Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries celebrates the good news that Pastor Bradley Schmeling and Pastor Darin Easler have been reinstated to the roster of the ELCA. This is yet another joyful moment as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America takes steps toward becoming a more fully inclusive church.
Pastor Bradley was removed from the ELCA roster in 2007 by church trial after telling his bishop that he was in a relationship with Easler. Easler had already been dropped from the ELCA roster after coming out to his congregation and bishop in Southeast Minnesota.
Bradley and Darin’s stories are two examples of the stories of countless other gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender pastors. The actions of the Southeastern Synod to reinstate them are a step towards reconciling those in the church who have been separated from one another because of the ELCA’s former policy barring partnered gay and lesbian people from serving as pastors.
Pastor Bradley, Pastor Darin, and the members of St. John’s Lutheran Church have been a powerful witness in their community and to the church about full inclusion, hospitality and welcome. Bishop Julian Gordy and the ELCA Southeastern Synod are a witness to the power of reconciliation.
ELM donors supported the costs of Pastor Bradley’s 2007 trial with gifts totaling over $12,000. Visit www.elm.org to learn more about Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries.