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Ratification of major assembly decisions declined

by Mark Chavez (Director, WordAlone Network)

August 14, 2005

The 2005 ELCA churchwide assembly defeated a substitute proposal that would have had synods or congregations ratify major assembly decisions.

This attempt to substitute a memorial calling for ratification from the Montana Synod failed with 223 voting for the substitute and 610 against. The main motion from the Memorials Committee, which recommended no ratification based in part on the 2003 churchwide assembly's rejection of ratification, was adopted 592 for and 242 against.

Although hearing all week long from both church council members and assembly delegates that there was a disconnect between the churchwide organization and the rest of the ELCA, the assembly declined this proposal to help repair the disconnect. A similar discussion with the same results occurred at the 2003 assembly.

In other action the assembly referred a memorial from the Southwestern Minnesota Synod concerning non-episcopal ordinations to the Lutheran-Episcopal Coordinating Committee. The memorial called for equal standing on the roster for pastors who receive an exception from the requirement that all ordinations be done by a bishop per the ELCA's full communion agreement with the Episcopal Church USA.