The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, which has become the latest denomination to lift a ban on gay clergy, announced this week that it is reinstating two gay pastors — a same-sex couple — to its clergy roster.

The Associated Press reports that the Rev. Bradley Schmeling was removed from the group’s roster in 2007 for being in a same-sex relationship — a violation of ELCA policy until the Church Council adopted revisions last month to allow “eligible Lutherans in publicly accountable, lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships” to serve as clergy.

His partner, the Rev. Darin Easler, whom he met at a church conference in 2004, had been removed from the clergy roster in 2006, and has worked in hospice care under the United Church of Christ.

According to the ELCA press release issued Tuesday, Schmeling plans to continue serving as pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church, the Atlanta congregation that had chosen to violate the ELCA ban for the past three years; Easler willl continue his hospice work, under the auspices of the ELCA.

No word on whether other reinstatements are in the pipeline, but Julia Duin of The Washington Times says more are expected as local churches adopt the revised policy. Check back for updates, and share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

*Click here to subscribe to Belief Beat and click here to follow Belief Beat on Twitter.

 

More from Beliefnet and our partners
previous posts

Thank you for visiting Belief Beat. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy:   Beliefnet News   Good News Happy Reading!  

Author Alain de Botton has announced plans to build an Atheist temple in the United Kingdom, presumably so nonbelievers have a place to gather and share their philosophies. Um… isn’t that what Starbucks is for? Also, I can’t wait to see how the architect will handle this kind of project. Maybe the building can feature […]

Alaska Airlines, now the country’s seventh-largest airline, has announced it will stop offering prayer cards with its in-flight meals. (It’s just raining religion news in the great unchurched Pacific Northwest lately.) I’ve flown Alaska several times since moving to Seattle, but I confess that I’ve never noticed these Psalm quotations. They were only offered on […]

I reported for Reuters at the Washington state Capitol yesterday, covering the public hearings on a gay marriage bill — and in between, the breaking news that the state Senate now has enough votes to pass the bill. (The House already had enough votes.) It now appears that Washington’s lawmakers will legalize gay marriage next month, […]

error: Content is protected !!