REJOICE! Special Announcement about ELCA Roster

Dear Grace-full People,

I am happy to announce that the candidacy committee of our synod has voted unanimously for my reception onto the roster of the ELCA.

In addition to this being wonderful news for me personally, this is an affirmation of you. Many of you have worked for years to change the Lutheran Church's policy on LGBT pastors. As a congregation you stepped out in faith to say you would call the right pastor for you, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. You have faithfully remained a part of the synod, lovingly sharing your witness. The candidacy committee thanked me, and through me, you, for our "churchmanship." (And then they asked for a more gender-inclusive word!) This means nothing less to me than the denomination's affirmation of the ways you and I have faithfully lived out our calling as people of God together.

In the next few weeks, Bishop Mike Rinehart and I will choose a date for my Service of Reception and Affirmation of Ordination. I expect this will be in the fall, probably at Grace. This is a chance for you and I to receive the larger church's affirmation of what we did two years ago,(your call and my extraordinary ordination) but even more importantly, a chance for the synod to celebrate their new freedom to affirm us, and our ministry. And I hope it will be a moment of great healing for all of us, and all the church.

More details will follow, but now is a time to give thanks for the Spirit's movement in the church!

Pastor Lura

* For those of you new to our community: When I was first called to Grace Lutheran, the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, our parent denomination) still had a policy that pastors "who are homosexual in their self-understanding are expected to refrain from homosexual sexual relationships." I have been, in principle, unwilling to promise to comply with this policy, and so was not recognized formally as an ELCA pastor. My ordination at Grace two years ago was out of the ordinary, or extraordinary, and my credentials have been through Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries. The ELCA changed its policy, through the hard work of many, many people, some of them from Grace, almost exactly a year ago, and now the ELCA is ready to receive openly LGBT pastors like me onto its official roster.

No comments:

Post a Comment