As of [update]it has approximately 3. Ina survey by Strommen et al. The ALC brought approximately 2. It was the most theologically conservative of the forming bodies, having a heritage of Old Lutheran theology. Its geographic center was in the Upper MidwestElca social statement homosexuality in japan Minnesotawith headquarters and publisher Augsburg Publishing House on South Fifth Street in Minneapolis and one of its several seminaries in neighboring St.
Its denominational magazine was The Lutheran Standardpublished in Minneapolis. The LCA was the slightly larger partner and brought approximately 2. Its demographic focus was on the East Coast, centered on Pennsylvaniawith large numbers in the Midwest and some presence in the Southern Atlantic states. Its theological orientation ranged from moderately liberal to neo-orthodoxwith tendencies toward conservative Pietism in some rural and small-town congregations.
Its theology originated in the Neo-Lutheran movement. Preusreplacing moderate incumbent Oliver Harms. The new leadership opened an investigation at the synod's Concordia Seminary in St. LouisMissouriabout the faculty's commitment to inerrancy in Biblical interpretation. As a result, most of the faculty and student body walked out and established a separate institution named "Concordia Elca social statement homosexuality in japan but usually referred to as " Seminex ".
Its immigrant heritage came mostly from Germany in the midth century; the complexion of its theology generally resembled that of the LCA.
Chilstrom served as the first Presiding Bishop from to He was followed by H. George Anderson —who had previously been the President of Luther College. Hanson began his tenure as Bishop of the Church in and was re-elected in August for a second term. In addition, there is the body of the Church Council composed of representatives elected for a stated number of years from the various synods which meet regularly with legislative powers in between sessions of the Churchwide Assemblies.
The Conference of Bishops, which meets at least twice a year, is formed of 66 bishops the 65 elected synodical bishops, together with the presiding bishop plus the ELCA church secretary. It is consulted by the Presiding Bishop and the Church Council for advice on matters of doctrine, faith and order, and ecumenical relations.
The ELCA website states that "While primarily advisory, the role of the Conference of Bishops is significant within the life of this church. The ELCA is divided into 65 synodsone of which is non-geographical the Slovak Zion Synod and 64 regional synods in the United States and the Caribbean, each headed by a synodical bishop and council; these synods are in turn grouped into nine regions.
In other Christian churches, the term "synod" is used for a meeting or conference of ministers such as priests or bishops of a diocese, province region or nation or in some Protestant churches as the term for their annual governing convention. Some Evangelical Lutheran denominations overseas continue to use the ancient church title of "diocese". Within the church structure are divisions addressing many programs and ministries. Among these are support for global mission, outdoor ministries, campus ministries, social Elca social statement homosexuality in japan, and education.
The Elca social statement homosexuality in japan publishing house is Augsburg Fortress
Elca social statement homosexuality in japan the official denominational magazine is Living Lutheran. ELCA predecessor bodies established twenty-six colleges and universities now affiliated with the ELCA and a large number of associated theological seminaries, some of which are associated with neighboring universities or theological consortia. Most local congregations are legally independent non-profit corporations within the state where they are located that own their own property.
Actual governing practice within the congregation ranges from congregational voters' assemblies or annual and special congregational meetings to elder-and-council-led, to congregations where the senior pastor wields great, if informal, power more common in larger churches. The Churchwide Assembly meets biennially in odd-numbered years and consists of elected lay and ordained voting members; between meetings of the Churchwide Assembly, the ELCA Church Council governs the denomination, along with the advisory Conference of Bishops.
At the Assembly, elections are held for general officers of the Church such as the Presiding Bishop, Vice President and Secretary, budgets are adopted, social statements examined and approved and various other church business enacted along with reports made and ecumenical visitors acknowledged. A constitutional amendment passed in that will switch it to a triennially meeting after Lutheranism is associated with the German reformer Martin Lutherwith its official confessional writings found in the Book of Concord.
Most other Lutheran bodies in the U. The ELCA has many differences of opinion among its constituent congregations, which have caused a number of disputes over social and doctrinal issues. In part, this is due to the fact that it assimilated three different Lutheran church bodies, each with its own factions and divisions, thus inheriting old intra-group conflicts while creating new inter-group ones. Differences on issues usually reflect theological disputes between various parties.
The ELCA is a very broad denomination. It contains groups of Elca social statement homosexuality in japan conservative or liberal factions with emphases on various topics such as liturgical renewal  confessional Lutheranism, charismatic revivalism, moderate to liberal theology, and liberal activism.
Those oriented toward Confessional Lutheranism, Evangelicalismor an admixture of the two include the WordAlone network and those involved with Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ. Members of the Charismatic Movement include congregations and pastors associated with the Alliance of Renewal Churches. The ELCA constitution states: ELCA clergy tend not to subscribe to a doctrine of Biblical inerrancybut see validity in various scholarly methods of analysis to help in understanding the Bible.
Communion or the Eucharist and Holy Baptism including infant baptism. Confession and absolution is often included as a Sacrament; however, as it is a return to the forgiveness given in baptism, strictly speaking there are only two sacraments. In addition to the two sacraments, churches also practice acts that are sacramental in character, or sacramentals.
These include confirmationordinationanointing the sickconfession absolutionand marriage. Their practice and their view as "minor sacraments" varies between churches of a " high " and "low" church nature. With respect to the
Elca social statement homosexuality in japan, the ELCA holds to the Lutheran doctrine of the sacramental unionthat is, that Christ's body and blood is truly present "in, with and under" the bread and
Elca social statement homosexuality in japan. Lutherans, however, reject the philosophical explanation of consubstantiationpreferring to see the presence of the Lord's body and blood as mysterious rather than explainable by human philosophy.
