Archive for the ‘Lutheran’ Category

Where Does Your Denomination Stand?

June 9, 2010

Yesterday, I shared a link to Pride month resources from The Religious Institute. Today, I want to share another fantastic resource from the same organization.

The Religious Institute recently launched a searchable database of statements from many major denominations regarding issues related to sexuality, including marriage equality.

The database includes the statements from the following traditions that have expressed support for marriage equality:
Unitarian Universalist Association, 1996
Union for Reform Judaism, 1997
Society for Humanistic Judaism, 2004
Jewish Reconstructionist Federation, 2004
United Church of Christ, 2005
Metropolitan Community Churches, undated

Other traditions have issued more nuanced statements that indicate steps toward recognizing same-sex couples, while stopping short of full equality:
United Methodist Church, 2004
Presbyterian Church (USA), 2004
Episcopal Church, 2006
Episcopal Church, 2009
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, 2009

Of course, official denominational statements offer only a partial picture. In every denomination that has embraced marriage equality, there are undoubtedly many clergy and lay members who still oppose it. And likewise, in even the most conversative traditions, there are those who support the equality for same-sex couples. Nonetheless, taken collectively, these official statements are important signs of movement toward greater openness and respect.

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Chicago Area Churches Celebrate Pride Month

June 3, 2010

The Chicago Coalition of Welcoming Churches has announced a series of June events in honor of Pride month.

JUNE (various dates) – CLASS/COACHING GROUP – “Choose Life: A Heart-Centered Approach at Coming Out Crossroads” by Rev. Jacki Belile, a lesbian Baptist minister & spiritual life coach at Living Well Ministries, 6554 N. Rockwell. 7 PM to 9 PM (Tuesdays June 8-22). $15/session. Optional Meditation 7-7:20 PM/ Program 7:30-9 PM. Part of annual Pride series by members of Chicago Coalition of Welcoming Churches. www.livingwellministries.net jacki@livingwellministries.net 773-655-4357.

JUNE 9 – WORSHIP SERVICE – Annual Pride gathering at Lakeview Presbyterian Church, 716 W. Addison. 7 PM. Part of annual Pride series by members of Chicago Coalition of Welcoming Churches. www.lakeviewpresbyterian.org joy@lakeviewpresbyterian.org 773-281-2655.

JUNE 16 – ECUMENICAL SERVICE – “Any Body, Every Body, Christ’s Body: Celebrating 25 Years Being Open and Affirming” at Congregational United Church of Christ, 1001 West Kirchoff Rd., Arlington Heights, IL. 7:30 PM. Part of annual Pride series by members of Chicago Coalition of Welcoming Churches. www.congucc.org conguccah1@sbcglobal.net 847-392-6650.

JUNE 23 – EUCHARIST/HOLY COMMUNION CELEBRATION – “From Promise to Pride” at Resurrection Lutheran Church, 3309 N. Seminary. 7 PM. Part of annual Pride series by members of Chicago Coalition of Welcoming Churches. www.rlclakeview.com office@rlclakeview.com 773-525-0605.

JUNE 26 – WORKSHOP – “Befriending the Bible: Reading Condemnation with CARE” by Living Well Ministries, 6554 N. Rockwell. Led by Rev. Jacki Belile, a lesbian Baptist minister & spiritual life coach. 1 PM to 4 PM. Pre-registration required: $45 ($35 if paid by June 10). Part of annual Pride series by members of Chicago Coalition of Welcoming Churches. www.livingwellministries.net jacki@livingwellministries.net 773-655-4357.

For a complete list of Chicago area pride events, visit the Chicago Pride Calendar.

Lutherans Welcome LGBT Clergy Back

May 14, 2010

It is hard to keep up with all of the recent news coming out of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in relation to its evolving stance toward its LGBT members and clergy. The Chicago-based denomination – the nation’s largest Lutheran body –¬†has been welcoming back into the fold clergy who were previously barred because they were involved in same-sex relationships. These recent decisions put into effect a change in policy approved last year that allowed for non-celibate lesbian and gay clergy.

One recent story drawing media attention is that of Rev. Bradley Schmeling and Rev. Darin Easler, a same-sex clergy couple in Atlanta. The pair have been reinstated after having been stripped of their credentials three years ago.

Rev. Bradley Schmeling and Rev. Darin Easler - photo from Minnesota Public Radio

One of the best sources of news pertaining to the ELCA is Illinois blogger, Susan Hogan, who writes Pretty Good Lutherans. She has been detailing stories similar to Schmeling’s and Easler’s from all across the United States.

The Illinois Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry has as its central mission the legal recognition of marraige by the states, beginning with Illinois. Because of our commitment to the separation of church and state, we believe strongly that no law should compel any church to marry same-sex couples.

We nonetheless celebrate joyously when any church or denomination chooses to move toward greater openness toward its LGBT members and clergy and toward recognition of same-sex couples.