The Lutheran Church of Australia at its triennial convention voted “no” on women’s ordination.
This was the fourth time the issue was brought up (also in 2000, 2006 and 2015). Last time, the measure failed by only 13 votes. This time the margin was much larger.
An earlier pastors’ conference voted it down, but the general convention makes the decision. It is dominated by laypeople–I believe with 2/3 lay delegates and 1/3 pastors (someone correct me if I have that wrong)–and the pro-women’s ordination side had considerable institutional support. But changes in church practice involving doctrine require a two-thirds vote.In 2015, 64% of the 400+ delegates voted to allow women to be pastors, 34% voting “no.” This time 59% of the delegates voted to ordain women, with 40% voting against it. That’s a margin of 30 votes, if my math is right.
At any rate, a majority of the delegates wanted or ordain women, so the church remains divided on the issue. But still, this vote was significant.
See my earlier post on the issue, which focused on the position papers for both sides.
Illustration: Logo of the Lutheran Church of Australia.