On my way to the Church-wide Assembly


What is this Blog and Why am I Writing It?

This is the first post in a series I will be posting over the next several weeks, leading up to and perhaps after the Church-wide Assembly (CWA) of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The assembly will be in Minneapolis (nuts, I missed out on a great trip to some exotic location! like Chicago!) and will go from August 17 through August 23.

I hope to help the readers of this blog understand more about what the CWA is and its meaning for the ELCA and the world at large.

I will share with you some of my opinions about the issues the CWA will tackle, as well as some of the “inside baseball” of the CWA, in hopes the reader will understand more about how the CWA works and how people can get involved in the larger church.

Feel free to comment to my posts. I’d love to hear from you.

How I Got Here

Well, I’m not posing the question in an existential or religious way!

However, you might be wondering, “How does one become a voting member of the CWA?” Good question.

There are at least two opportunities where Lutherans can be elected as a voting member to the CWA. First, you can be elected at the conference level. Pilgrim Lutheran in St. Paul is part of the South Central Conference of the St. Paul Synod. Voting members elected from their conference were elected in February, 2008, in our synod.

Additional voting members can be elected from the synod assembly. I was elected as a voting member at our synod assembly, last year in May, 2008.

In the election process, you are asked to put together a biography outlining your work with the church and the community.

I was successful in being elected a voting member at the May, 2008 synod assembly. We have about 30 voting members who will be attending the CWA from St. Paul Synod.


2 Responses to “On my way to the Church-wide Assembly”

  1. Allen Zumach Says:

    Hi Paul,
    In Twitter, you said you received a DVD from the pro human-sexuality-statement folks. Do you think you’ll be receiving one from the anti people? Do you have your mind made up on the statement or do you think the debate at the assembly could sway you?

    Do you think there will be discussion on why people take different stands on sexuality issues – not the arguments per se but more the psychology of why we take our stands, so we might learn a bit about ourselves as human beings? The positions we hold are, to a degree, “given” to us by where we happen to be born and raised. Yet we argue with each other as if we thought issues through thoroughly and arrived at the right conclusions. We are certain of it!

    I think people on both sides of issues should be challenged with this thought.


    • pilgrimstpaul Says:

      Al, thanks for your interest.

      No, I don’t anticipate getting a DVD from the anti- folks. I have gotten a couple of letters from some anti-sexuality statement Lutheran congregations, but that’s as far as it goes.

      I definitely support the actions suggested by the Human Sexuality statement and the implementing resolutions, as well as the statement on rostering gay/lesbian clergy. The resolutions allow for individual congregations to call ministers who they want to call. When the resolutions are adopted, congregations will continue to have absolute authority to call who they want to call. Under the resolutions, congregations will be able to call openly gay/lesbian clergy, which means talented, dedicated people will be able to use their talents fully in the church….but congregations will not be forced to call a member of the clergy they do not want to call.

      I don’t think there will be much debate about why we take the positions we are taking. In fact, I have generally disappointed with the low level of debate and clash between the two sides. I was at a public forum, sponsored by our synod, earlir this year, and there was very little said on either side. Bishop Rogness repeatedly asked for comments on both sides, and there was silence. I’m not sure if people have already made up their minds, or we had an overwhelming fit of “Minnesota Nice,” or what was happening. But, there was very little said. When something is said on the anti- side, it’s usually an appeal to Leviticus and the Pauline anti-gay statements–that’s it.

      Thanks again for your interest. I hope you’ll follow this blog and my Tweets.

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