Rev. Jodi Barry To Be Received to ELCA Roster

The cake pictured at left was served on Thursday, Oct 28th at the occasion of Rev. Donna Simon’s 10th ordination anniversary and reception to the ELCA roster in the Central States Synod.

It’s a fitting photo for tomorrow as well, when the Minneapolis Area Synod of the ELCA will receive Rev. Jodi Barry. Tomorrow’s service will be held at Grace University Lutheran Church.

Minneapolis Area Bishop Craig Johnson will preside at the service. The Rev. M. Susan Peterson is preaching. All are welcome at this service!

Grace is located at 324 Harvard Street SE in Minneapolis. Parking is available across the street from the church in the AA parking lot. Check back in a few days for a recap of both services.

The ELCA Rite of Reception is the formal rite developed by the ELCA to receive members of the Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries roster onto the ELCA roster.

(Cake made by Niki Williams, a member of Abiding Peace Lutheran Church in Kansas City, MO).

Rite of Reception for Rev. Donna Simon

In a Lutheran Rite of Reception service on October 28, in Kansas City, a lesbian pastor will be officially welcomed to serve in the largest Lutheran denomination in the United States, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).

“We are so proud of this denomination, which has taken a major step toward the full inclusion of gay and lesbian persons,” said Donna Simon, pastor of Abiding Peace Lutheran Church. “We are closer to the day when we can sing ‘all are welcome’ with gusto, knowing that our policies reflect our declaration.

“I must thank our bishop, Gerald Mansholt, who has encouraged me to be connected to the work of our region and the larger church. He has always treated me with dignity and respect, and I have only the same for him.

“I am excited to stand alongside my clergy colleagues now as a full participant in our church. It’s been a long wait, but I’ve had the support of the people of Abiding Peace and so many clergy colleagues. We look forward to continuing the work of preaching good news to those on the margins, the same folks whom Jesus invited to share prayer and supper with him.”

Simon had been barred from serving in the ELCA because of previous ministry policies that prohibited people in same-sex relationships from their rosters. She is currently on the roster of Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries, which credentials openly gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rostered leaders. In August of 2009, the ELCA changed its policies to allow people who are in same-sex relationships to serve as rostered leaders.

The rite of reception was created specifically for people who had been extraordinarily ordained–that is, ordained outside the regular process of the Lutheran church. There have been seventeen extraordinary ordinations in the United States of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender people. The service marks the ELCA’s official recognition of these pastors.

The evening service of welcome will be held at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 3800 Troost Avenue, Kansas City, Missouri at 7pm.

Valorie Bratcher, council president at Abiding Peace says, “Pastor Donna has been the pastor of Abiding Peace Lutheran Church for the past 10 years. She has served her congregation in word and sacrament and with love and devotion. We have been enriched by her teaching, and led to service in our community. She has challenged us to live and do as Christ taught. We look forward to our continued relationship with the ELCA as they receive her onto their roster.”

Lutheran Bishop Gerald Mansholt will preside at the service. Rev. Susan Langhauser of Advent Lutheran Church, Olathe, Kansas, will be the preacher. Special music will be provided by Peter Mayer, Lutheran musician and guitarist for Jimmy Buffett.

Abiding Peace Lutheran Church has been a Reconciling in Christ church since 1993, and has been public in welcoming gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons to participate fully in the life of the congregation. In 2000, the congregation called Simon, a 1999 graduate of Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary. Simon became the first openly gay candidate ordained in an American Lutheran Church in over a decade.

Eleven members of the Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries roster have been received or reinstated to the ELCA roster this fall. There are other rite of reception services scheduled this fall in Minneapolis, MN and Houston, TX.

We celebrate this joyous rite of reception!

ELM Roster member featured in a Houston magazine

Rev. Lura Groen

Outsmart, Houston’s gay, lesbian, bi and trans magazine has featured ELM roster member Rev. Lura Groen. The article discusses Rev. Groen’s relationship with the ELCA and highlights her upcoming service of reception to the clergy roster of the ELCA.

Her service of reception is titled “No Longer Strangers,” this welcoming service will be held at Grace Lutheran Church, 2515 Waugh Drive, at 4 p.m. on November 7.

Read the article here.

Minnesota Public Radio story features ELM roster members

Rev. Ruth Frost & Rev. Phyllis Zillhart

Last month, Minnesota Public Radio reporter Sasha Aslanian interviewed Rev. Ruth Frost and Rev. Phyllis Zillhart in connection with their rite of reception to the ELCA clergy roster. She was quite taken with their story and has continued to write on it. The radio story that Ms. Aslanian did for MPR was excellent, listen here.

The interview with Ruth and Phyllis was mentioned on the Krista Tippett on ‘Being’ show (formerly Speaking of Faith) and aired this weekend. Below is a link that helps you find out when the show airs in your area.

Krista Tippett on Being schedule:

Being Blog: (you have to scroll down one story)

Facebook Page & Discussion (lively one is going on there now!)!/pages/Speaking-of-Faith/23639501875

Rev. Erik Christensen Received onto ELCA Chicago Metro Clergy Roster

On Sunday October 10, 2010, Rev. Erik Christensen was received onto the ELCA clergy roster in the Chicago Metro Synod.

The service was held at Ebenezer Lutheran Church in Andersonville, a Reconciling in Christ congregation and strong supporter of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people and ELM. Rev. Patrick Shebeck, pastor at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church on Chicago’s South Side planned the service. Area rostered leaders and congregants participated in the service of thanksgiving and reception. Bishop Wayne Miller presided and preached, reminding everyone that many things are simultaneously old and new.

In a brief address during the service, Rev. Christensen spoke about the present needs of the church–naming the homeless LGBTQ youth on the streets of Chicago and the recent attention to the high suicide rates among LGBTQ youth. Many longtime leaders in the welcoming movement for LGBTQ people in Chicago and members and friends from Erik’s congregation, St. Luke’s Lutheran Church of Logan Square attended.

Rev. Erik Christensen To Be Received by ELCA on October 10

Rev. Erik Christensen will be received to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America clergy roster on Sunday, October 10th at 4:00 pm. The service will be held at Ebenezer Lutheran Church, 1650 W. Foster Avenue, Chicago, IL. ELCA Metro Chicago Synod Bishop Wayne Miller will preside.

The Rite of Reception service was developed for pastors who had been credentialed for ministry by Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries and who were extraordinarily ordained (ordained outside the regular process of the ELCA). There have been 17 such ordinations in the United States over the last twenty years. The 2009 ELCA Churchwide Assembly voted to change polices that previously barred partnered LGBTQ pastors and rostered lay leaders from serving in the ELCA, paving the way for the reception of pastors rostered with ELM.

Erik is pastor of St. Luke’s Lutheran Church of Logan Square in Chicago, IL. He has been pastor there since he was ordained on October 21, 2006. Prior to receiving the call at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church of Logan Square, 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. 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. Pastor Erik serves as Co-Chair of Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries.