The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, with approximately 3. Formed in with the merger of three smaller Lutheran organizations, the ELCA is based in Chicago and encompasses nearly 10, congregations and more than 3. Churchwide Assemblies are held every three years, with elected representatives establishing policy and addressing the concerns of the larger church body. In , the Churchwide Assembly passed a resolution stating that, "Gay and lesbian people, as individuals created by God, are welcome to participate fully in the life of the congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. While the Churchwide Assembly has not come to agreement on the issue of marriage equality, the ongoing debate has prompted a policy that gives autonomy to individual ministers and their congregations, resulting in the celebration of same-sex marriages at many ELCA churches across the country.
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Church staff had kept their secret since June. Even Zink's husband, who is on the staff, would not tell her what the excitement was about. They thought maybe the announcement would have to do with a service project. The checks were designated by luck in a blind draw, church authorities said. And they're still turning. That being said, no one was prepared for the gift she would leave to the church after her passing. And her gift came with no strings attached.
Lutherans Offer Warm Welcome to Gay Pastors
This church has stood for over years and continues to shine the light of Jesus' Salvation for all God's children. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.
The ceremony at St. Jeff R. Johnson, one of the seven gay pastors participating in the ceremony, said at a news conference just before it began. Since the church voted last summer to allow noncelibate gay clergy members to serve, congregations have taken the two consecutive votes required to leave the denomination, said Melissa Ramirez Cooper, a spokeswoman for the church, citing a tally that she said was updated monthly. There are 10, congregations nationwide.