The St. Paul Area Synod of the ELCA has approved Rev. Anita Hill for reception to the ELCA roster.
In communicating their decision, the panel wrote:
“At the recommendation of the panel that met with you on February 2, 2010, it was moved by Marty Ericson and carried that Anita Hill be received onto the roster of the ELCA for ordained pastors pending the implementation of the Vision and Expectations policy changes approved at the ELCA Churchwide Assembly in August 2009.”
The committee shared the following words with their decision: “Recognizing the intentional, prayerful, parallel process of the Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries candidacy process, as well as your ministry partnership within the life of our synod, the Saint Paul Area Synod Candidacy Committee celebrates with you as you anticipate being received onto the roster.”
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.”
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.
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.
Julie Boleyn is a senior at Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. She interned at United in Faith Lutheran Church in Chicago last year. Julie and her partner, Jeanie Reardon recently celebrated the first birthday of their daughter, Madelyn.
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.