Sunday, June 13, 2010

More Sex Talk at the North Eastern Iowa Synod Assembly

Just got back.  I am kind of wiped out but I guess some people actually care what happens in Iowa.

There were two main discussions on "THE ISSUE"   There was a resolution to go back to the Old visions and Expectations and to not allow any calls in the NEI Synod to rostered leaders in committed same sex relationships.  Discussion was rather muted, but respectful.  I think everyone knows that positions are entrenched.  The resolutions committee did not recommend the resolution ruling it out of order because it sought to override a decision of the Churchwide Assembly, which is the highest authority in our polity.  It got moved anyway then someone moved to refer it back to Synod Council.  Considering Synod Council first passed such a resolution, then rescinded, the assembly was not inclined to give it back to them. 

After the motion to refer the resolution failed, the chair, Bishop Ullestad, ruled the resolution out of order for the reasons stated by the resolutions committee and also because it interfered with the authority of a congregation to call their own pastor and it also interfered with the authority of the bishop's office as it tried to instruct the bishop as to what calls to approve.    His ruling was appealed but the assembly voted down the appeal. It was not even close enough for a division of the house.

Next was a motion to "repudiate" the sexuality statement.  People are always confusing this statement with the ministry there was very little discussion about the statement itself (and I seriously doubt many of those speaking against it at the mike even read the durn thing) and more discussion about gay pastors.  The motion failed, again by a wide enough margin that there was no division of the house.

Oh yea - this is the 40th anniversary of the ordination of women in the ELCA and its predecessors.  That got a nice little recognition.

Maybe next year we won't talk about sex.


  1. I certainly see the procedural reasons that the protests didn't go forward and I agree with them. But it seems that these things give the Revoke group excuses about why they don't get anywhere. Plus, they might feel Not Listened To. Do you think that the procedural things were effectively explained?

  2. I think the people behind these resolutions were very much aware of and expecting to have them ruled out of order. In fact the author of this one said they were given alternatives which would be acceptable but they chose not to rewrite their resolutions.

    The ruling of the bishop was debatable, there was debate, there was a chance to state their case and the assembly sided with the chair's ruling.

    In fact the ELCA secretary ruled the resolution to "repudiate" the sexuality statement was also out of order but the bishop allowed it to go forward and be debated.

    Now are there going to be people going around crying that the bishop shut them off? Probably but there's no pleasing some people.