The National Church Council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) has voted to present to its National Convention a resolution that will allow local congregations to decide if they want to authorize the blessing of same-sex relationships.
The resolution, which will be presented to delegates in Winnipeg this July 21-24, reads: “That the ELCIC allow pastors to perform blessings for same-sex couples who want to make a life-long commitment to one another in the presence of God and their community of faith. Authorization to perform such blessings shall require the consent of the pastor, the consent of the congregation or calling agency as expressed by a 2/3 majority vote at a duly-called meeting, and consultation with the synodical bishop. These blessings shall use a rite authorized by this church.”
(For more background about the ELCIC decision, please see Concerning Lutherans)
The ELCIC explained in a statement why it, like the Anglican Church of Canada (with whom the denomination is in full communion), has considered the question of same-sex blessings. “This has been an issue of public debate in Canada for some time now … ELCIC bishops and pastors have requested guidance from the church.” ELCIC members, “have become increasingly uneasy and want the church to resolve the issue.”