calendar June 17, 2010 in Communications

Abington church takes first vote to withdraw from ELCA

At a congregational meeting June 6, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Abington, held a successful first vote to withdraw from the ELCA and join the North American Lutheran Church (NALC) once that body is formally constituted.  The motion passed by a 76% vote of the 188 voting members present, receiving 143 positive votes and 45 “no” votes.

Leaders from the congregation have been in touch with the Office of the Bishop during the process leading up to the meeting.  Under constitutional procedures outlined in section C6.05 of the Model Constitution for Congregations and provision 9.62 of the ELCA constitution, the congregation will enter a period of consultation with the bishop of at least 90 days.  Bishop Burkat, Synod Vice President Pat Robinson, and other synodical representatives will meet with Holy Trinity’s council and congregation to address issues that led to the congregation’s intention to depart.

The congregation has scheduled its second vote for September 12, 2010. A two-thirds majority is required to terminate the relationship with the ELCA.

Because Holy Trinity had been a congregation of the former Lutheran Church in America, the constitutions also require the Synod Council to approve its termination of membership in the church.

Related: ELCA guidelines on termination of relationship with the church.