Another long day… Discussion continued in both morning and afternoon plenary sessions about the sexuality memorials. It was sandwiched between a variety of other business items. Here’s a quick summary.
The substituted memorial which is the original Goodsoil memorial to ask for changes in policies to allow gay and lesbian clergy in committed relationships to remain on the clergy roster was debated and failed in voting.
This returned the discussion to the original memorial to refer the memorial to the 2009 Sexuality Study. A substitute memorial was then introduced to basically allow for a local option to allow the pastors to remain on the roster. This allows a synod to determine if they will allow gay and lesbian pastors to remain on the roster.
Almost immediately after, the referral memorial (which has not been voted on yet) was made. Wording was added to require the Sexuality Study Task Force to rule on the topic of gay and lesbian clergy in their recommendations. It is also being debated.
As you can tell from the above, it becomes very hard to determine what is being debated and what vote will come next. My understanding is that the local option substitution will be voted on first. It would then be followed by the revisions to the original amended referral memorial. Finally, the referral memorial would be voted on. This all needs to be done on Saturday!
Tonight, I attended the banquet to honor the 20th anniversary of the ELCA. It was pretty good. The entertainment was the St. Luke Bottle Band. They have been on David Letterman. It’s a band from a Chicago Lutheran church that plays bottles. They were quite funny. It was a refreshing way to end the day. By the way, it was my 6th day to start with a 6:30 a.m. meeting and end around 11:00 p.m. It has been a long week!