|Shortly after the organization of ELCM we
determined to make ELCM available as a Temporary Safe Haven for any and all Lutheran
pastors who might need such. As part of that we felt we needed to make provision for Word
Alone focused Women pastors and congregations served
by Word Alone focused women pastors.
past months it has become clear that ELCM is unlikely to receive any application for
membership by Word Alone focused women pastors and since no applications have been
received we have begun a re-examination of our position on the matter.
Some in ELCM favor returning to an earlier proposal known
as "Grand mothering" for those women who have been ordained into the ELCA but
who are Word Alone in orientation making application to join ELCM with a congregation.
Under this proposal Word Alone in focus women pastors serving congregations
could be received onto the ELCM clergy roster and continue to serve their respective
congregation but no further ordinations of Women by ELCM would occur. In the place of the
practice of ordaining Women an ELCM program for the training and consecration of women to
serve Deaconesses would be developed. It is posited that a Deaconess orientation would be
much more in line with the Biblical Witness.
Our willingness to re-open this area for consideration is
based upon the WordAlone ELCA movement (WAN) Board of Directors (May 2000) announcement
that WAN is readying plans to organize an Association for ELCA Pastors and Congregations
as part of their 2nd prong. This WAN development is perceived to change the need for ELCM
to provide a temporary safe haven.
The entire matter is only under discussion at this point,
however, and in order to replace the above positions regarding Word Alone focused Women
pastors will need to gain the support of all ELCM pastors and congregations before
replacing the positions set forth under matters achieving consensus as listed above.