SALISBURY, N.C. — Hundreds of Lutherans from across the state met at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church on Monday to discuss their opposition to a recent denominational vote allowing partnered gay and lesbian people to serve as clergy, the Salisbury Post reported.
Evangelical Lutheran Church of America
Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ
St. Paul’s Lutheran Church
On Aug. 19, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) adopted a new social statement on sexuality. The statement, approved by delegates 676 (66.67 percent) to 338 (33.33 percent) , allows single and partnered gay and lesbian people to serve as clergy. In the statement, the 4.8 million member denomination pledged to “recognize, support and hold publicly accountable life-long, monogamous, same-gender relationships.”
In response, the 450 North Carolina clergy and laypeople voted unanimously to form a Lutheran Coalition for Renewal (CORE) group in the state. Lutheran CORE is a national network of clergy and laypeople who believe the church has fallen into heresy as it becomes more inclusive of LGBT worshipers.
The meeting was organized by Lasting Word (Lutherans Affirming Scriptural Truth as God’s Word). Formed in 2003, the local reform group joined Lutheran CORE in December 2007.
Bill Sullivan, a representative of the conservative splinter association Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC), was the main speaker during the two-hour meeting.
“What’s happening here is happening around the country,” Sullivan said, according to the Post. “I know the pain and struggle you are going through. If you should decide to leave the ELCA, we are there for you.”
LCMC has more than 230 member congregations in eight countries. Nearly 190 are represented in 38 U.S. states, including one in North Carolina and three in South Carolina. Some of its congregations are still affiliated with the ELCA.