269 yes, 145 no. 423 were registered. That comes to around 63.6% – 4% short of the 67%. The motion to allow both the ordination of women and men was defeated. (67% being needed as this was deemed to a significant theological matter.) Someone calculated that it failed by 13 votes.
We are now in the position where 37% of the church (extrapolating from the number of delegates) have authority over the other 63%. The LCA has shot itself in the foot. Further women and men will be unable to remain in this Church, the pain being too great to continue. Reports are that laity voted strongly in favour of women’s ordination while the clergy were not as supportive. The clergy (many of them) are the problem in our Church.
Ex-President Mike Semmler, broke with convention and spoke from the floor, against women’s ordination. Well, there’s no surprises there, despite his statement from previous years that people will be surprised when they learn his position. He wanted speakers to be given more time to speak, to be able to speak again and he questioned the authority of the Chair, Bishop John Henderson. His proposals, though time consuming, were roundly dismissed.
Thus far, there have been no initiatives from Bishop John Henderson to resolve this impasse. (The following may contradict this earlier statement if the initiative has come from the Bishop. ) Ironically he is versed in the process of consensus making. A motion was passed asking CTICR to prepare a theological case for the ordination of women (strange – they’ve done it twice before haven’t they?) for the 2018 Synod. Can you believe it? 2018! Another three years? Already too many women and men have passed away waiting for women’s ordination. This has been on the agenda of Synod since 2000 and another three years is unreasonable for many.
The following was tweeted by the #lcasynod folk:
“We resolved to enter into a period of careful theological reflection and pastoral work to assist in maintaining unity and harmony”.
We have had generations to work on this and certainly since ‘Ordination, We’re Listening’ was established after Bishop Henderson’s installation. Unity and harmony cannot be maintained when the minority have sway – thjs is aptly described as oppression. Such lack of preparation is disappointing, given the open conversation we have all been encouraged to enter into.
Life in our Church does not continue as usual. We must all consider our response.