Tag Archives: cwa09

Bishop Hanson after Passage of Res 4 CWA09

I thought Bishop Hansen’s statement right after resolution 4 was passed were quite profound. This is from the ELCA unofficial text feed.

Presiding Bishop Hanson:

I WANT MORE TIME TO THINK ABOUT WORDS FROM ONE YOU HAVE CALLED TO SERVE AS PASTOR OF THIS CHURCH.
I HAVE BEEN STANDING HERE THINKING ABOUT MY 23 YEARS AS A PARISH PASTOR AND HOW DIFFERENTLY I WOULD GO INTO A CONTEXT IF I WAS GATHERING WITH A FAMILY OR A GROUP OF PEOPLE THAT HAD JUST EXPERIENCED LOSS OR PERHAPS WERE WONDERING IF THEY STILL BELONGED OR IN FACT FELT DEEPLY THAT ONES TO WHOM THEY BELONG HAD BEEN SEVERED FROM THEM.
THAT WOULD BE A VERY DIFFERENT PASTORAL CONVERSATION.
AND I WOULD PROBABLY TURN TO WORDS SUCH AS ROMANS 8, “WHO IS TO CONDEMN?
IT IS CHRIST JESUS WHO DIED, YES, WHO WAS RAISED, WHO WAS AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD, WHO INTERCEDES FOR US, WHO WILL SEPARATE US FROM THE LOVE OF CHRIST?
I’M CONVINCED THAT NEITHER DEATH, NOR LIFE, NOR ANGELS NOR RULERS NOR THINGS PRESENT, NOR THINGS TO COME, NOR POWERS, NOR HEIGHT NOR ANYTHING ELSE IN ALL CREATION WILL BE ABLE TO SEPARATE US FROM THE LOVE OF GOD IN CHRIST JESUS.
BUT THEN I THOUGHT, “WHAT IF I WERE GOING INTO A FAMILY OR A GROUP, A COMMUNITY THAT HAD ALWAYS WONDERED IF THEY BELONGED AND SUDDENLY HAD NOW RECEIVED A CLEAR AFFIRMATION THAT THEY BELONGED.
ALL OF THE WONDERING ABOUT THE DIVIDING WALLS, THE FEELINGS OF SEPARATION SEEMED TO HAVE DROPPED AWAY.
THAT WOULD BE A VERY DIFFERENT CONVERSATION.
I WOULD PROBABLY READ TO THEM OUT OF EPHESIANS. “BUT NOW IN CHRIST JESUS, YOU WHO WERE ONCE FAR OFF HAVE BEEN BROUGHT NEARBY THE BLOOD OF CHRIST.
FOR HE IS OUR PEACE.
IN HIS FLESH, HE HAS MADE BOTH GROUPS INTO ONE.
HE’S BROKEN DOWN THE DIVIDING WALL THAT IS THE HOSTILITY BETWEEN US.
IN HIM, THE WHOLE STRUCTURES JOINING TO AND GROWS INTO A HOLY TEMPLE AND LORD IN WHOM YOU ALSO ARE BUILTING TO SPIRITUALLY INTO A DWELLING PLACE OF GOD. “.
BUT THEN I THOUGHT, WHAT IF THOSE TWO GROUPS WERING TO?
WERE TOGETHER, BUT ALSO IN THEIR MIDST WERE THOSE WHO HAD NOT EXPERIENCED LOSS OR THE FEELING OF THE DIVIDING WALL OF SEPARATION COMING DOWN, BUT WERE WONDERING AND WORRIED IF ALL THAT HAD OCCURRED MIGHT RECEIVER THE UNITY THAT — SEVER THE UNITY AND WONDERED IF THEIR ACTIONS MIGHT HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO RECONCILIATION OR SEPARATION?
IF ALL THOSE PEOPLE WERING TO IN A ROOM — WERE TOGETHER IN A ROOM, I WOULD READ FROM COLOSSIANS, “AS GOD’S CHOSEN ONES, HOLY AND BELOVED, CLOTHE YOURSELVES WITH COMPASSION, KINDNESS, HUMILITY, MEEKNESS AND PATIENCE.
BEAR WITH ONE ANOTHER.
IF ANYONE HAS A COMPLAINT AGAINST THE OTHER, FORGIVE EACH OTHER JUST AS THE LORD HAS FORGIVEN YOU SO YOU MUST ALSO FORGIVE.
ABOVE ALL, CLOTHE YOURSELVES WITH LOVE, WHICH BINDS EVERYTHING TO IN PERFECT HARMONY AND LET THE PEACE OF CHRIST RULE IN YOUR HEARTS, TO WHICH INDEED YOU WERE CALLED IN THE ONE BODY AND BE THANKFUL.
LET THE WORD OF CHRIST DWELL IN YOU RICHLY.
TEACH AND ADMONISH ONE ANOTHER IN ALL WISDOM, WITH DRAT TUD IN YOUR — GRATITUDE IN YOUR HEARTS, SING SONGS, HYMNS AND SPIRITUAL SONGS TO GOD.
AND WHATEVER YOU DO IN WORD OR DEED, DO EVERYTHING IN THE NAME OF JESUS, GIVING THANKS TO GOD THE FATHER THROUGH HIM. “.
THAT PASSAGE GIVES INVITATION AND EXPECTATION THAT THOSE DEEPLY DISAPPOINTED TODAY WILL HAVE IN THIS CHURCH THE EXPECTATION AND THE FREEDOM TO CONTINUE TO ADMONISH AND TO TEACH.
AND SO, TOO, THOSE THAT HAVE EXPERIENCED RECONCILIATION TODAY, YOU ARE CALLED TO HUMILITY.
YOU ARE CALLED TO CLOTHE YOURSELVES WITH LOVE.
BUT WE’RE ALL CALLED TO LET THE PEACE OF CHRIST RULE IN OUR HEARTS, REMEMBERING AGAIN AND AGAIN THAT WE ARE CALLED IN THE ONE BODY.
I WILL INVITE YOU TOMORROW AFTERNOON INTO IMPORTANT, THOUGHTFUL, PRAYERFUL CONVERSATIONS ABOUT WHAT ALL OF THIS MEANS FOR OUR LIFE TOGETHER.
BUT WHAT IS ABSOLUTELY IMPORTANT FOR ME IS THAT THAT’S A CONVERSATION WE HAVE TOGETHER.
I ENDED MY ORAL REPORT WITH THESE WORDS.
“WE MEET ONE ANOTHER FINALLY, NOT IN OUR AGREEMENTS OR OUR DISAGREEMENTS, BUT AT THE FOOT OF THE CROSS.
WHERE GOD IS FAITHFUL, WHERE CHRIST IS PRESENT WITH US, AND WHERE, BY THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, WE ARE ONE IN CHRIST.
LET US PRAY.
OH, GOD, GRACIOUS AND HOLY, MYSTERIOUS AND MERCIFUL, WE MEET THIS DAY AT THE FOOT OF THE CROSS AND THERE WE KNEEL IN GRATITUDE AND AWE THAT YOU HAVE LOVED US SO MUCH THAT YOU WOULD GIVE THE LIFE OF YOUR SON SO THAT WE MIGHT HAVE LIFE IN HIS NAME.
SEND YOUR SPIRIT THIS NIGHT, THE SPIRIT OF THE RISEN CHRIST THAT HAS BEEN BREATHED INTO US.
MAY IT CALM US.
MAY YOUR SPIRIT UNITE US.
MAY IT CONTINUE TO GATHER US.
IN JESUS’ NAME,

