Friday, July 21, 2006

Things Are Heating Up

I spent yesterday with a friend and colleague here in Edmonton. Very cool. We visited the university where he serves as chaplain, toured around the city, cruised bookstores, drank coffee and beer, while talking about everything under the sun. I don’t often get days like this.

It’s hot here today, going up to 34C. It’s getting even hotter in our Church. The Eastern Synod in Assembly has passed a resolution allowing for the blessing of committed same-sex unions. The national church council is meeting in September to determine the legality of this move in light of decisions made by our 2005 National Convention.

Some folks are going to meet this decision with profound disappointment – or hostility. Others will embrace it as a welcoming expression toward gays and lesbians.

But I wonder if this is the beginning of the end for our denomination. This decision was a line drawn in the sand for some on both ends of the political and theological spectrum. What might happen, I wonder, that if there is a split, that liberal and moderates within the ELCIC will partner with those of like mind within the Anglican Church, since it is the moderates and liberals who are most enthusiastic about our relationship with our Anglican sisters and brothers.

I don’t know what our more conservative friends will do. Join the Lutheran Church-Canada? The Word Alone Network in the ELCA? Form their own network of churches? I don’t know.

I fear that a split is coming. I can feel it. The gulf between the two camps is too great to be bridged. Maybe a split – or schism- is what needs to happen. Maybe it will be like a pressure value being released.

May God grant us wisdom and mercy to weather this storm faithfully.

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