The first openly gay seminary student in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, Lionel’s openness regarding his sexual orientation resulted in the removal of his endorsement as a candidate for ordination by the ELCIC in 1988. For the next fourteen years, Lionel worked in the non-profit sector with a variety of church-related and social service organizations and trained as an expressive arts therapist.
Sensing the Spirit’s nudge to once again pursue his call to ministry, Lionel was endorsed for candidacy by ELM in 2004. On May 16, 2008 Lionel became the first openly gay man in a same-sex marriage to be ordained extra ordinem by a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. Lionel is presently involved in a full-time CPE residency at St Joseph’s Healthcare, Hamilton, along with a part-time chaplaincy ministry at Mackenzie Place, Newmarket ON.
Lionel and his husband Steven Loweth were married on new years’ eve 2003, and make their home north of Toronto close to family along with the beauty of Ontario’s “near north”.