The Lutheran belief in the mysterious character of the consecrated bread and wine is more similar to Catholic and Eastern Orthodox belief than most Protestants. In contrast, most Protestant church bodies doubt or openly deny that Elca social statement homosexuality in japan true body and blood of Christ is eaten in the Lord's Supper.
Unlike certain other American Lutheran church bodies, the ELCA practices open communionpermitting all persons baptized in the name of the Trinity with water to receive communion. Some congregations also commune baptized infants similarly to Eastern Orthodox practice. The ELCA encourages its churches to practice the Eucharist at all services, although some churches alternate between non-communion services with those containing the Lord's Supper. The ELCA ordains women as pastorsa practice that all three of its predecessor churches adopted in the s.
Some have become synod bishops.
The most recent ELCA hymnal, Evangelical Lutheran Worshipincludes alternate gender-neutral invocations and benedictions in all settings. All of the psalms and many of the hymns and parts of the liturgy have been altered to remove masculine pronouns referring to God.
On August 21,the ELCA's Churchwide Assembly in Minneapolis voted to allow congregations to call and ordain gays and lesbians in committed monogamous relationships to serve as clergy. Congregations that do not wish to call these persons to ordained ministry are not required by these policy changes to do so. In reaction, Lutheran COREwhich opposed the decision, stated that it would "initiate Elca social statement homosexuality in japan process that we hope will lead to a reconfiguration of North American Lutheranism.
A press release stated that the board was no longer "in good conscience" "able to commune and partner with ELCA Church that has willfully disobeyed the word of God and regrettably departed from the clear instructions of the Holy Scriptures" that "marriage is only between a man and a woman.
In AprilThe Church Council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America adopted revisions to ministry policy documents to bring them in line with the August vote, as well as adding sections on integrity, substance abuse and addiction. Income has declined, with a projected income of 48 million indown from a budgeted 51 million inand a total budget of 88 million in Also inafter the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationally in the US, the office of the presiding bishop released a letter informing members that each congregation is free to marry gay and lesbian couples or to choose not to do so.
Since blessings of same-sex marriages are allowed in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The ELCA has not adopted an official position on creation or evolutionbut there is general agreement on interpreting the Bible within its historical contexts and applying critical methods of research. The ELCA has not yet taken an official position regarding reproductive cloning.
However, Task Force on Genetics of the church's "Church in Society" initiative is studying the theological and ethical issues that the world is likely to face in coming years as a result of Genetic Science. The task force has issued a draft report  for comment and discussion. The draft statement covers a wide range of topics, from genetic testing to GMOs. A section in this report which has been described by an independent reviewer as "a remarkably nuanced analysis and statement regarding a very complex scientific, social, and religious issue.
However, the main theological reasoning is unique. The argument they articulate is not the common but weak argument that it would be "offensive to God," "against the will of God" or "man encroaching into God's domain", but
Elca social statement homosexuality in japan observe that the clone would be denied the dignity of possessing a unique human genotype. This is an extremely interesting argument—that each and every human being has the right to his or her own uniqueness—particularly a unique genotype.
The draft statement further asserts that any clones that might be created should have full acceptance as human Elca social statement homosexuality in japan and access to rites of the church. The issue of abortion is a matter of contention within the ELCA. In a Social Statement adopted in the church set out its position on the matter as follows.
The ELCA describes itself as "a community supportive of life," and encourages women to explore alternatives to abortion such as adoption. However, the Social Statement asserts that there are certain circumstances under which a decision to end a pregnancy can be "morally responsible. Public control and regulation of such actions would be extremely difficult, if not impossible.
The potential for abuse, especially of people who are most vulnerable, would be substantially increased. As a Lutheran church body, the ELCA professes belief in the " priesthood of all believers " as reflected in Martin Luther's To the Nobility of the German Nationthat all baptized persons have equal access to God and are all Elca social statement homosexuality in japan to use their gifts to serve the body of Christ.
Some people are called to "rostered ministry", or vocations of church leadership and service. An extensive "Study of Ministry" was embarked upon immediately after the merger as it became apparent that there were still discordant viewpoints and influences, especially by the pressure for a renewal of the office of deacon and its different manifestations to a more ancient and traditional view predating the Reformation into the earliest days of Christianity.
The church makes a clear distinction between the deacon's "Ministry of Word and Service", and the Pastor's "Ministry of Word and Sacrament". In ELCA the word ordination refers specifically to the setting apart of an ordained pastor in the ministry of word and sacrament. The similar rite for setting apart a bishop is called installation, and the rite for setting apart a deacon is called consecration.
All three rites for bishops, pastors, and deacons are formal liturgies, with prayer and the laying-on of hands by the bishop, or by the Presiding Bishop in the case of the installation of a new bishop.
The ELCA now since requires all installations of new bishops to include the laying-on of hands by not fewer than three bishops who are known to be within the historic line of apostolic succession. Deacons are called to a "Ministry of Word and Service". Deacons serve in many roles in and beyond congregations. At their consecration they Elca social statement homosexuality in japan be presented with a towel and basin in reference to Jesus washing the feet of his disciples as a sign of their servant ministry, but the rite of consecration published in January also allows for other symbols to be presented, reflecting the broad range of diaconal service.
An ordained minister is called to the "Ministry of Word and Sacrament" and considered a "steward of the mysteries" of the Church the means of grace. Pastors primarily serve congregations, but some serve in sector ministries including those of hospital chaplain and military chaplain.
Jul 27, Dr. Guy as the first openly gay bishop to serve in the The ELCA social statement “Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust,” adopted in How can Christians who believe God's Word and design for marriage respond to those who support same-sex marriage and homosexuality?
Tom Eckstein. Jul 24, The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, with approximately 5 million members, has passed repeated resolutions to welcome gay and lesbian Social Statements set policy for the ELCA and guide its advocacy and work.