Storm clouds gathering

Lutherans face sexuality issues
This was to be a relatively calm year for Mark S. Hanson, the presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The ELCA has not experienced nearly the angst over homosexual issues that Episcopalians, Methodists and Presbyterians have. That was expected to change next January as an ELCA task force recommends whether the 5-million-member denomination should rescind its ban on ordination of noncelibate gay and lesbian pastors, and whether the ELCA should create rites to bless committed same-gender partnerships.

But April 15 was a taxing day for ELCA leaders with the news that three congregations—two in California, one in Minneapolis—said they were about to install either a gay or lesbian as a pastor.


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