Rev. Jen Nagel Received at Salem English Lutheran Church, ELCA

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(Post by Amalia Vagts, ELM Executive Director).

I arrived for Rev. Jen Nagel’s Rite of Reception this past Sunday and immediately felt energized by the colorful surroundings of Intermedia Arts, the temporary home of Salem English Lutheran Church.

Bulletin from the service

This feeling continued as we entered the worship space, which is a theater. The sounds of the fabulous Salem jazz ensemble filled the room. Pastor Jen wanted her rite of reception to occur within a worship service at Salem, and many in the congregation were actively involved in the service.

At the beginning, Pastor Jen welcomed all of us. She made special note of a couple parishioners typically unable to attend worship due to health issues, but who were present that morning. Bp. Craig Johnson, Minneapolis Area Synod, was present for the Rite, and was also the special guest during Pastor Jen’s lively kid’s sermon.

This was the third ELCA Rite of Reception for a pastor who was authorized for ministry by Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries. The grand services in San Francisco and St. Paul were important events for the community of believers who have long worked (and continue to work) for the day when the ELCA would recognize publicly-identified lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer pastors.

This Rite of Reception at Salem was a wonderful, local service held in Pastor Jen’s own parish. All of these services have been great examples of how this Church is widening its welcome to include all of God’s children. Good news!