Jim Hazelwood, bishop of the New England Synod of ELCA recently made a video for Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries, an organization that "affirms and supports LGBTQIA+ Lutheran rostered leaders and those pursuing a call to rostered leadership, while engaging allied congregations and ministries to proclaim God’s love and seek justice for all." (See here)
In the video bishop Hazelwood said "I'm interested in finding the best leaders for our congregations period. Period. Now what I have discovered is the best leaders for our congregations in New England are oftentimes people who are LGBTQ+. And then, so that was the first thing I was looking for the best, and then they happened to be gay and I think that's really important. See the way I look at this is I think we have this opportunity to take the gifts of people and let them shine. And what I've found in my time as bishop in the New England Synod is that they are. I mean some of the most exciting and interesting and fascinating ministries are happening in congregations led by gay and queer pastors and it's fantastic. But but we wouldn't have had that opportunity if I hadn't said yes, if the church, the ELCA hadn't said yes."
The Bishop ends the vlog saying "...I'm grateful for ELM (Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries) and its partnership and all of the work that happens on behalf of the gospel of Jesus Christ here in New England and throughout the world."
Of course, practicing homosexual pastors are living in disobedience to God and in unrepentant sin. Their bishop should love them by telling and helping them turn from their sin. But in the ELCA, church leaders clap their hands, smile and praise those that need help and encouragement to leave the bondage of sin.
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