Later this week (Sept. 25-26), conservative Lutherans involved with the group CORE will meet in Indiana to discuss the possibility of creating a “free-standing synod” that would include members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, along with others that have left, or plan to leave, the denomination, according to RNS:
The leaders of Lutheran CORE (Coalition for Reform) are not encouraging fellow believers to bolt from the ELCA for a more conservative denomination, but neither do they want to remain part of one that has “fallen into heresy,” they say. …
“There are lots of congregations that are going to leave, lots of traditionalist congregations that are going to stay, and lots that have already left,” said Ryan Schwarz of Washington, a member of CORE’s steering committee. “We want to create a churchly structure that gathers all those categories.”
About 1,200 people have registered for CORE’s summit in Indianapolis, according to organizers.
CORE is among those disappointed that the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), the country’s largest Lutheran denomination, voted this summer to lift its ban on noncelibate gay clergy. The church also voted to allow congregations to recognize “publicly accountable life-long, monogamous, same-gender relationships.”
About 1,200 people have registered for CORE’s meeting in Indianapolis, according to the organization. The ELCA has 4.8 million members.
In related news, two independent Lutheran congregations in San Francisco are considering whether to re-join the ELCA because of the recent policy changes regarding gay clergy.
St. Francis Lutheran Church and First United Lutheran Church were expelled from the
ELCA in 1995 for violating church standards that the churchwide assembly voted to change in August, according to the ELCA News Service.