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St. Luke restores some funding to synod, ELCA

St. Luke Lutheran Church members voted Sunday to restore some funding to the Saint Paul Area Synod, which they quit giving to after the parent denomination decided to allow openly gay clergy last August.

The church council proposed a compromise of sending half the money to the synod in 2010 that the Cottage Grove church committed to send last year, and the majority of the approximately 200 members gathered at the church's annual meeting agreed.

In late August, when the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America met for its churchwide assembly in Minneapolis, St. Luke pastor Tim Housholder gave an impassioned speech to the group about his opposition to allowing gay clergy.

"I stand here finally on God's holy word which calls homosexuality sin and calls all of those living out this lifestyle to the cross, not to receive tolerant love, but transforming and life-changing love," Housholder said at the conference.

Soon after the ELCA's decision, the pastors and church council voted to redirect funds to the Saint Paul Area Synod to other Lutheran ministries.

Under the resolution passed Sunday, the church will direct $15,000 in benevolence funds to the synod, $7,500 to Lutheran World Relief and $7,500 to Lutheran Social Services Minnesota.

Scott Wente

Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011.

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