Grace Members Attend Let Justice Roll Conference

Members and staff of Grace Lutheran Church attended the Let Justice Roll – Biennial Assembly in Minneapolis July 7-11 to celebrate the policy change in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) allowing LGBT people and pastors to serve openly and congregations to bless same-sex relationships.

The conference theme was taken from Amos 5:24“Let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream”. The assembly was challenged to think of justice not just for LGBT people, but in all situations of injustice. Racial justice in the church and world, justice for creation, especially the Gulf, the continued work to welcome Transgender people in the church, and immigration were justice issues lifted frequently.

Bridget Jensen, Pastor Lura, Rene Garcia and Laura Bourdo. Stand behind the alter decorated by Laura In what many attendees lifted up as the highlight of the assembly, Laura Bourdo planned the opening worship, including writing portions of the liturgy! This worship service focused on water and the meaning of baptism in keeping with the conferences theme. Water flowed freely from the fountain in the font, liturgical decorations and dancers with streamers expressed the water theme visually, and the songs all had water imagery.

Pastor Lura was one of the 3 chaplains for the event, Chaplains, all rostered by Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries, led worship services each day, and were avaliable for pastoral care throughout the event.

Pastor Lura preached a sermon, using the imagery of Niagra Falls, calling the assembly to consider justice for others as well as ourselves, and assuring us that we are already swimming in God's waters of justice and love, through our baptisms.

Worship on Saturday was a service of reconciliation, and Stephen Bouman, Executive Director of Evangelical Outreach and Congregational Ministry at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America was the preacher. He offered an apology to those hurt by the ELCA. The end of the service was a procession the very same conference hall where policy was changed, and we offered the shout and joyful noise that we had been asked to withhold when policy changed!

Rene Garcia and Bridget Jensen also attended the conference.