Resolutions

R-1 Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Ordination of Women – Passed

WHEREAS, in 1970 both the Lutheran Church in America and American Lutheran Church in their national conventions voted to ordain women; and 

WHEREAS, the ELCA rejoices in these actions of its predecessor church bodies and will recognize the 50th anniversary in 2020 of the ordination of women; and 

WHEREAS, we express our profound gratitude for the many and varied ways the gifts of ordained women have advanced God’s mission through this church; and 

WHEREAS, we learned in the research related to the 45th anniversary of women’s ordination of some progress but also significant disparities for women in the areas of preparation for ministry, all calls including first calls, mobility, compensation, ministry roles, and debt following seminary education (http://search.elca.org/Pages/Results.aspx?k=45th+anniversary+of+women%27s+ordination); and 

WHEREAS, the same research uncovered denigrating and discriminatory experiences of many ordained women, some particularly acute for ordained women of color; and 

WHEREAS, the church is called to reflect in church and society its roles of advocate and model for the respect, dignity, and equal rights due all women, including the ordained women of this church; and 

WHEREAS, this church is simultaneously addressing justice and women in its social statement under consideration and the 50th anniversary of the ordination of women; 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Northern Illinois Synod memorialize the 2019 Churchwide Assembly of the ELCA to urge all synods in their 2020 assemblies to include celebration and special recognition of ordained women upon the 50th anniversary of authorizing this ordination practice; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we call upon our seminaries, colleges, campus ministries, outdoor ministries, social ministry organizations, and congregations to highlight women preachers, teachers and speakers throughout 2020 in recognition of the diversity of gifts women’s ordination has brought to our church; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we call upon congregations throughout the Northern Illinois Synod to participate in the 50th anniversary of the ordination of women in our church through worship services, bible studies and other efforts to celebrate and recognize the importance and contributions of ordained women; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we call upon all members of this Synod to examine our consciences, and confess our sins and complicity in circumstances whereby actions concerning women have involved creating barriers, discrimination, or perpetrating sexual harassment as women have prepared for and served as ordained women in this church; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we memorialize our churchwide organization at the 2019 Churchwide Assembly to conduct a gender analysis in 2020, whereby strategies are developed to promote and protect gender equity and justice, with particular focus on addressing the areas of preparation for ministry, call process including first calls, mobility, compensation, ministry roles, and debt following seminary education; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we call upon this Synod to establish goals and strategies for our congregations to achieve for ordained women, comparable compensation packages commensurate with that of ordained men in all calls within this Synod by 2025; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we call upon this Synod to establish goals and strategies for achieving for ordained women, access to ministry roles where women are currently underrepresented, with an emphasis on the challenges faced by women of color receiving viable first and second calls; and Resolutions 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we request this Synod’s publications to plan features in 2020 on the ordination of women, lifting-up the amazing talents and gifts this church has received from its ordained women, the barriers ordained women still experience in this church; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we invite the prayers of all members of this Synod for the successful outcome of these initiatives. 

Submitted by: The Northern Illinois Synod Council and the Northern Illinois Synod 50th Anniversary of the Ordination of Women Taskforce. 

Contact persons: Rev. Don Knowles, Synod Council Secretary; The Rev. Rakel Evenson, Chair of the NIS 50th Anniversary of the Ordination of Women Taskforce. 

Date submitted: April 4, 2019 
Action of the Resolution Committee 
Action Taken: Recommend Adoption of the Resolution 
Date of Action: April 30, 2019 Resolutions 

R-2 Concerning Gender Equality for Rostered Leadership Positions in the Northern Illinois Synod – Passed

WHEREAS, scripture declares, “When God created humankind, [God] made them in the likeness of God. Male and female [God] created them, and [God] blessed them and named them ‘Humankind’ when they were created.” (Genesis 5:1b-2, NRSV); and, the Apostle Paul writes, “there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28, NRSV); and 

WHEREAS, R-1 “Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Ordination of Women” recognizes the historical significance of the ordination of women; and 

WHEREAS, the same resolution highlights the continued struggles experienced by women who are ordained; and 

WHEREAS, the same resolution calls for further action by our church; 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Northern Illinois Synod develop or provide training materials for the synod staff, candidacy committee, call committees, councils, and congregations that address the topic of equality in compensation and benefits for all rostered positions; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Northern Illinois Synod develop or provide anti-sexual harassment training materials to assist congregations in developing anti-sexual harassment policies; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Northern Illinois Synod make both sets of training materials available to all congregations and provide for congregations that complete the training materials for equality in compensation and benefits and develop anti-sexual harassment policies with a certificate of completion and artwork featuring faithful women; and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Northern Illinois Synod encourage ministers in a call or serving a community to regularly engage the community they serve through preaching, study, or small group activities on the topic of gender equality. 

Submitted by: Rev. James Gallagher, Rev. Katrina Gallagher, Rev. Pamela Marolla, Rev. Vince Marolla, Rev. Frank Langholf, Rev. Joseph O’Donnell, Rev. Jacob Gawlik, Rev. Jessica Bakken, Rev. Barbara Otten, Rev. Bree Truax, Rev. Vicki Sauter, Rev. David Nelson, Rev. Janet Wold, Rev. Frank Lay 

Contact Person: The Rev. James Gallagher-First Lutheran Church, Monmouth 

Date Submitted: April 9, 2019 
Action of the Resolution Committee 
Action Taken: Recommend Adoption of the Resolution 
Date of Action: April 30, 2019