Lutheran group considers leaving ELCA over gay-friendly vote

A conservative fraction to the nation's largest Evangelical Lutheran denomination are planning to sever ties after Church officials voted in August to allow gay and lesbian bishops to serve.
Rev. Paull Spring, chairman of Lutheran Coalition of Renewal (CORE), talks with reporters about the creation of a new Lutheran church body for those who wish to leave the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, at WordAlone Network offices in New Brighton, Minn. (AP Photo/Craig Lassig)
Rev. Paull Spring, chairman of Lutheran Coalition of Renewal (CORE), talks with reporters about the creation of a new Lutheran church body for those who wish to leave the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, at WordAlone Network offices in New Brighton, Minn. (AP Photo/Craig Lassig)

A conservative fraction to the nation’s largest Evangelical Lutheran denomination are planning to sever ties after Church officials voted in August to allow gay and lesbian bishops to serve.

Leaders of the Lutheron CORE said they may have a new church and constitution by August, effectively seperating the group from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.

“Many of us have spent years now struggling to call the ELCA to remain faithful to the Orthodox Christianity of the last 2,000 years,” Ryan Schwarz, one of the leaders drafting the new church, said. “While this is of course a wrenching decision, there is also a sense of hope in refocusing on our true mission, which is evangelizing the Lutheran faith.”

At their annual meeting in Minneapolis, ELCA officials voted that gay and lesbian pastors and bishops can serve openly as long as they proved they were in committed, lifelong relationships.

To read more about this story, visit The Associated Press.

– Simon Husted

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