Magazine article The Christian Century

Lutherans Consider Ordination Compromise

Magazine article The Christian Century

Lutherans Consider Ordination Compromise

Article excerpt

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has proposed a compromise to pastors who object to ordination rules under a new full-communion agreement with the Episcopal Church. The "Called to Common Mission" agreement between Lutherans and Episcopalians, set to take effect January I, will allow the churches to share clergy and joint mission projects,

The proposed compromise deals with a touchy issue. Several Lutheran factions, especially in the upper Midwest, oppose the accord's adoption of the Episcopalians practice of ordination only by a bishop. New Lutheran ministers could no longer be ordained by other clergy.

The ELCA's Conference of Bishops, meeting in Chicago October 5-10, offered a proposal that will be considered in mid-November by the ELCA Church Council, which serves as the church's board of directors between biennial churchwide assemblies. Under the proposal, if a new pastor wishes to be "irregularly ordained" without a bishop, the synod's bishop will consult with both the church's presiding bishop and the synod council to make a "pastoral decision" on ordination. …

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