The ELCA begins its biennial biennial church wide assembly this Monday in Orlando. The hot topic this time around, as I’ve mentioned before, is homosexuality. On the heels of a five-year sexuality study, the ELCA is considering whether to allow a “local option” for gay priests (let the bishops decide), and while officially renewing the denomination’s ban on gay marriage, giving local congregations leeway to perform “faithful pastoral care to same-sex couples.” Steve Rempe of the Institute on Religion and Democracy has more on what’s at stake, while Solid Rock Lutherans, a conservative group in the ELCA (they exist?), lays out their case against the three sexuality resolutions the ELCA will be taking up next week. I spoke with Steve Rempe earlier this week (he’s an acquaintance), and he said he’d be blogging for the Institute on Religion and Democracy (an organization dedicated to faithful renewal in mainline denominations) from the assembly. His reports are on the Institute’s home page at www.ird-renew.org.