For Immediate Release

Alliance 002/2005
January 13, 2005


The Lutheran Alliance for Full Participation expressed dismay and
deep sadness following the release of the Evangelical Lutheran
Church in America's Task Force Report and Recommendations on the
blessing of same-gender relationships and the ordination of
otherwise qualified persons in such relationships.

The Lutheran Alliance believes that the recommendations perpetuate
arbitrary discrimination against gays and lesbians in committed
relationships and those called to ministry.

Speaking for the Lutheran Alliance, Emily Eastwood, Executive Director
of Lutherans Concerned/North America, said, "As members of the Body
of Christ and practicing Lutherans, we are secure in our God-given
faith despite the long years of exclusion by our church. We believe
that the Good News of the Gospel will ultimately prevail.  We remain
committed to the removal of discriminatory policies that violate our
calls to ministry and marginalize our relationships. We're Lutherans,
some by heritage, all by choice. We are inexorably persistent
in the practice of our faith."

The Lutheran Alliance agrees that we do have to find ways to live
together faithfully in the Church. The recommendations do little to
advance this goal.

The Task Force asserts the welcome of gays and lesbians while
legitimizing the arbitrary enforcement of the current policy of
discrimination. Faithfulness demands more. "Part of the welcome
of this church is to be sure that its actions and policies do not
leave gay and lesbian Lutherans and clergy more rather than
less vulnerable," said Eastwood.

"Failure to recognize that lesbian and gay persons are already full
participants in the ministry of the Church through our baptism
should be unacceptable to any Lutheran.  We sit in the pews,
we sing, we pray, we teach, we baptize. We preside at the table.
We are already ministers, ordained and lay.  We are children
of God and of our Church," said Eastwood.

She added, "The ELCA is our Church home. We are committed
to stay. Our faith compels us to work for change."

and GOODSOIL.ORG <>  is a coordinated effort of
six organizations to end the ELCA's policy of discrimination in Orlando
2005. The organizational partners are:

The Extraordinary Candidacy Project (ECP) -- opposed to the
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's (ELCA) policy of mandated
celibacy for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBTQ) persons
who seek ordination to Word and Sacrament ministry. Founded in
1993 as a movement of "ecclesial disobedience," to this unjust rule,
the ECP certifies the credentials of openly identified sexual
minority pastors and seminarians who no longer wish to keep their
sexual orientation a secret from their congregations and ELCA
church officials.

Lutheran Lesbian & Gay Ministries (LLGM) -- committed to the
tangible support of openly identified sexual minority persons called
to ministry. Through its individual donors, LLGM provides financial,
pastoral, legal, and professional support to sexual minority pastors
and to those congregations who support them. Visible ministry of
sexual minority people gives witness to the ELCA that its policies
cannot and will not stop those called by God to ministry.

Lutherans Concerned/North America (LC/NA) -- a community of
faith, modeling the Gospel within the church and within the LGBT
community. Lutherans Concerned seeks to employ the Gospel's
principles of inclusivity and justice, celebrating God's gifts of
sexuality and diversity.

Lutheran Network for Inclusive Vision (Network) -- a public roster of
church leaders committed to witness to the inclusive Gospel of
Jesus Christ by fostering full inclusion of sexual minority people in
the congregational life and ordained ministry of the ELCA. The
Network encourages ELCA clergy, AIMS, and church members to
challenge the policies and practices which continue to bring so
much pain to LGBT members of our church and their families, and
deprive the church of gifted professionals.

Wingspan Ministry of St. Paul-Reformation Lutheran Church
(Wingspan) -- advances the quality of life and growth in Christian
faith for the LGBT community. As the first Lutheran congregational
ministry with gay and lesbian people, Wingspan continues to
foster inclusiveness, understanding, healing acceptance, and
justice among all people within the congregation, the ELCA, the
wider religious community, and society.

Soulforce -- an interfaith movement committed to ending the spiritual
violence perpetrated by religious policies and teachings against
LGBTQ people.  or email  [email protected]

For Further Information:
Emily Eastwood Communications