Photo Journal: ELM Seminarian Reflects on the Roster Retreat

This was my first retreat. I was a bit nervous to go. I have met quite a few people on the roster at other events. I am fortunate to count two of the pastors as my mentors. A few months before the retreat I had been asked to help plan worship. It was a bit surprising to be asked, as I am just a seminarian and new. It was lovely to give the gift of a worship service to my new colleagues.

The service I worked on was the “Waters of Baptism.” I was delighted by the theme assigned to me. I like my church services interactive. I am afraid the roster got a taste of my love of congregational interaction! I hope you enjoy a few photos taken at the service.

The time at the retreat was spent learning about my new colleagues. I am stunned to have my name listed among these pastors. I have a deep amount of respect for the work that they do. I am fortunate to have been given such a community. I have come to realize that most seminarians do not have such a close knit community surrounding them.

I began learning how to move from parishioner and student to peer. My mentors in Minneapolis for the last four years have been Jay Wiesner and Jen Nagel (photo to the right). They have walked with me through the beginning of seminary.

It was strange to move from a parishioner/mentor relationship to a fledgling collegial relationship. It was also wonderful to feel like I was becoming their peer.

I don’t know what my status will be at the next retreat. I just received my paperwork for approval. We will find out what my home synod will do with the ELCA’s new policy. I also know that there are no guarantees in any candidacy process. I only hope and pray that at next year’s retreat I will be one of the newest names listed as approved and awaiting call. I am looking forward to joining folks on the roster as a fully credentialed colleague.

~Vicar Margaret Kelly

Margaret is a Seminarian at Luther Seminary and an intern in Washington, DC at Lutheran Church of the Reformation.

Photos (cc) Jay Wilson

Day Two: Ordination Day May 16th, 2008

What a wonderful day. Holy Cross Congregation (their church is to the right) of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada ordained Lionel Ketola as their pastor. The first extraordinary ordination in Canada and the first extraordinary ordination of a legally married ELM rostered pastor.

Lionel’s day began with talking to the media. In fact that’s what’s he’s been doing for the last two weeks. He has appeared on most of the local news stations. You can watch the video of one of the local news stations here. I caught a picture of Lionel talking to the Finish press at a press availability held just before the ordination service.

Hopefully all of the attention will be wonderful evangelism for Holy Cross. We’ve heard that the press at several of the past ordinations has produced a number of new members and friends at the congregations of our newest ELM pastors.

At 7:30 the service began. And despite the letter from the bishop threatening discipline to any clergy that attend the service more than three dozen attended the service (and happily posed for a photo too). Those present noted that the Canadians have been working for this moment for more than 30 years. It has been 20 years since Lionel was first told that he could not be a pastor in the ELCIC because of his sexual orientation.

Today, Lionel’s 20 years of faithful waiting and preparation ended. When all of these hands were laid upon him. In this moment, Lionel became the 14th person to be ordained extraordinarily.

Congratulations Lionel and the members of Holy Cross!

We hope to see you all in Houston in July for the ordination of Lura Groen.

-Rev. Megan Rohrer
Communications Chair

Photo Journal May 15th: Ordination of Lionel Ketola

Day One: Traveling to Newmarket Ontario

I left San Francisco on a red eye and headed to Ontario. There was a very beautiful sunset at the airport.

In the morning I arrived in Buffalo, NY where I hopped in the rental car and headed to Canada. The boarder guard seemed a little suspicious that I would enter Canada to attend an ordination. I guess he didn’t read the story in the paper about the historic ordination that will happen tomorrow in Newmarket!

Then I drove for about a half hour to stop at Niagara Falls. While it may be a bit cheesy, the rainbow in the falls made me smile and wonder if my journey was being blessed.

Before becoming the sign of GLBTQ pride in the modern day, ancient Christians associated the rainbow with gender queerness. They believed anyone who walked under a rainbow would recieve a miraculous sex change from God(dess)*.

After visiting the falls I set off to Newmarket. And settled in for some rest before the all the ordination activities tomorrow.

*I use God(dess) not only because the 4 congregations that called me name God differently (some use male pronouns, some female and some androgynous). But also to have a gender queer understanding of God(dess) that more accurately matches the greek/hebrew. This is a way of describing God(dess) as both male/female.

-Rev. Megan Rohrer
Communications Chair