Studies on Sexuality
ELCA Church Council Action CC01.11.103
Passed by the 2001 ELCA Church Council.
To receive the report on the proposed process for response by this church to the actions of the 2001 Churchwide Assembly related to the development of a social statement on human sexuality (CA01.06.45) and a study on homosexuality (CA01.06.28), including the issues of the blessing of samegender relationships and the possible rostering of homosexual persons in committed same-gender relationships (CA01.06.36);
To affirm that this church is in a time of discernment regarding matters of human sexuality and that we pray for God’s guidance during this time;
To affirm that there are no preconceived conclusions on the content of the recommendations that will be submitted to the 2005 and subsequent Churchwide Assemblies;
To continue thoughtful, deliberate, and prayerful conversation throughout the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America about human sexuality, including homosexuality and the inclusion of persons who are gay and lesbian in our common life and mission, and to anticipate the participation of all members, congregations, synods, seminaries, and Churchwide units in this process of deeper biblical study and conversation;
To encourage the Division for Ministry and the Division for Church in Society to continue refining the proposed options for this church’s response by:
- beginning the process with an exploration of the Lutheran understanding of the Word of God to serve as a foundation for the entire process; and
- developing a congregational study guide to the ELCA “Message on Sexuality: Some Common Convictions”;
To affirm the plan to hire a staff director for this project;
To recommend that the Church Council, at its April 2002 meeting, receive a refined proposal combining options 21 and 32, with a request that the final proposal include:
- a communication plan that provides for frequent updates available to members and congregations;
- a process for feedback that utilizes existing meetings (synod assemblies, gatherings of lay and rostered people, and other events) as well as hearings and focus groups; and
- a recommendation related to funding the process; and
To ask that the executive directors of the Division for Ministry and the Division for Church in Society consult with the Executive Committee of the Church Council throughout the coming months related to the anticipated parameters of the study and other factors that will contribute to the decisions that the Church Council will need to consider at the April 2002 meeting.