“In everything do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Matthew 7:12)
Christianity upholds the diversity and mutual dependence of all human beings: the Church is composed of people of all ages, races, genders and languages.The thread of equality runs strong through the Gospel. As Christians, we believe that we are made in God’s image, and that every human life is therefore sacred, inviolable, and of intrinsic value. Every human being has a basic dignity that informs how they should be treated.Everyone is called to Christian discipleship and has the right to be welcomed as a full member of the Church. The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland emphasises the equality of all people, encourages equal treatment of persons regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity, and opposes homophobia. Although there is no officially sanctioned order of service for the blessing of partnered or registered same-sex relationships, pastors can pray privately or publicly in free form with same-sex couples on request. Don’t be afraid to ask about this at your local parish office. Employees of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland can live in same-sex relationships, but the Church continues to teach that marriage itself is a union between a man and a woman.The much-debated question of the ordination of women was settled by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland more than twenty years ago, and the first female priest was ordained in 1988. Today, nearly half our clergy are women.