On Sunday, Apr. 24, voting concluded in the special congregational meeting which began on April 17. After voting concluded, three persons unaffiliated with St. Mark counted the ballots to determine the outcome. They were directed to share only the outcome of the voting with Pastor Giller, who would then communicate the outcome to the congregation on the website and through a congregational letter. The church council decided that, since a majority vote would determine policy, it would be better to simply know the outcome without the numerical values. The congregation voted to approve the following option
(A) St. Mark Lutheran Church states that any couple who is able to obtain a legal marriage license in the State of Ohio is permitted to wed in the sanctuary or offsite using the pastor or staff member called/employed by the congregation. The pastor/staff member will provide appropriate pre-marital conversation, addressing the couple's understanding of a Christ-centered marriage, their commitment to caring for one another, and their ongoing willingness to grow as a couple. Each marriage performed at St. Mark Lutheran Church shall be consistent with the policies and practices of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) and with the laws of the State of Ohio.
Throughout this process, congregation members have been kind, intentional in prayer and discernment, and aware of our complete reliance on grace. Please continue to care for one another with love and compassion, even if this Option was not your personal choice. Our identity as children of God relies not on policies, but on the grace and love of God which sustains us all.
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