Rev. Donna Simon is a Midwesterner by birth (and temperament), though she has spent much of her life on the West Coast. She is a graduate of San Francisco State University and Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, California.
Pastor Donna was called into ministry from a volunteer position as church youth director at Messiah Lutheran Church, Redwood City, California. After she began spending more and more time at church, working with youth and volunteering for pretty much everything else, her pastor encouraged her to attend seminary. She began studies at PLTS in 1995. She had the privilege of returning to Ann Arbor, Michigan–her first home–in 1998-99 for an internship at Lord of Light Lutheran Church and Lutheran Campus Ministry at the University of Michigan.
When Donna appeared before her ELCA candidacy committee in 1999 for the final step before ordination, she told them that she would not pledge compliance with the church’s Vision and Expectations Statement, which requires lifelong celibacy for gay and lesbian candidates. Though the candidacy panel recommended approval, the full committee postponed her approval pending change in denominational policy.
Donna was approved by the candidacy committee of the Extraordinary Candidacy Project (a root organization of ELM) later that year, and called to serve Abiding Peace Lutheran Church in August of 2000. She has been blessed to be in ministry there ever since.
Abiding Peace’s mission in the world is continuing to advocate for the full inclusion of LGBT persons in the life of the church, and working with other marginalized communities in and around the Kansas City Metro area. Abiding Peace is a proud member of Communities Creating Opportunity, a faith-based community organizing federation in the Metro. Through their work with CCO, Abiding Peace has developed a strong outreach to our homeless neighbors in the Northland area. The congregation continues to look for new ways to serve and opportunities to be in mission for Jesus Christ.
Read here blog here.
Rev. Donna Simon was received onto the ELCA clergy roster in 2010.