Join other supporters of the full inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in Lutheran life and ministry for an historic worship service. The service is an opportunity for reconciliation for all who have been separated by church policies barring LGBT pastors from serving and points to a shared future of wider welcome. Seven ELM pastors will be received or reinstated to the roster of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America during the service.
Sunday, July 25
St. Mark’s Lutheran Church
1111 O’Farrell St, San Francisco, CA
The pastors include:
Rev. Dawn Roginski, Rev. Paul Brenner, Rev. Sharon Stalkfleet, Rev. Megan Rohrer, Rev. Jeff Johnson, Rev. Craig Minich and Rev. Ross Merkel (not pictured).
Celebrant: Bp. Mark Holmerud, Sierra-Pacific Synod
Preacher: Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber
The service is hosted by the Sierra Pacific Synod of the ELCA. All are invited to attend. Reception immediately following.
The Rev. Dan Hooper serves as Pastor of Hollywood Lutheran Church in Los Angeles, California, after being extraordinarily called to that position in March 2004 by an 82% majority of members voting. Hooper is the ninth Senior Pastor to serve Hollywood Lutheran, a “historic” congregation by California standards, having been founded in 1921.
Hooper was born in Bakersfield, California and educated at California State Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo, California. He studied for his M. Div. at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley. After serving an internship in Long Lake, Illinois, he was ordained in 1974 in the former American Lutheran Church, for which he served congregations in Phoenix, Arizona, and Inglewood, California. Between those two calls, he served as a program director for Lutheran Campus Ministry-Southern California; as Director of Lutheran Olympic Ministry 1984 in Los Angeles; and as interim Executive Director of Ecumedia, the media and public interpretation office of the Southern California Ecumenical Council.
In 1985 Pastor Dan co-authored “A Call for Dialog”-the first major position paper of Lutherans Concerned/North America, which was addressed to the bishops and district presidents of Lutheran church bodies in the United States and Canada. About 15,000 copies of this paper were eventually released. As a result of responses to the paper, he begin writing and researching extensively about celibacy, same-gender relationships and sexual ethics. In 1990 he was invited to address the first ELCA study commission which attempted to draft a statement on Human Sexuality.
Hooper later authored “A Call for Repentance” for LC/NA, and in 2002-04 produced the first release of LC/NA’s CD-ROM resource “Reconciling Ministry Planner” for use in the Reconciling in Christ program. He served on LC/NA’s Bisexual and Transgender Task Force, which published the statement “Being the Body of Christ” in 2003.
Fourteen years after being outed and removed from the Lutheran ministry in 1988, Pastor Dan was admitted in June 2002 to the roster of the Extraordinary Candidacy Project (now ELM).
Pastor Dan met his life partner and now legal spouse Carl Hunter, in June 1976 in Phoenix. In February 2004, with along 4,000 other couples they were married in San Francisco City Hall with a marriage license that was later declared invalid by the court. But in 2008, before the passage of Proposition 8 in California, Dan and Carl again pulled a marriage license and exchanged vows in a full church ceremony at Hollywood Lutheran, and this license has since been deemed to remain valid by the California Supreme Court in spite of Proposition 8.
Long active in Lutherans Concerned, Pastor Dan was a founding member of the Phoenix chapter (1977), helped re-start the Los Angeles chapter (1980), and continues to serve on its Board of Directors. Hooper and Hunter were publicly recognized by Lutherans Concerned/North America in 2004 for their life-long contributions, and awarded honorary life-time memberships.
Pastor Dan is an active member of the Interfaith Gay and Lesbian Clergy Association of Los Angeles, serves on the Lutheran Office of Public Policy Council for California, the Greater Griffith Park Neighborhood Council (an adjunct of Los Angeles city government), and the Board of Directors of Hollywood Remembers Inc., an HIV/AIDS service and education organization launched in 2008 by members of Hollywood Lutheran Church.
