Martin Luther was eight years old when Christopher Columbus set sail from Europe and landed in the Western Hemisphere. Luther was a young monk and priest when Michaelangelo was painting the Sistine Chapel in Rome...
Assignment completes candidacy for all people, including those ordained in another Lutheran church or Christian tradition, moving them toward first call and admittance to the appropriate roster in the ELCA...
The ELCA Conference of Bishops' Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Liaison Committee and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs Committee commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation by signing a joint statement during a Lutheran-Catholic service of Common Prayer.
Martin Luther posted his “Ninety-Five Theses” in Wittenberg on Oct. 31, 1517, and the resulting debate about Christian teaching and practice led to changes that have shaped the course of Western Christianity for almost 500 years.
 Pages 18–21 of the 2009 ELCA social statement Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust, which consider same-gender relationships, have not gone unnoticed by members of the ELCA. Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that, as the statement puts it, "We have come to various conclusions concerning how to regard lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships, including whether and how to recognize publicly their lifelong commitments." Having discussed pages 18–21 with many, I can attest that the statement is right: people have indeed come to "various conclusions" based on "various convictions."
 How do people drawing different conclusions — potentially divisive or fundamentally incompatible — on same-gender relationships live, worship, and serve together? The statement's answer is clear: "with humility and deep respect for the conscience-bound beliefs of others ... we ... believe that this church, on the basis of ‘the bound conscience,' will include these different understandings and practices within its life as it seeks to live out its mission and ministry in the world." It is also clear, though, that this answer has not satisfied everyone. Thus, many in the ELCA have called for further study of the idea of consciences bound to different understandings of Scripture on this matter.
 Enter Journal of Lutheran Ethics. This month's issue features articles on the bound conscience by theologians John Stumme and Martha Stortz; Pastor Lauren Ley; and Matthew Ley, who just completed his research internship in the ELCA Office of the Presiding Bishop that included collection and exploration of materials related to the idea of the bound conscience. JLE's December issue also will be dedicated to the concept of conscience, with articles by Randall Zachman, Diane Yeager, Derek Nelson, and Roger Willer.
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