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The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is Canada’s largest Lutheran denomination with 182,077 baptized members in 624 congregations. It is a member of the Lutheran World Federation, the Canadian Council of Churches, and the World Council of Churches.

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A NEWS RELEASE
From National Office of the ELCIC

NATIONAL CHURCH COUNCIL
PREPARES RESPONSE TO EASTERN SYNOD PETITION

Winnipeg, September 28, 2004 (ELCIC) -- In March 2004, National Church Council directed the National Bishop to provide a report to the September NCC meeting advising on the process to develop a social statement for the ELCIC on sexuality, marriage and the family. This action reflects the concern of NCC that the 1970 Lutheran Church in America "Social Statement on Sex, Marriage and the Family" should be replaced with a more current ELCIC statement.

In September 2004, National Church Council received an invitation from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) to send 2 observers to discussions of their "Task Force for Studies on Sexuality". This invitation has been accepted.

National Church Council also adopted recommendations forwarded this summer from the Eastern Synod Assembly. In it the synod "petition[s] the ELCIC National Church Council(NCC) to initiate a study of the theological, ecclesiological, and pastoral implications of authorizing a parish based local option to perform same-sex blessings and bring appropriate recommendations to the 2005 ELCIC National Convention."

Recognizing that our church is not of a single mind around matters pertaining to the inclusion of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered persons, National Church Council accepted a proposed strategy that will solicit some made-in-Canada resources. These resources will honour the many voices the National Bishop has heard across the church and will take into consideration the actions of the Conference of Bishops (July 2003) and National Church Council (October 2003).

The proposal is for a project which will yield a series of short essays on various aspects of the issues as might be understood or implied in the Eastern Synod motion. These essays will inform the work of NCC. They will be made available to the Conference of Bishops and will eventually form the basis for conference or congregational study this coming winter and spring (2004/2005). In that regard, the essays will be made available on the ELCIC’s web site.

National Church Council will bring a recommendation regarding the Eastern Synod motion to the 2005 ELCIC National Convention.

November 25, 2004--Essays Considering the Matter of Same-Sex Blessings now available.

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