at Peace Lutheran, they voted to leave and fired Sowell. "Fortunately, I'm thick-skinned," she said.

Not all ELCA congregations have seen that level of turbulence over the ELCA's decision last August to allow pastors in committed same-sex relationships to serve openly. But by most accounts, it has been a confusing and murky time in the nation's largest Lutheran denomination.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesLutheranSexuality Debate (Other denominations and faiths)* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted February 26, 2010 at 7:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. upnorfjoel wrote:

Hey ELCA:
Were you thinking that the law of Inclusion=Contraction applied only to TEC?
Sorry, it’s Universal.

February 26, 9:54 pm | [comment link]
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