This morning, the Sierra Pacific Synod Assembly passed a resolution that empowers the Synod Council to act to welcome St. Francis Lutheran Church and First United Lutheran Church back to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and invites these congregations to discern this action. The resolution passed with 291 votes for, 26 against and 10 abstentions. The vote was announced to great applause.
St. Francis (photo) and First United were placed on trial by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in 1990 for extending calls to openly gay Jeff Johnson and openly lesbian Ruth Frost and Phyllis Zillhart. The ELCA suspended their membership until 1995 and then dropped them from the roster of congregations. Both St. Francis and First United have remained thriving Lutheran ministries since then and have been served by both ELCA pastors and pastors rostered by Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries.