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50 - 40 - 10

The recent ELCA Churchwide Assembly celebrated three significant anniversaries: the 50th anniversary of the ordination of women, the 40th anniversary of the ordination of the first woman of color, and the 10th anniversary of the ordination of gays and lesbians. These groups participated in a giant procession before one of the assembly worship services. I wish my wife, the first Lutheran pastor in the South of the former ALC, could have participated.

I was able to vote on two of these milestones. In 1970 I was a youth delegate to the American Lutheran Church Convention in San Antonio where the ordination of women was approved. In 2009, I was a voting member of the ELCA Churchwide Assembly in Minneapolis where the ordination of gays and lesbians was approved.

The two votes were quite different in some ways but in another way they were similar - the majority of the delegations from Texas voted against both.

I was indirectly involved with the movement to accept racial minority pastors. I was the internship supervisor for the first African-American pastor in Texas.

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