The Three Motions Submitted to the ELCIC National Convention related to the Social Statement on Human Sexuality
BULLETIN OF REPORTS Section F–National Church Council Report page F-99ff _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Covenant People: In Mission for Others, Thirteenth Biennial Convention of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada July 14-17, 2011 Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
MOTION #26 That the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada in convention adopt the following affirmation as representing the position of this church and communicate this action to congregations, partner churches in Canada, sister churches in The Lutheran World Federation and other Lutheran church associations in Canada:
An Affirmation Concerning the Unity of the Church As a confessional Lutheran Church which bases its life and teaching on the Scriptures, the ecumenical creeds and the confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada affirms with the confessors at Augsburg in 1530 that “it is enough for the unity of the church to agree concerning the teaching of the gospel and the administration of the sacraments” (AC VII).
We affirm that the church ought not be divided because of disagreement over moral issues, no matter how distressing such disagreement might be. We believe that any attempt to divide the church because of disagreements over morals, polity or liturgy is an unacceptable confusion of law and gospel, which will lead inevitably to a distortion of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
We encourage ELCIC members, congregations, synods and churches who share our commitment to the Scriptures, creeds and confessions and who disagree with one another over issues of morals, polity (including standards for ordination or consecration) and/or liturgy to remain in dialogue and unity with one another and maintain unity in the gospel and the sacraments as St. Paul recommends in I Corinthians 1:10-17. We encourage all Lutherans to work for and nurture the unity of the confessional witness to the Gospels which is essential to the Lutheran tradition. We ask those persons, congregations, synods and/or churches who are in disagreement to refrain from actions that will divide the body of Christ.
Rationale: See Social Statement in “Encountering the World in Which We Live: Equality” (p.3); also “Facing God and Being Church: Justice, Mercy and Healing” (p. 9); also “Facing God and Being Church: Respect” (p.9)
MOTION #27 That the 2011 ELCIC National Convention consider for approval the following policy statement:
It is the policy of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada that rostered ministers may, according to the dictates of their consciences as informed by the Gospels, the Scriptures, the ecumenical creeds and the confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, preside at or bless legal marriages according to the laws of the province within which they serve. All rostered ministers in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada are encouraged to exercise due diligence in preparing couples for marriage. All rostered ministers serving congregations are encouraged at all times to conduct their ministry in consultation with the lay leaders in the congregation and with sensitivity to the culture within which the congregation serves.
Rationale: See Social Statement in “Facing God and Being Church: Marriage”, paragraphs 3 & 4 (pp. 7-8)
MOTION #28 That the 2011 ELCIC National Convention rescind Convention actions NC-1993-16 and NC-1989-96 and that the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada consider for approval the following policy:
It is the policy of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada that sexual orientation is not in itself a factor which disqualifies a candidate for rostered ministry or a rostered minister seeking a call. Candidates and rostered ministers are in all cases expected to adhere to the qualifications and standards as set out in the constitution and bylaws of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada and of the synod within which they serve. Synods and congregations are expected to evaluate candidates for ordination or consecration and rostered ministers for call in accordance with a conscience informed by the Gospels, the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions.
Rationale: See Social Statement in “Doing Ministry: Recognize Orientation” (p. 13)
NC-1993-16 That the ELCIC in convention endorse the Bishops’ statement on the ordination or certification of its homosexual members, i.e., “A self-declared and practising homosexual is not to be approved for ordination and, if already ordained, is not to be recommended for call.”
That since this has been the practise of the bishops, and since it was reported to the National Church Council and received by the 1989 ELCIC convention without alteration, it remains the practise of the church.
NC-1989-96 That the statement of the Conference of Bishops regarding the ordination and call of homosexual persons as reported by the Church Council be ratified. To refer the motion to the Division for Theological Education and Leadership.
Director Communications LC/NA