By Patrick Condon
August 17, 2009
FRIDLEY, Minn. - – The Rev. Dave Glesne stood before the members of Redeemer Lutheran Church a few weeks ago and told them there might be some painful decisions in the near future.
Glesne is against letting people in same-sex relationships serve as pastors of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and he says his congregation is behind him. They’re worried this suburban Minneapolis church could find itself on the losing side as leaders of the nation’s largest Lutheran denomination vote on whether to take that step at their biennial national convention, which starts Monday in Minneapolis.
"Of course the question was asked: ‘What will we do, Pastor Dave, if this goes?’ " Glesne said. “The conversation we had left me no doubt that we will definitely have a discussion about leaving the ELCA.”
Avoiding such divisions was a main goal of a denominational task force that prepared recommendations for debate by the 1,045 voting members at the convention. One is a revision of ministry standards that would let individual congregations employ gay and lesbian people in committed relationships as clergy. The other is a broader statement on human sexuality, a 34-page document that tries to craft a theological framework for differing views on homosexuality – but which critics say would liberalize Evangelical Lutheran Church in America attitudes.
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