Thursday, August 20, 2009

Press Release from Goodsoil regarding the human sexuality social statement:

Press Release Goodsoil celebrates the passage of the Social Statement on Human
Sexuality (including great quotes from Emily Eastwood, LC/NA exec director):

Goodsoil celebrates the passage today of the Social Statement on Human
Sexuality, "Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust," at the biennial assembly of the
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Speaking for Goodsoil, Emily Eastwood, Executive Director, Lutherans
Concerned/North America, said, "This is a day of progress and compromise. By a
2/3 majority the church has supported families of all kinds and has acknowledged
without judgment the wide variety of views within the ELCA regarding lesbian,
gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) inclusion. The document recognizes the
ministries of congregations which conduct blessings of same gender relationships
and same gender marriages where such marriages are legal. The social statement
is tolerant of our differences both in scriptural interpretation and practice.
The social statement supports our unity without requiring uniformity. There is
still much work to do, but the door to full inclusion of LGBT members and their
families is now most definitely open.

"The social statement now forms the basis for policy and advocacy on issues
related to families and sexuality both for ministry and advocacy in church and
society. We are encouraged and hopeful that on Friday this foundation will
result in the church's elimination of the current ban on ministers in committed
same gender relationships. "

The Social Statement now serves as a teaching document that describes the world
and society that the ELCA lives and works in to provide ministry and spread the
Gospel. The Social Statement provides the basis and guidance for the
formulation of policy and the creation of programs.

The Social Statement was eight years in preparation and represents the work and
contributions of thousands of Lutherans. Contentious because of its subject and
content, the Social Statement now guides the work and understanding of the
church as it relates to the sexual component of the lives of everyone the church

We celebrate in particular the emphasis of the Social Statement on the
centrality of family in the life of the church and society - all families
without differentiation. For too long the church has failed to recognize the
centrality of family and acceptance in the lives of its LGBT members. Now, the
healing of the rift that leads to wholeness can begin.

Goodsoil commits itself to working within and with the church as it ends its
reticence to speak boldly on full inclusion as matter of the Gospel, and to
celebrate the gifts that come with full participation of all its members,
regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. Our job is to assist the
church in its move from tolerance to celebration.

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