Associated Press, 26 Jan 2002

Lutherans to Begin Homosexuality Study


CHICAGO--The Rev. James M. Childs Jr. will start work Friday as director of a four-year study of homosexuality ordered last year by an assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

The study will produce a sexuality statement and shape policy. Liberal Lutherans have urged ordination of openly gay pastors and blessings for same-sex couples.

Childs is a theology and ethics professor and former academic dean at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio. He will take a leave, because the job at Chicago church headquarters is full time. Childs said the process "will be attentive to God's word, open, fair, rigorous, and as representative and participatory as possible."