2010 Grants ELM Announced

Each year ELM gives grants to fund ministry by LGBT pastors. ELM is proud to support the following through the Mission Grant program. The 2010 grants are:

Eco Faith Project- Portland, OR:
$20,000 continuation of Concept grant for up to 6 months, then Mission grant for Pastor Robyn Hartwig.

The Welcome Ministry– San Francisco, CA:
$11,500 continuation of Empowerment grant for Pastor Jay Wilson.
$6,000 sabbatical grant for Pastor Megan Rohrer.

St. Luke’s Lutheran Church of Logan Square– Chicago, IL:
$9,000 continuation of Empowerment grant for Pastor Erik Christensen.

Grace Lutheran Church – Houston, TX:
$15,000 continuation of Empowerment grant for Pastor Lura Groen.

Total for 2010: $61,500

We were delighted to be able to fund all grant requests this year!

The ELCA takes its first step toward implementing changes in ministry policies

This week the ELCA Church Council adopted the Reinstatement Process Revision:

“For former clergy and other professional leaders who were removed from the church’s official rosters for disciplinary reasons or resigned in lieu of discipline — solely because they were in a lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationship.”

This action by the Church Council is the first official enactment of the church council pursuant to actions at the August 2009 Churchwide Assembly in Minneapolis that ordered the elimination of the policy that precluded service in the church by ministers in committed, same-gender relationships.

ELM was represented and present for the meeting which took place over the weekend of November 13-15 in Chicago, IL.

The change, adopted Nov. 15, applies to former ELCA associates in
ministry, deaconesses, diaconal ministers and ordained ministers.

Even under the new reinstatement policy, a final decision on an applicant’s reinstatement request cannot be made until other policy documents are revised and approved. But this is still a step in the right direction!

Swedish Lutheran Church Elects Lesbian Bishop

Just two weeks after the Swedish Lutheran Church announced its decision to perform same-sex marriages, the denomination elected the Lutheran church’s first openly lesbian bishop. Bishop Eva Brunne was ordained as the bishop of the Stockholm diocese this past Sunday. Bishop Brunne and her partner have one child.

The Swedish Lutheran Church has a history of expansive welcome to gay and lesbian people. In 1990, then Bishop emeritus of the Stockholm diocese Krister Stendahl wrote a letter of support to the members of St. Francis Lutheran Church and First United Lutheran Church as they celebrated the ordinations of openly gay candidates Ruth Frost, Jeff Johnson and Phyllis Zillhart. These ordinations sparked the beginning of the movement leading to the formation of Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries.

Stendahl wrote, “Since I can’t be with you at your ordination which, it seems, must take place extra ordinem, I want to send you a greeting affirming my conviction that the steps that your congregations and you are taking stand well before God.”