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Forum staff reports, Published January 05 2011

Pelican Rapids church votes to leave ELCA

PELICAN RAPIDS, Minn. – The North Immanuel Lutheran Church near Pelican Rapids voted Sunday to leave the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America by a margin of 59-20, according to the minutes of the meeting.

A two-thirds majority was required for the measure to pass. At the same meeting, the congregation voted to affiliate with Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ.

North Immanuel is one of several churches that have voted to leave the ELCA since the August 2009 Churchwide Assembly. At that assembly, the ELCA, a denomination of more than 10,000 congregations, decided to allow individuals in same-gender relationships to serve in the clergy and passed a controversial human sexuality social statement.

Critics of the assembly’s actions have said the decisions ran counter to scriptural teaching on the topic and undercut biblical authority in church teaching.

North Immanuel has 206 members, according to 2007 numbers on the ELCA website.