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Proclaim Logo

One of ELM’s main programs is Proclaim, the professional community for Lutheran pastors, rostered lay leaders, candidates, and seminarians who publicly identify as LGBTQ.  

ELM & Proclaim: Interested in knowing more about the roots of ELM and Proclaim? Read this interview on the history of ELM and how Proclaim became a program of ELM.

2013 Retreat Group photo

Photo by Emily Ann Garcia

Proclaim is a living witness of Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries’ core belief that ministry by people who publicly and joyfully identify as LGBTQ is one way to change the church and society to become a place more fully inclusive of all people. We believe God’s Great Welcome Table is open to all, and that all kinds of people, including those of all sexual orientations and gender identities, are called to receive and share God’s gifts.

Proclaim gathers annually in retreat (usually 2 weeks after Easter).  We move the gathering around the country and alternate between dates over a weekend and dates during the week.  More information about the retreat HERE.  


Seminarian Gus Barnes, Jr. and Rev. Angela Nelson leading worship.  Photo by Emily Ann Garcia.

Seminarian Gus Barnes, Jr. and Rev. Angela Nelson leading worship.  Photo by Emily Ann Garcia.

Proclaim was officially launched April 2, 2011 at a gathering of nearly 60 LGBTQ Lutheran rostered leaders, seminarians and spouses.  The 2nd Proclaim retreat was  in April of 2012 in Stony Point, NY. The 2013 Proclaim Retreat was April 12-15, 2013 at the Bishop’s Ranch in Sonoma, CA (group photo above).  The 2014 Proclaim Retreat was May 4-7, 2014 at Heartwood Retreat and Conference Center in Trego, WI.

The 2015 Proclaim Retreat will be April 17-20, 2015 at Stony Point Retreat Center in Stony Point, NY.  

Proclaim is open to rostered leaders, candidates, and seminarians (who have been entranced into candidacy), all Lutheran denominations and rosters (for example, ELCA,ELCIC, LCMS, ELM). This community welcomes all who fit this criteria and who wish to join.

Proclaim is funded by individual donations and through dedicated support from the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation and the Phillip N. Knutson Endowment.

Click here for the online Proclaim Sign-Up Form


Photo by Emily Ann Garcia

Proclaim is a community, not a list. Involvement in this community includes an invitation to: apply for ELM scholarships; attend the annual retreat; and connect in person and online throughout the year. If you would like to talk more about getting connected with the Proclaim community, please contact Jen Rude at programdirector(at)

Proclaim has a volunteer leadership team that meets monthly to discuss needs of the community and works on programming.  Rev. Caleb Crainer is the current Proclaim program convener.  Student representatives from ELCA seminaries and those at non-ELCA schools form the Proclaim Seminarian Team.  There are three chaplains for the Proclaim community.  

Listing of current Proclaim Members click here