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Church Wants Out of Antigay Group

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A Lutheran church in Minnesota wants off a list of those wanting to join a new Lutheran body with less tolerant views on homosexuality, saying it never wished to be part of the group.

The Urland Lutheran Church (pictured) in Cannon Falls had been counted among those seeking to leave the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, which earlier this year decided to allow partnered gays and lesbians to be ordained as clergy, and join a new, more conservative group called Lutheran CORE.

Lutheran CORE officials say the Urland congregation has to take a vote to leave that group, but Urland pastor Arthur Sharot says that's unnecessary.

"We are sending a letter requesting our removal," Sharot told The Minnesota Independent. "We have no reason or necessity to have a vote to have our name removed from an organization we never asked to be a part of." Urland members learned their church was listed as part of Lutheran CORE only by seeing it on the group's website.

However, Lutheran CORE director Mark Chavez told the paper that Urland had joined an earlier group, Lutheran Churches of the Common Confession, which was founded in 2005 and folded into Lutheran CORE about a year ago.

The Common Confession document states, among other things, that "sexual activity belongs exclusively within the biblical boundaries of a faithful marriage between one man and one woman."

Sharot says his congregation voted to join the Common Confession group sometime before he became pastor in 2006, but not all members share that view of sexuality.

Also, Lutheran CORE's views may be even more antigay than they first appeared. The Independent reports that Chavez was once director and remains vice president of WordAlone, a group that believes sexual orientation can be changed and that adoption by gays puts children at risk.

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.