Rejoice at Justice Done

Dear People of Grace-

Two years ago, you made the bold and Spirit-filled decision to call the best pastor for you, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. And being the person you called, I’m awfully glad you did! But also, as your pastor, I am so proud of your witness!

At the time, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) would not ordain pastors like me, who were LGBT, and refusing to promise celibacy. So my ordination here at Grace was not recognized by the ELCA, outside of the ordinary, or “extraordinary.”

Last summer the ELCA voted to change its discriminatory policy! (With your help!) We rejoiced at justice done, and the wider welcome that the Lutheran church can now extend to all God’s children!

Now, we get to celebrate my reception onto the roster of the ELCA. It has taken a few months of working out the details, and the paperwork, but our denomination is ready to receive me as officially an ELCA pastor. You need to know that this is a huge affirmation of what you have already done- the synod and ELCA affirming and agreeing to your prophetic witness of two years ago.

We’ll have a big service called “No Longer Strangers- a Rite of Reception” on November 7th, 2010, at 4pm at Grace. Bishop Mike Rinehart will be leading the part of the service where I am received onto the roster, and lots of other Lutheran folk from our area will be there to celebrate with us.

Grace will host a wine and cheese party in the fellowship hall after the service- save up your bottles of merlot, and of sparkling cider!

It is a good thing to see the Spirit at work in the church, and to celebrate what God has done at Grace. And even more beautiful to know this is only one of the great things God is doing here- look at this website at all the others!

I hope you see the Holy Spirit working in your own, individual lives too! In addition to the presence that calms and comforts you, I hope you experience God calling you into new, risky, beautiful things. And- I hope you’re sharing them with each other, and with me, when it happens!

I am always proud serve such a justice-loving congregation, and such wonderful people.

Pastor Lura

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