Resolution and memorial concerning a minimum age for ordination
Submitted by Philip Van Dam / Peter Suwak

Whereas the ELCA does not have a minimum age for ordination; and

Whereas an increasing number of young people finish college and even graduate degrees before they are adults; and

Whereas it is our job to anticipate issues before they arise, and not just react as problems appear; and

Whereas since it is possible, under current rules, for minors to be ordained, it is also possible, under current rules for such a pastor to be defrocked for sexual relations with a minor who is older than the pastor; and

Whereas some branches of the early church had a minimum age for ordination as a priest of 35; and

Whereas the Episcopal Church has a minimum age for ordination to the priesthood of 25; and

Whereas current research suggests that judgement and decision making ability does not mature until 25; and

Whereas life experience increases with age, and thus enlightens ones decisions; and

Whereas many social gatherings of clergy involve alcohol; and

Whereas the normal duties of a pastor includes carrying an open container of wine for communion in one’s car; therefore be it

Resolved that the Southern Ohio Synod set a minimum age for ordination of pastors at age 25; and be it further

Resolved that the West Virginia-Western Maryland Synod in Assembly memorialize the Churchwide Assembly to set a minimum age for ordination as a pastor at age 25.


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