When first the vote was taken in August 2009 for the ELCA to change its standards for clergy, in effect, opening the door to same sex marriage and same sex clergy, many voices proclaimed the ELCA would bleed congregations at rapid rate. So we are coming up on two years and one source has placed the number at 600 congregations who have taken their first or second successful votes to leave. Probably a lot less that many thought, some hoped, and some feared. I believe that it is safe to say that the farther we move from CWA of 2009, the slower the rate of loss will be. Some have been unsuccessful in their votes, some have decided to wait it out, and some have decided as long as its not in their own backyard, they may be able to avoid/ignore it. Whatever the reason, it is clear that this whole battle was mostly about sex and not so much about other issues (authority of God's Word, for example). If the ELCA had figured out a way to avoid the same sex approval measure, hardly any of those congregations would have left. I am sad to say that it seems that many have had the bluff called and they backed down. A little righteous indignation is a good thing, on the whole, but it seems that it may not be enough to move congregations or clergy from the status quo. Given this sad reality, it seems that Hanson is a shoe in for Presiding Bishop (unless he chooses not to run) and that whoever eventually succeeds him will share pretty much all the same theological, ecumenical, and moral positions as Hanson has and does. I am sure I am not the only one disappointed by this.