The Definition and Blessing of Committed Same-Gender Relationships
ELCA Churchwide Assembly Action CA01.06.28
Passed by the 2001 Churchwide Assembly in Indianapolis, Indiana.
To respond to the memorials of the Metropolitan Chicago Synod, the Southeast Michigan Synod, the Upstate New York Synod, the Metropolitan Washington, D.C., Synod, and the Virginia Synod by directing the Division for Ministry and the Division for Church in Society, in consultation with the Conference of Bishops, ELCA seminaries, colleges and universities, and other churchwide units, to implement jointly a churchwide study on homosexuality;
To provide that the process include creation of a study document on homosexuality for use in congregations, synods, and in sponsored hearings and focus groups across this church. This document shall include study of the Lutheran understanding of the Word of God and biblical, theological, scientific, and practical material on homosexuality. The document shall address issues related to blessing committed same-gender relationships, and rostering of approved candidates who are in committed same-gender relationships. This study shall provide for the sharing of information from and among members of this church;
To authorize the presiding bishop and Church Council to approve the parameters and expense budget of this process and identify the revenue source(s) to provide for this study;
To direct that reports on the study process shall be presented to each of the regular meetings of the Church Council, and to synod assemblies beginning in 2002 with response requested. A first edition report shall be brought to the 2003 Churchwide Assembly along with initial or interim recommendations. A final report, complete with action steps for full implementation, shall be presented to the 2005 Churchwide Assembly;
To respect charitably one another as we examine our understandings and practices, speaking the truth in love, practicing the "mutual conversation and consolation of the brothers and sisters" (Luther, Smalcald Articles
, III.4); and
To request that the Division for Ministry, in consultation with the Division for Congregational Ministries and the Conference of Bishops, identify and make available materials to assist and support pastors as they provide pastoral care and counseling for persons concerned with these issues.