In this final video in preparation for our 2020 online synod assembly, I reflect on the 10 of the 50-40-10 anniversaries we are commemorating. In 2009, the ELCA Churchwide Assembly voted to remove the prohibition on pastors who are Gay or Lesbian and in a committed publicly accountable relationship from serving on the roster of the ELCA. These pastors have brought tremendous gifts to our church, including serving in the conference of bishops. However, there are still significant barriers to their service, even in congregations that have stated a claim to being open and welcoming.
Our polity allows for congregations to choose the pastor they desire to serve them, and the 2009 decision made that explicit. It is my prayer as bishop that we will continue to study, learn, and grow in our understanding of how God calls people to serve and grow in our willingness to be open to the gifts of all the people God calls. As we celebrate these anniversaries of the church crossing over barriers to inclusion, it is vital we continue to listen to how the Holy Spirit is working in and through God’s people. I look forward to seeing you on Saturday for assembly. For those not registered as voting members, you can observe the assembly as a visitor via the live stream on our NT-NL facebook page.