Today the General Synod of the Lutheran Church of Australia and New Zealand (LCANZ) did not pass a proposal to change the teaching of the church which would have permitted the ordination of both men and women.
The proposal brought before General Synod by the St Pauls Box Hill congregation, Victoria, required a two-thirds majority of registered delegates in order to be passed.
203 delegates voted in favour of the proposal; 136 voted against it; and 3 delegates abstained. 230 votes were needed for the motion to be passed.
Synod has further proposals on the matter of ordination to address in sessions tomorrow.
The practice of ordaining men only was written into the Theses of Agreement (Article 6.11), the document outlining the bases on which two Lutheran synods came together as the Lutheran Church of Australia in 1966.
The Box Hill proposal sought to amend Article 6.11 of the Theses of Agreement, noting that ‘there is ongoing division and no consensus in the Lutheran Church of Australia and New Zealand on the matter of whether both men and women can be ordained’.
Male-only ordination has been the teaching of the church since the Union of two Lutheran synods in 1966 to form the Lutheran Church of Australia.
LCANZ Bishop Paul Smith has encouraged members to continue to pray for the Lord’s guiding hand on his church.