Sunday, August 30, 2009

New rift may shift Lutherans

From St. Louis-

A controversial decision about homosexual clergy by the country's largest Lutheran denomination had some of the church's conservatives knocking on the door of the Kirkwood-based Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod last week.

Missouri Synod officials fielded dozens of calls and e-mails from pastors and lay members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America after its biennial meeting in Minneapolis, when delegates voted 559-451 to allow gay clergy in committed relationships to serve as pastors.

That decision disappointed conservatives in the theologically liberal denomination. Callers after the ELCA's Aug. 21 vote wanted to know about the Missouri Synod's teaching and application process, according to the church's first vice president, the Rev. William Diekelman.

But that surge in interest could put the Missouri Synod in an awkward position. Although new members would be welcome, church leaders would like to avoid the charge of sheep-stealing.

More here-

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