In his spare time, Pastor Dan enjoys gardening and web design, currently maintaining 16 websites. including his LGBTQ blog at www.indwellingspirit.org. Some of his papers and liturgical writings are available at www.danhooper.info.
Anita serves as Co-Pastor of St. Paul-Reformation Lutheran Church with Keith Olstad. Global and local ministry has her attention via two sister parish relationships, one in El Salvador and the other in Nigeria. While going global in scope, her ministry is intensely local in her work with Isaiah (a Gamaliel faith based community organizing affiliate) to assure that the central corridor light rail line between the downtown areas of Minneapolis and Saint Paul will maintain and enhance the livability, diversity, and cohesion of the neighborhoods. Her priorities include racial, economic, and GLBT justice, affordable housing, and transportation equity.
Anita currently serves as a chaplain for the ELM Roster. She was ordained on April 28, 2001. She has been on the pastoral staff at St. Paul-Reformation since 1994. In addition, she served as Ministry Associate of Wingspan Ministry of the congregation from 1983-90. Anita is known through the region and the U.S. for her integrity, compassion and pastoral identity as she has worked to advocate for the full inclusion of marginalized peoples into the mainstream of our society. Anita has an M.A. degree in Religious Studies and M. Div. Degree from United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities.
She and her partner, Janelle Bussert, are sponsoring and sharing their home with a mother and son who are seeking asylum in the USA. Pastor Anita Hill was received on the ELCA Clergy Roster in a special “Rite of Reception” in the Saint Paul Area Synod on September 18, 2010, in a special celebration with ELM roster colleagues Ruth Frost and Phyllis Zillhart.
Rev. Robyn Hartwig was baptized at Zion Evangelical and Reformed Church in Lowden Iowa (now part of the UCC) and confirmed at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Naperville, IL. She attended Miami University in Oxford, OH, where she majored in secondary social studies education and spent a year studying in Luxembourg. After graduating, she taught high school economics and government and coached cross country and track in Bakersfield, CA. During this time, she sensed a call to ordained ministry and moved to Berkeley, CA, to attend Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary. While in seminary, she completed a cross-cultural experience in Nicaragua, served as a CPE chaplain at St. Mary’s Hospital in San Francisco and completed a year-long internship at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Portland, OR.
After graduating with her Master of Divinity degree in 1997, Pastor Robyn served as director of Learn-ASAP, a non-profit after-school program offering academic support to Southeast Asian refugee youth in Richmond, CA. In the fall of 1998, Pastor Robyn was called to serve as solo pastor of Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer in Sacramento, CA and was ordained there in January of 1999.
After eight and a half years of ministry in Sacramento, Pastor Robyn moved to Portland, OR, where she began developing EcoFaith Recovery Ministries on a part-time basis to help people grow deeper in faith by examining and reforming their relationship to the natural world. This ministry is made possible by the generosity of all who contribute to Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries which enables ELM to fund this ministry. This new ministry is enhanced by Pastor Robyn’s acceptance into the GreenFaith Fellowship, a national program for faith leaders from diverse religious traditions for religiously based environmental leadership.
In November of 2008, Pastor Robyn was called to serve as part-time time associate pastor of St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Beaverton, OR. The primary aspects of her call are preaching, worship leadership, caring ministries and developing small group ministries.
In her free time, Pastor Robyn enjoys drumming, hiking, dancing and bicycling.
Rev. Nate Gruel became an ordained pastor within the Missouri Synod of the Lutheran church in 1972, after which he served two parishes in Indiana over a period of seven years. Since then, he has been employed in various capacities in the newspaper industry, presently as editor of the Courier Journal in Crescent City, Fla. He and his partner of 20 years, Paul Monaghan, moved from Indiana to Florida in August, 2002.
Rev. Lura N. Groen is a pastor with a love for preaching the Good News of God’s inclusive love, and a resulting passion for social justice. She is a native if Cumberland MD, and a member of Luther Place Memorial Church in Washington DC. Lura is the pastor of Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church in Houston, TX.
