Lutherans Want to Be `Welcoming' to Gays

Article excerpt

Lutherans endorsed initiatives to become more welcoming to gay and lesbian Christians during their Regina convention. They will also pursue closer ties with their Lutheran brethren.

The convention affirmed the National Church Council's long-term goal that the ELCIC "strive to create an environment to enable the development of policies and ministries that will assist the church in becoming a more inclusive place for gay and lesbian people." The convention resolution endorsing the action added the word "welcoming."

Delegates also defeated a motion that condemned "any sexual activity outside the boundaries of a heterosexual marriage" as unpleasing to God.

One opposition speaker said the council action revealed an agenda different from the people of the church, while another warned, "people in the pew are worried about how this is going to be handled."

Delegates rejected an attempt to change the nature of the dialogue with gays and lesbians by including groups purporting to cure or change a person's sexual orientation. A proposed motion affirming the anti-homosexual stance of a resolution from last year's Lambeth Conference failed to get a seconder.

The convention also agreed almost unanimously to approach the Lutheran Church -- Canada (LCC), affiliated with Missouri Synod in the U.S.A., with a proposal for interim sharing of the Eucharist for five years, beginning in October. …