calendar August 23, 2011 in ELCA

ELCA Assembly Adopts Genetics Statement

The 2011 Churchwide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) on Aug. 18 adopted a social statement on genetics and a series of resolutions from an ELCA task force charged with recommending options for the future of the ELCA.

The assembly adopted the "Genetics, Faith and Responsibility," the ELCA’s 11th social statement, on a 942-34 vote. It is one of the first by a North American church that develops a comprehensive ethical framework for addressing advancements in medical and agricultural research.

"Social statements are important documents for us as a church," ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson told the Churchwide Assembly, which met in Orlando, Aug. 15-19.

Social statements "guide us as we ‘step forward as a public church’ because they form the basis for both this church’s public policy and my public speech as presiding bishop," he said.

The Churchwide Assembly also adopted a series of resolutions derived from its Living into the Future (LIFT) task force and report. The vote was 914-57. 
Commissioned by the ELCA Church Council, the LIFT task force developed and recommended options for the future of the ELCA in light of its identity, changes in its environment and its call to God’s mission.
The LIFT resolutions address the role of the ELCA’s churchwide organization to accompany congregations and synods, build capacity for evangelical witness and service, strengthen interdependent relationships, promote God’s vision of a multicultural and multiethnic church, coordinate global mission and relief work, and lead in new ways theological reflection and deliberation on the identity and mission of this church.
"We are grateful for the leadership of this Churchwide Assembly in adopting the LIFT implementing resolutions, and we look forward to the renewal envisioned in the report and recommendations," said the Rev. Wyvetta Bullock, ELCA executive for administration.
The Churchwide Assembly also voted, 817-169 to change the frequency of assemblies from a biennial to a triennial cycle, starting with the 2016 ELCA Churchwide Assembly.