Pastor Lura attended St. John’s College in Annapolis MD, studying the Great Books Program. Prior to seminary, Pastor Lura was a two-year member of Lutheran Volunteer Corps, serving as a case manager to homeless people in Baltimore MD and Washington DC. Lura continued her social service work as an employment coach before attending seminary at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia.
Pastor Lura finds God by embracing community life. While attending LTSP, Lura formed and led an LGBTQ support group on campus, served on Community Council, participated in the Inter-Racial Dialogue Group, was a Member of the School of the Americas Planning Committee, (to educate the seminary about our country’s foreign policy towards Latin America, and attend the protest in Ft. Benning Georgia), and published numerous reflections in the student newspaper. During the 2004-2005 Academic year, she served as Student Body President, presiding over the merger of two student bodies into one. Her awards included the Winters Scholarship for academic excellence and potential for ministry, the Traci L. Maul Award for leadership potential for ministry, active contribution to seminary life, and academic strength. Atonement-Asbury Park Preaching Award, and the Deans List.
Pastor Lura completed her internship at Trinity Lutheran Church in Philadelphia, PA. She loves working with small urban congregations who are discerning ways to embrace their communities, and to become more economically sustainable.
Pastor Lura is a proud aunt and godparent, as well as sister and daughter. She is exceedingly grateful to her family for their amazing support throughout her life, as well as to the communities that have nurtured her in faith: St John’s Lutheran Church in Cumberland MD, Yeager Memorial Lutheran Church in Rainsburg, PA, Mar-Lu-Ridge Conference and Educational Center, St. John’s College, Luther Place Memorial Church, Lutheran Volunteer Corps, the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, Trinity Lutheran Church of Germantown, and Christ Lutheran Church of LaVale MD.
Rev. Lura Groen was received onto the ELCA clergy roster in 2010.
Rev. Dawn Gregg is a graduate of Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary and is currently on leave from call in the ELCA. She was approved as a transfer candidate from the ELCA’s roster of clergy. Dawn has specialized in interim ministries in Oregon for over 10 years. She continues to live in Eugene and hopes to be active soon with a mission start in the Eugene area.
The Rev. Robert Goldstein joined the staff of St. Francis Lutheran in San Francisco, CA in November, 2005. He was formally installed as lead pastor on March 26, 2006.
Before coming to St. Francis, Pr. Goldstein served congregations in New Jersey and Chicago for the past 30 years. Born in Melbourne, Australia, he received his B.A. in Biblical Languages and Literature from Abilene Christian University in 1965, and a B.D. and S.T.M. at Yale, where he specialized in the philosophical writings of Wittgenstein and Kierkegaard under Professor Paul Holmer. He received a Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1982 in Philosophical Theology. Pastor Goldstein has been a proponent of equal rights for women and LGBT people in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Rev. Erik Christensen was extraordinarily ordained and called to serve as pastor of St. Luke’s Lutheran Church of Logan Square in October 2006. Prior to receiving the call at St. Luke’s, Erik served as the Director of East Coast Operations with StandUp For Kids, a national non-profit organization working with and for runaway and homeless youth.
Since taking the call to serve at St. Luke’s, the congregation has grown from a worshiping community of approximately ten to over fifty, and the community continues to grow. In 2009, Erik was elected Dean of the Central Conference of the Metropolitan Chicago Synod. In October 2010 Erik was received onto the roster of the ELCA.
A graduate of Macalester College (’95); Candler School of Theology, Emory University (’02); and the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (’04), Pastor Erik brings a wide variety of interests and experience to his ministry with St. Luke’s. Since 2009 he has served as a mentor to a group of summer ministry interns through The Beatitudes Society, an ecumenical ministry organization fostering a new generation of Progressive Christian leaders in the church. Pastor Erik serves as Co-Chair on the Board of Directors of Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries.