Delegates approve amended report and recommendations from Task Force Addressing Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia

July 2, 2023

On Saturday evening, delegates to the 2023 ELCIC Special Convention approved an amended report and recommendations from the ELCIC Task Force Addressing Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, which was formed out of convention action at the 2019 ELCIC National Convention.

Among the recommendations, the ELCIC is called to: appoint a taskforce to continue the work of addressing Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia in the ELCIC; increase usage of pronouns; increase the ELCIC’s visibility as an affirming church; issue a public statement of apology to 2SLGBTQIA+ folx that have been harmed by the ELCIC; create a naming liturgy service to publicly affirm and celebrate transgender, non-binary, and gender diverse members of the ELCIC; ongoing sexual orientation, gender identity and expression (SOGIE) training; a national office staff person with dedicated responsibilities for diversity, equity and inclusion; encourage congregations in the ELCIC to begin a “Reconciling in Christ” process; and create national resources which would support listening, safe conversations, and discernment at all levels of the church around healthy, consensual relationships, including ethical non-monogamous relationships.

An amendment from the floor of convention also added back in a recommendation from the 2022 report, “that the ELCIC and its synods suspend any current or future decisions against rostered leaders based on sections D & E in the current manual Discipline of Rostered Ministers where it is determined there is no harm caused.”

Speaking to the motion, delegates were respectful and at times emotional. Several delegates expressed not only how important it would be to pass the recommendations but also what it would look like if the church did not pass the task force recommendations.

Prior to announcing the results of the one of the amendments, Bishop Johnson addressed concern around, “anxiety and tension in the room.” Bishop Johnson reminded delegates of the song she invite them to sing with her during her report on Wednesday evening, “Courage, my friend, you do not walk alone. We will, walk with you, and sing your spirit home.”

“We have differing opinions, we are not divided,” she counseled.

Convention chaplain Deacon Faith Nostbakken was asked to lead the convention in a prayer prior to the call for the vote. “As we come to this time may we sense the love we have for one another, the respect we have for one another, and the willingness to acknowledge the dignity of every person part of this decision,” she prayed.

The report from the Task Force Addressing Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia in its entirety can be found in Appendix 18 of the Bulletin of Reports (

Matthew 10:40-42


40 “Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. 41 Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous, 42 and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.”

John 15:12-17

12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing, but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. 17 I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.

John 21:15-19

Jesus and Peter

15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 A second time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.” 19 (He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.) After this he said to him, “Follow me.”

Luke 11:33-36

The Light of the Body

33 “No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a bushel basket; rather, one puts it on the lampstand so that those who enter may see the light. 34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. If your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but if it is unhealthy, your body is full of darkness. 35 Therefore consider whether the light in you is not darkness. 36 But if your whole body is full of light, with no part of it in darkness, it will be as full of light as when a lamp gives you light with its rays.”

Matthew 8:1-4

Jesus Cleanses a Man

8 When Jesus had come down from the mountain, great crowds followed him, and there was a man with a skin disease who came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” He stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing. Be made clean!” Immediately his skin disease was cleansed. Then Jesus said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”