AMEN.

Does the Sexuality vote Define #CWA09 & by ext ELCA

@erikullestad tweeted the following: “Lots of people (on both “sides”) who think the sexuality vote DEFINES the #CWA09 and, by extension, the ELCA. I’d love to hear why..”  As such, I’ll give it a shot 🙂

To the same gender seminary grad praying to be allowed ordination, by all means, the vote defines #CWA09. Granted, they no doubt see the vote as one of many good things, but being it is so personal, absolutely, it is a defining moment. As far as extending to the ELCA, I’m less sure for a couple reasons.

First, sexuality issues do not define, nor really even extend to the body of believers as a whole. As potential pastors, their focus is on Christ and the Gospel, much less so their own identity. Secondly, this really is a tiny step in the big scheme of things, granted, its massive progress, but there still remain huge barriers. I think it puts a major dent in the “welcome, but…” exclusion of the least of these. Otoh, just as the old adam remains, until same gendered folks, single, married, committed, etc are welcomed the same as anyone else, the almost welcome thing will remain.

To the person who upholds views similar to Carl Braaten’s, or even more so, someone who ascribes to a different/more literal Bibliology, or even the remnants of congregations with a pietist leaning or even historical connection, it is a huge deal. To the few who would leave over the vote, by all means, it would define #CWA09, as at the bottom if they leave, the vote would also define the ELCA.

In a nutshell, I think the call as to its definition, or lack there of depends upon their level of personal connecton to the results of it.

For me, what defines #CWA09, as well as the ELCA, is what happened at CWA07. It was pretty cool, that despite the disagreements, how much Jesus was seen as truly the center of all that occurred, not just the sexuality, not just the diversity, not all the other uber cool resolutions, but that the light of Christ shown forth over all.