In this post a few days ago, I outlined what I had been reading in Concord, a publication of Lutherans Concerned/North America about the strategy for addressing the rostering of LGBT persons in a committed, same-gender relationship, and similar seminarians as candidates for the roster. That post describes a 3 stair-step approach.
Today, Bishop Hanson announced that one related group of Memorials had been removed from en bloc status, leaving the Assembly to address the following on Thursday afternoon.
- Category E1: Blessing of Same-Sex Relationships
- Category E2: Standards for Rostered Leaders
- Category E3: Restraint in Discipline Proceedings
- Category E4: Referrals to the Task Force on ELCA Studies on Sexuality
Additionally, Bishop Hanson indicated that the Assembly would move into a “quasi committee of the whole” for a time, which gives greater flexibility for discussion and debate than does a formal session governed by ordinary rules of procedure. Previous Churchwide Assemblies have used this quasi committee of the whole as a way to engage in conversation. I’ve found them to be helpful. I also anticipate, if that is webcast, to be a very highly watched portion of the Assembly. Having said that, 45 minutes of quasi committee of the whole will give about 20 – 25 people the opportunity to speak.