Magazine article The Christian Century

ELCA Names Director of Sexuality Study

Magazine article The Christian Century

ELCA Names Director of Sexuality Study

Article excerpt

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has named a respected seminary professor to lead the denomination through a four-year study on homosexuality that could shape the ELCNs positions on same-sex unions and gay clergy. James M. Childs Jr., 62, was to start the work February 1, taking a leave from his endowed professorship in theology and ethics at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio.

When the ELCA met last August in Indianapolis, delegates authorized the four-year study and asked for a social statement on human sexuality. Delegates opted for the study after rejecting a proposal to remove the church's ban on noncelibate gay clergy. A progress report will be given to the church when it meets next year, and a final report and recommendations will be given in 2005.

Childs promised that the study will be open to differing views, and colleagues praised him as open-minded and fair. "The sexuality studies that the church has mandated are of critical importance," he said in a church news release. …

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