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Seminarians issue petition opposing change in ministry standards

by Betsy Carlson, editor

May 29, 2009

Six Luther Seminary students in St. Paul, Minn., have issued a petition opposing recommendations from a sexuality task force in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

The six are seeking more signers to their petition on a web site, Petition Upholding Current ELCA Ministry Standards. The statement says that a document on sexuality adopted by the American Lutheran Church in 1980 outlines the traditional approach and accurately captures the views of the majority of ELCA members and should be adopted as the policy of the ELCA.

The Luther Seminary students issued their petition to let it be known that not all ELCA seminarians support the task force recommendations.

Four ELCA members at Union Theological Seminary in New York wrote an open letter to the ELCA bishops earlier this month in support of the task force recommendations. Their letter has been signed by more than 250 seminarians.

The ELCA task force has recommended that the church recognize same-sex relationships and allow persons in such relationships to serve as ordained or professional lay ministers.