Minn. church votes to leave ELCA over gay clergy

Another Lutheran church in southeastern Minnesota has voted to leave the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America over the group's policy on accepting gay clergy.

The Rev. Mark Schwartz, of South Zumbro Lutheran Church, tells the Post-Bulletin of Rochester that his church voted 74-11 on Sunday to leave the ELCA.

The ELCA requires a second vote at least 90 days after the first to complete the process to leave. South Zumbro will take its second vote in January 2011.

The ELCA's Churchwide Assembly voted in August to allow sexually active pastors in committed same-sex relationships to be ordained as clergy.

ELCA spokeswoman Katie Livingood says there are no other churches among the 185 congregations in the ELCA's southeastern Minnesota synod planning a separation vote.


Information from: Post-Bulletin