The Rev. Dawn Roginski

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The Rev. Dawn Roginski

Rev. Dawn Roginski was ordained extra ordinem at St. Francis Lutheran (SF) on June 16. Pr. Ruth Frost was celebrant; Bishop Paul Egertson (retired) and Pr. Dan Solberg, Dean of the San Francisco Conference conducted the rite of ordination; Pr. Donna Simon preached. Pr Roginski was installed as pastor of parish programs at St. Francis on June 17 (Pr. Erik Christensen preaching).

Rev. Dawn Roginski grew up Catholic in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She earned an undergraduate psychology degree from the University of Minnesota and began a career in counseling. Dawn then earned an M.A. in Counseling Psychology from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota. Dawn was promoted to program director at a residential treatment facility for seriously mentally ill patients at Boston Health Care in Minneapolis. After nearly 10 years of full-time employment at Boston Health Care, Dawn was called to ministry after presiding at a prayer service and further exploration.

Following a discernment process, Dawn became Lutheran because she felt a deep connection with the theology of Martin Luther and the way he envisioned the Gospel, and because of the Lutheran church’s strong theological grounding. She also did research, read materials and talked to other Lutherans and pastors.

Dawn transferred to Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN, and came out while attending there. Despite obstacles due to her sexual orientation, Dawn received her Master of Divinity degree at Luther Seminary December in 2002, completing her internship at Lord of Light Lutheran Campus Ministry in Ann Arbor, MI. As the only out M.Div. student she was aware of in her first year at Luther, other closeted students actively avoided her, leaving her isolated from their support. She gained strength from Pr. Anita Hill and the congregation of St. Paul-Reformation, where she became a member. In 2002, Dawn embarked on the course of eventual indefinite postponement of her approval for ordination in the ELCA. Her approval committee has never followed-up. Dawn joined the ELM Roster in 2002.

In 2003, Dawn became a part-time chaplain and part-time youth care worker at a residential treatment center for children in Kansas City, MO, providing care for seriously emotionally disturbed children and youth. Dawn developed a youth ministry program from the ground up, including groups and worship. As her programs grew, she was offered the position of full-time chaplain.

As a volunteer, Dawn’s service includes having served in leadership roles on the Lutherans Concerned/North America board.  Dawn loves music and plays in the Mid-America Freedom Band. Dawn serves on the Roster Council for ELM.  Rev. Dawn Roginski was received onto the ELCA clergy roster in 2010.