ELM rejoices with Pastor Anita, with her congregation, St. Paul-Reformation Lutheran Church and with the ELCA at this decision. We hope that other synods will find this to be a useful model as they imagine a compassionate reception and reinstatement process.
ELM is working hard in hopes that all ELM roster members who wish to serve in the ELCA will be received or reinstated by a compassionate and welcoming process.
You may send cards to Rev. Anita Hill here: St. Paul-Reformation Lutheran Church; 100 Oxford St. N; St. Paul, MN; 55104.
You may reach the St. Paul Area Synod here: 105 University Ave. W.; St. Paul, MN 55103.
The censure against Abiding Peace Lutheran congregation in Kansas City, Missouri which has been in effect since March 2001 has been lifted. The censure was put in place because the congregation called and ordained ELM roster member Pastor Donna Simon the previous October. Bishop Gerald Mansholt of the ELCA Central States Synod lifted the censure.
Pastor Donna has served that congregation since her ordination and call. Donna Simon is a 1999 graduate of Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, Berkeley, CA. She was extraordinarily ordained by ELM in 2000.
Her service and ministry drew praise from the bishop. In his letter to the congregation, he said of Pastor Donna, a lesbian not yet on the roster of the ELCA, and her service as pastor for nine years: “…though ordained outside the established processes of the Church, Pastor Simon has been a gracious witness among us in this synod as well as in the larger Church. She has spoken the truth in love, and shared her witness and struggle as a baptized child of God, even as she has prayed for a day of wider understanding and acceptance in the Church.”
Bishop Mansholt, in notifying the synod of the lifting of the censure, repeated the above praise for Pastor Donna and commented on the faithfulness of the congregation at Abiding Lutheran: “As the Church studied, prayed and conversed with one another over the matters of gay and lesbian people in the Church, Abiding Peace Church might have walked away. But they remained in the Church and stayed in dialog with brothers and sisters who were trying to make sense of these issues in the light of the Gospel. They kept on praying for a better day, a time of wider awareness and acceptance. . . . I know the congregation also longs for the day when their pastor might be welcomed onto the roster of the ELCA.”
Here is also a link to Donna’s blog: http://www.peacepastor.blogspot.com/
We celebrate this great news and hope the best for Rev. Simon’s and her congregation!
Vince was ordained in 1977 by the Michigan Synod of the Lutheran Church of America. He served three LCA congregations as pastor in Michigan, in Dearborn (assistant pastor), Albion, and Greenville. In the Michigan Synod he served on the Stewardship, Youth Ministry, and Peacemaking committees.
Because of ELCA’s former policies, Vince was unable to continue on the ELCA roster. He continued in service to Christ’s Church on the Stewardship Commission of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan. Under the auspices of an American Old Catholic church body, he served as pastor in adult foster care home ministry in Greenville, Michigan.
In the United Church of Christ, Vince served as an associate pastor in Muskegon, Michigan. For the Michigan Conference UCC, he served on the Conference Board of Directors, and on the Grand West Association’s Council and New Church Start committee. He currently serves as a pastor in the Ohio Conference UCC.
Vince, a native of Chicago, graduated from North Park College (Chicago) and the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. He did his Clinical Pastoral Education at the University of Michigan Medical Center. He is also a member of the State Bar of Michigan’s Legal Assistant’s Section.
Vince values the home that the UCC has given him during his time of exile from the ELCA, deeply appreciating the UCC’s particular insight that God Is Still Speaking. Vince is at core a confessional Lutheran who yearns to return to parish ministry in a Lutheran context.
We welcome him to the ELM roster!
We welcome three new members to the ELM roster!
APPROVED FOR ORDINATION
Julie Boleyn and Matt James have been approved for ordination. Julie and Matthew’s approval is contingent on completion of the Masters of Divinity degree later this spring.
Matthew James is a senior at Lutheran School of Theology at Philadelphia. Matthew’s fiancÃ©, John Weit, is the Music Director at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Worcester, MA.
TRANSFER ROSTER MEMBER
We welcome Vince Lavieri to the ELM Roster. Pastor Vince is a transfer candidate from the United Church of Christ. Pastor Vince previously served in the Lutheran Church of America, and transferred to the UCC when he was banned from serving because of his sexual orientation.