PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT the Rev. Daniel Solberg, (415) 673-8088

SAN FRANCISCO LUTHERANS RESPOND TO CHURCH REPORT ON SEXUALITY

SAN FRANCISCO -- Pastors of the San Francisco Conference of the Evangelical
Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) welcome the recommendations of 14-member task force of the ELCA Studies on Sexuality as an incremental step forward in the ongoing discussion of sexuality issues within the ELCA and in
society. We applaud the recommendation's urging "Rather than attempting to
resolve our differences through legislative action, we have sought to place
matters in the realm of pastoral care and to encourage continued engagement
as we minister to one another."

Christians throughout the world, whether they are aware of it or not, gather
each Sunday for worship with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered
persons who are their sisters and brothers in Christ. Christians come
together not out of their moral purity or the perfection of their
theological insights, but as Martin Luther explained because they have been
"called, gathered, enlightened, and sanctified" by God the Holy Spirit. The
Lutheran Christians of San Francisco have been blessed with the opportunity
to witness the faithfulness and Christ like service and suffering of our
LGBT sisters and brothers in faith. Some of us experience the gifts of LGBT
clergy on a daily basis. We know that the pilgrimage of faith in Christ's
righteousness beckons all persons regardless of divisions and distinctions
that blind us to the immeasurable richness of God's love and the dignity God
bestows on every person.

We hope that the ELCA and the human family throughout the world will
continue to discern the merciful work of God around us and in us. Humanity
was surprised when God was born in flesh in a stable in
Bethlehem. Humanity
was surprised when Christ rose again from the dead. Humanity was surprised
when God's love embraced people of every gender, every race, and every
history. We minister and serve each day in the hope that this is again such
a time of newness. We celebrate the joy and wholeness that our LGBT sisters
and brothers have found in Christ and we welcome their participation and
ministry in our common life of faith. We offer the example of their lives of
faith and our life and ministry together to the larger Church and to the
world as testimony to our conviction that God welcomes LGBT persons into the
Church without distinction.

The ELCA report on sexuality, including its recommendations on
the ordinations of lesbian and gay clergy, can be downloaded at:
http://www.elcawebstatus.org/tfreport.pdf

The ELCA's press release on the sexuality report can be read at:
http://www.elca.org/Scriptlib/CO/ELCA_News/encArticleList.asp?a=2978&p=1