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Church to Challenge Lutheran Gay Clergy Policy

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The ordination of a lesbian this weekend in Chicago will challenge the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America’s gay clergy policy.

Resurrection Lutheran Church will ordain Jen Rude as an associate pastor tomorrow even though she won’t be recognized by the ELCA. That’s because she won’t comply with its policy requiring gay and lesbian pastors to take a lifelong vow of celibacy. She says neither she nor Resurrection is trying to split with the national church.

RUDE: It’s kind of like a family, how you stay at the table even when you disagree because you learn something in disagreeing and hopefully we come to some sort of peace or some sort of agreement later on.

Rude’s ordination is the first test of a new ELCA resolution allowing bishops to refrain from disciplining congregations that go against its policy. Metro Chicago Synod Bishop Wayne Miller says he’s using that allowance to deal with the situation.

MILLER: At this moment, my intention is not to start any disciplinary action.

He says he’ll continue supporting the congregation’s ministry after Rude’s ordination.

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