ELCA evicts African Lutherans
because of opposition to new ELCA teaching and policy
Okay, so I’m as slow as molasses running up hill in the middle of winter, but I found this article when doing some research about a new association of Immigrant Africans whose gathering is being supported by the Southeastern District. The story was published in 2011. It is about the fate of two African Immigrant congregations that met in ELCA congregation buildings. - Pastor
Posted on Wednesday, January 19, 2011 6:03:32 PM by rhema
The ELCA is taking harsh actions against African immigrant Lutherans who oppose the ELCA’s new teaching and policy on marriage and same-sex sexual relationships.
Two African immigrant congregations have been expelled from local ELCA congregations where they have worshiped at the direction of ELCA officials.
“Oromo congregations in Houston, Texas, and Denver, Colorado, were asked by their mission directors and host church to leave the church premises without delay. The reason they were given was they are not in agreement with the August 2009 Churchwide Assembly resolution,” the January newsletter of the United Oromo Evangelical Churches reported.
The 2009 ELCA Churchwide Assembly voted to change ELCA teaching and practice on marriage and sexual ethics to affirm same-sex sexual relationships and to allow pastors to be in those relationships.
The 2009 assembly also asked the ELCA to respect the “bound consciences” of those who disagree with the church’s new teaching and practice. But that part has been more difficult for ELCA officials.
“One of the things mentioned to the leaders of the church in Denver: ‘Rev. Gemechis Buba has resigned from his ELCA position and we assume you have a similar stand and we have no reason to keep you in our buildings,’” the newsletter reported.
The Rev. Dr. Gemechis Buba is the former Director of African National Ministries for the ELCA. He resigned his ELCA position Dec. 8 to accept a call to serve as Missions Director for the North American Lutheran Church.
Dr. Buba was the first prominent leader from the ELCA national offices in Chicago to leave the church body since the 2009 ELCA Churchwide Assembly.
Members of these congregations came to America to escape persecution because of their Christian faith in their native Ethiopia under the Communist regime that ruled Ethiopia until 1991. Some of them were imprisoned and tortured because of their commitment to Christ. They now face a different kind of persecution in their new home because of their faith.
“We ask all of our church leaders to announce fasting and prayer time for the difficulties we currently facing,” the newsletter requests.