I will try to explain this situation for those blessed by non-membership in ELCA.
ELCA met in August and took the final step toward anything-goes ordination and partnering in the parsonage. But that was done under the local option motto. Supposedly the ELCA bishop of the area could decide whether or not to ordain or approve the call of people with alternative concepts of marriage. Just as America still has some dry counties, by vote, so ELCA would have some straight districts, by vote. ELCA follows the LCA in having synods within synods, so I have called the little ones districts.
Northeast Iowa decided to make a move toward rescinding the latest ELCA move, so consternation has followed. The homosexual activists want a clean sweep of all regions. Seminarians are already vowing to refuse calls to Northeast Iowa if the district refuses to loosen up. But alas, too many Iowans have come on down to the farm:
Oddly, the bishop's son has a blog where this conflict is being aired, along with the publication of daddy's letter. The son is a youth pastor and clearly sides with the offended who want to open up Northeast Iowa to their pan-sexuality.
Daddy bishop's expressed role is to continue the conversation and all that blather. Believe in the process, for the process will justify. That may give many Iowans the creepy feeling that NE Iowa's ruling board will find itself flanked by the allegedly neutral bishop.
I understand that bishops also move obliquely in the game of chess.
News article on NE Iowa opposition.
Pretty Good Lutherans:
In declining to state a position on partnered gays in the ministry, Ullestad is following in position of ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson. He, too, has refused to take a public stance and claimed his role was to be a neutral moderator of the issue.
Since the national assembly decision, some gay and lesbian clergy told Pretty Good Lutherans that it’s time for Hanson to break his silence.
“Neutrality makes no sense to me,” said Pastor Megan Rohr of San Francisco. “He speaks out on other justice issue, but he doesn’t talk about this as a justice issue.”
She added: “One of the number one requirements of a pastor in the ELCA is that they (sic) speak in favor of justice.”