During its recent 2014 synod, the Moravian Church's Northern Province approved a proposal to allow homosexuals to be ordained while also creating a religious ceremony for same-sex couples.
Delegates voted June 22 181-62 to make revise the Northern Province's Book of Order to reflect the changes.
"Moravians understand that God's call to us is to welcome all people, because God's embrace is far larger than our capacity to imagine," the Rev. Elizabeth D. Miller, president of the Provincial Elders' Conference of the Moravian Church Northern Province, told Religion News Service.
Observers claim as delegates waited to learn the outcome of the vote, they sang hymns and spontaneously stood hand in hand in a circle around the assembly hall.
“Moravians understand that God’s call to us is to welcome all people, because God’s embrace is far larger than our capacity to imagine,” said the Rev. Dr. Elizabeth D. Miller, president of the Provincial Elders’ Conference of the Moravian Church Northern Province. “The 2014 Synod responded to God’s leading to receive the gifts of gay and lesbian individuals who wish to serve as ordained servants in the Moravian Church Northern Province.”
Officials maintain that the decision affects only those in the Northern Province and has no direct impact on the other provinces in the worldwide Moravian Unity. The decision also came with an understanding that no congregation will be forced to call a gay or lesbian pastor, as that decision lies with the congregations’ Boards of Elders and Trustees.
Publication date: June 25, 2014