Soulforce and Lutheran Alliance for Full Participation Commend ELCA Youth for Their Stand on Homosexuality

Youth are encouraged to join in the vigils and leafleting outside the ELCA Churchwide Assembly August 11-17

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Soulforce Press Release: July 29, 2003
For Immediate Release
Contact: Laura Montgomery Rutt
Cell 717-278-0592 email:Laura@soulforce.org
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The National Lutheran Youth Organization, an official youth office of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), voted overwhelmingly to welcome people of all sexual orientations as members. Delegates also adopted a resolution supporting the blessing of same-sex unions and the ordination of non-celibate individuals of all sexual orientations in committed relationships. The ELCA currently will not ordain non-celibate homosexuals as pastors.

The Lutheran Alliance for Full Participation and Soulforce, Inc. commend the youth office for taking this stand, and encourage the youth of the ELCA to join with them in vigiling, leafleting, and nonviolence trainings throughout the week of the ELCA Churchwide Assembly, August 11-17.

By a 91% margin, the youth organization also voted to be listed as a “Reconciling in Christ” organization with Lutherans Concerned/North America, an independent group of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Lutherans, and one of the coalition groups of the Lutheran Alliance for Full Participation.

“The youth are clearly leading the way to full acceptance of GLBT persons in the life of our church,” said Jeannine Janson, Co-chair of Lutherans Concerned/North America. “They are modeling the ELCA as it will be; the question is simply when.”

The Lutheran Alliance for Full Participation, which includes Lutherans Concerned/North America, Lutheran Lesbian and Gay Ministries, the Extraordinary Candidacy Project, the Lutheran Network for Inclusive Vision, and Wingspan Ministries, and Soulforce, Inc, a national interfaith movement committed to ending spiritual violence perpetuated by religious policies and teachings against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, will be present at the ELCA Churchwide Assembly, August 11-17, leafleting and vigiling during the week to be a visible presence at the Assembly.

Trainings in nonviolence will be held each day as well, culminating in a rally and nonviolent direct action training on Thursday evening August 14, at Calvary Presbyterian, 935 West Wisconsin Ave, in Milwaukee. The Churchwide Assembly is being held at the Midwest Express Center, 400 West Wisconsin Avenue.

Everyone is welcome to vigil; however, individuals must have taken part in a Soulforce training in order to participate in any possible direct action.

“I look forward to the day when I will be accepted fully into the ELCA for who I am, and be allowed to fully participate in the life of the church,” declared Jake Reitan, young adult coordinator for Soulforce. “I am so glad, as a young adult, a member of the ELCA, and a volunteer for Soulforce, that we can all work together to make that day become a reality.”

For more information, see www.soulforce.org. For media interviews, call 717-278-0592.

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Laura Montgomery Rutt
Director of Communications
Soulforce, Inc
Laura@soulforce.org
www.soulforce.org

Soulforce is a national interfaith movement committed to ending spiritual violence perpetuated by religious policies and teachings against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. Soulforce employs the nonviolent principles of Gandhi and King to the liberation of sexual and gender minorities.

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