In 2009, The Evangelical Lutheran Church In America voted to allow gays and lesbians to be ordained. About 300 churches across the country disagreed with that decision and have broken from the ELCA.
That includes St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Auburn which voted this month to leave the ELCA and join the North American Lutheran Church. St. Mark's pastor says it was a difficult and painful process. Twenty members left St. Mark's after the vote to break with ELCA.
Other local Lutheran churches are in the process of voting to leave ELCA. The process requires two votes ninety-days apart in which 2/3 of the vote is in favor of breaking from the ELCA.
The ELCA has about 10K congregations nationwide. An estimated three-percent have left over this issue.