9/1/2016 10:35:00 AM

CHICAGO – The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) has developed supplemental resources for use within the Evangelical Lutheran Worship marriage service. The liturgical resources were developed based on action by the ELCA Church Council to implement recommendations from the “Ministry to and with Same-gender Couples and Their Families” working group.

The working group was established in response to the 2013 ELCA Churchwide Assembly approval of a memorial, or proposal, regarding conversations about ministering to same-gender couples and their families. The recommendation from the working group requested the Office of the Presiding Bishop take lead responsibility for identifying or preparing a small collection of supplemental liturgical resources for pastoral use.

“This is work that the church asked us to do. These are faithful and sensitive supplemental resources which can be used by all couples,” said the Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the ELCA.

In its recommendation, the working group stated that one of the supplemental resources be “appropriate for same-gender couples for use within the marriage service of Evangelical Lutheran Worship as a way to continue to live into our commitment ‘to finding ways to allow congregations that choose to do so to recognize, support and hold publicly accountable lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships.'”

“These supplemental resources have been created to offer more inclusivity in language, pastoral care, and openness for all persons who seek to be married within this church,” said the Rev. Kevin Strickland, ELCA executive for worship.

For more on this article visit ELCA.org

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