National Magazine of the Lutheran Church of Australia

Change is not death

November 2015

Extracts from the report of LCA Bishop John Henderson

The church

The Lutheran Church of Australia (LCA) exists so that the body of Christ may be recognisable in human society. As the inward association of faith, we remain steadfastly committed to the pure teaching of the gospel and the sacraments.

The ‘big topic’

Women and the Call to the Office of the Public Ministry We have been debating this topic for at least 15 years. In 2013 the General Convention asked for further study. A ‘moratorium’ on speaking and writing on the matter was lifted, and the ‘Ordination: We’re Listening’ website set up (owl.lca.org.au), providing core materials and a place to hold a conversation. (See pages 15-19.)

Lifestyle of reconciliation

Over the last two synodical terms the LCA has been establishing a Professional Standards Unit (www.lca.org.au/professionalstandards. html), (and) a Reconciliation Ministry (www.lca.org.au/ reconciliation-ministry.html) to promote a biblical lifestyle of reconciliation. We are attempting to ensure greater transparency and procedural fairness.

Marriage

In response to the Irish referendum, I released a statement on Marriage, (affirming) the LCA’s position. If samesex marriage does become law in Australia, the rites of the LCA will not allow a pastor to conduct such a marriage. (However) it is unlikely that the government will attempt to force churches to conduct marriages. (We have) begun to assemble a group to help steer the LCA’s contribution to the social debate and to provide resources for study.

Royal Commission

A hard-working group monitors the work of the Royal Commission on Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse on your behalf and responds to requests to produce documentation. The LCA (insists) all people in the church working with children complete ChildSafe training and, as appropriate, have a police check or Working with Children check, or (in Queensland) hold a ‘blue card’. If the Commission recommends ways to improve systems and processes, the LCA will impleme