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The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is Canada’s largest Lutheran denomination with 182,077 baptized members in 624 congregations. It is a member of the Lutheran World Federation, the Canadian Council of Churches, and the World Council of Churches.

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A NEWS RELEASE
From National Office of the ELCIC

ELCIC NATIONAL CHURCH COUNCIL ISSUES STATEMENT
ON SAME-GENDER BLESSINGS

Winnipeg, September 19, 2005 (ELCIC) -- In their first meeting since the July 2005 National Convention, National Church Council (NCC) members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) met September 15-17 in St. Norbert, Manitoba to discuss matters relating to the business of the church. Agenda items before NCC members included a discussion on the motion presented at the National Convention regarding the blessing of same-sex unions. In response to questions following the motion's defeat at convention (220 against, 183 in favour), NCC issued the following statement:

"With reference to the actions taken at the Tenth Biennial ELCIC Convention concerning same-gender blessings, National Church Council encourages congregations and pastors to honour the decisions that have been made and to refrain from taking actions that are in contradiction to them. National Church Council encourages synodical bishops to address breaches in this regard through pastoral conversation with the congregations and pastors involved and, if necessary, through censure and admonition.

The Council further recognizes that the debate and vote have provided compelling evidence as to the deep and significant differences of opinion that exist within our church concerning this question.

We thus encourage the church to continue in faithful and respectful study and dialogue concerning these and other challenging questions of faith, at all times seeking to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."

An overview of events and decisions from the NCC Board Meeting will be provided in a follow-up news release.

In full communion with The Anglican Church of Canada
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