Soulforce to be Present in Orlando for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Vote on Lifting the Ban Against GLBT Clergy

Update: Report from Orlando (08/14/2005)

Soulforce and the Lutheran Alliance for Full Participation have partnered together in direct actions at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) biennial Churchwide Assemblies (CWA) since 2001. This year in Orlando, as in Indianapolis in 2001 and Milwaukee in 2003, we will together confront the lay and clergy leadership of the ELCA with the truth: ELCA church policy, which denies persons in committed relationships the ability to answer their calls to ordained and commissioned ministry, perpetuates spiritual violence in the name of God for the sake of "church unity."

As the result of actions taken at the 2001 CWA to avoid a vote on lifting the policy ban, a sexuality task force was established to allow the ELCA 4 years to “study” whether gays and lesbians who will not pledge to a life of celibacy should be allowed to serve as pastors and whether blessings of same-gender relationships should be supported by clergy and congregations. These four years are up, and it’s time to vote! Unfortunately, the resolutions that will be put before the CWA do not include changing the policy; rather the recommendation is that the policy remain but that exceptions be allowed when synods and bishops agree that a candidate is worthy of the exception!

Soulforce (as a partner of Goodsoil) does not endorse the Church Council’s proposal for granting exceptions to LGBT candidates who wish to be rostered with the ELCA. We believe this proposal continues to perpetuate spiritual violence against LGBT persons and is demeaning. We remain adamant that the ELCA must: 1)Remove completely policies that discriminate against LGBT people and that require life-long celibacy of those called into ministry and; 2)Refute the theologies in their communion that equate homosexuality with sin as well as those that undermine the sacredness of covenanted relationships and validity of our marriages. (To read more go to

Come to Orlando August 8-14, for the whole week or part of the week and do justice with Soulforce and the other members of Goodsoil. This is the year when the ban must be lifted for ALL LGBT persons called to ministry! Let us stand together AGAIN for justice for LGBT persons in committed relationships, in having their relationships blessed and their calls to ministry honored! We will be leafleting, doing other direct actions and possibly civil disobedience. We need your help. See you in Orlando!

Registration Instructions

1) Register as a visitor for the 2005 ELCA. The cost is $50. Registering will allow you to be present with Soulforce inside the convention. Prior to June 30 you can register online at the ELCA Website. Click here to open a new browser window and register with the ELCA. After June 30, you will need to print out a registration form and mail it in. Click here to download the registration form.

2) Next, Register with Goodsoil, our Lutheran partners for this action. (Under Constituent Group, select Soulforce.) Click here to open a new browser window and register with Goodsoil.

Hotel Information

Assembly / Official Hotel location is:
Orlando World Center Marriott
8701 World Center Drive
Note: The cost is $116 (plus 11%) per night. To get this reduced rate you must call the hotel at 1-800-621-0638 and specify that you are registered through the ELCA.

Alternate Hotel:
Nickelodeon Family Suites by Holiday Inn
Note: Hotel is located across the highway from Assembly location

Alternate Hotel:
Doubletree Club Lake Buena Vista
Note: Hotel is located approximately 3 miles from Assembly location. Rate is $59 prior to July 17 by calling 1-800-521-3297 and ask for the Goodsoil group rate.

Tentative Schedule

The current working schedule for the action in Orlando is now available as a PDF download. Click here to open a new browser window and download the schedule.