You might remember this past spring when our council wrote a letter to the bishop and told you about it. The letter was in response to a draft document called "Trustworthy Servants of the People of God" which was an attempt to replace a previous teaching document "Vision and Expectations." Both documents, originally intended to be teaching documents of the guidelines of clergy in our Church, have been poorly constructed and harmfully used to condemn and marginalize LGBTQ+ leaders in our Church.
The response of our council and many others prompted the ELCA Church Council to reject the draft of Trustworthy Servants and ask the Domestic Mission Unit of the ELCA to begin a new process of constructing a better document that is a worthy teaching tool for our future. This process is beginning by gathering the input and consideration of as many people in our Church as possible.
Therefore, you personally have been invited to lend your voice to what would make for a good document that teaches the boundaries and expectations of all our rostered leaders (clergy and deacons). The process that is proposed is:
1. Gathering information via survey from rostered ministers, candidates, lay leaders and seminary partners on what the church needs (August – September 2019).
2. A listening event at the Churchwide Assembly (Aug. 6, 2019).
3. Intentionally reaching out to various communities for input, such as candidates, deacons, gender and sexual minorities, survivors of clergy misconduct, ethnic specific communities, the confessionally conservative, and those from all four convictions identified in the social statement “Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust” to encourage participation in the survey and process.
4. Zoom listening sessions with rostered ministers, candidates, lay leaders and seminary partners will be held Sept. 5 at 8 p.m., Sept. 17 at 12 p.m., and Sept. 24 at 12 p.m. (all Central Time).
5. Update to Conference of Bishops (September 2019).
6. Curation of information (October 2019).
7. Summary posted on website when available.
8. Listening group meeting (October 2019) when the next steps will be communicated.
9. Update to Church Council (November 2019).
If you would be willing to lend your voice to the survey, please click here.
If you would be willing to join a Zoom (online video call) listening session, please click here.
Thank you for taking the time to shape the culture and practice of CGS. It's our hope that the radical welcome which has brought abundant joy to CGS might infect the whole of the ELCA.
Christ the Good Shepherd
Various editorials, articles, and other items of interest.