Dawn Roginski Installed in Sierra Pacific Synod

Dawn Roginski
Rev. Dawn Roginski

Rev. Dawn Roginski was installed on Sunday, August 28 as Associate Coordinator of the Coalition of Welcoming Congregations of the Bay Area.

Pastor Dawn was a member of the historic ELM Roster and is a member of Proclaim, the new professional community for publicly-identified LGBTQ Lutheran rostered leaders. Pastor Dawn previously served as pastor of St. Francis Lutheran Church in San Francisco.

We wish Dawn joy in her new ministry!


Save the Date! The 2012 Proclaim Retreat April 18-21, 2012

Proclaim Logo

We are confirmed! The retreat will be held at Stony Point Center, New York, April 18-21. Our keynote speaker is Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson, who will join us for most of the retreat. The gathering will include professional development and community building. We expect it to be a fantastic weekend!

Registration opens in January, 2012. All Proclaim members will receive updates via email.

Gene Robinson

Bp. Robinson, the current bishop of the New England diocese of the Episcopalian church, is the first publicly-identified gay person to be elected bishop in a major Christian denomination.

Please save the date and invite friends and colleagues that would be interested.

Contact Rachael Johnson, operations@elm.org, with any questions.

Proclaim is the new professional community for publicly-identified LGBTQ Lutheran rostered leaders and seminarians. Proclaim is a program of Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries.

Stay tuned for more details about the retreat.

Testimonials from attendees of the 2011 Proclaim retreat: 

“This weekend has been a much needed oasis for me…This was the first time I have been able to be around others who publicly identify as LGBTQ and are ELCA rostered leaders and seminarians (and their families). I didn’t realize there were so many of us (and that wasn’t even everybody!). This weekend has rejuvenated me to go back to seminary with more people that I can find support from.”

Emily Ewing, 2011 Joel R. Workin Scholar, Seminarian at Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago

“We arrived late, during worship, and the sound of singing resonated throughout the building.  We could not help but sing too.  Tears of joy streamed down my face as I gathered with those whose journey had taken us this far. It was an amazing weekend of welcoming, affirming, and intentionality.”

Rev. David Coffman, South Carolina Synod of the ELCA

“We are building new community through Proclaim, strengthening our witness, empowering our voice, accompanying one another into God’s gracious future!”

Rev. Jeff R. Johnson, Sierra-Pacific Synod of the ELCA

2012 Proclaim Retreat, April 18-21: ¡Vamos Tod@s!


1. When you land,  call the following number: 201-833-4444

2.  Go to Terminal B, at the Ground Level, outside at the Passenger Pickup Area 4 and 5. You may have a wait, but it will not be longer than two hours. The Stony Point Van will be driving continuously between Newark Airport and Stony Point, filled with jolly Proclaimers!

3. If you have any travel issues, text or call Amalia: 563-419-7238.

Safe travels!


Attendees: Please plan your travel arrangements so you arrive to the center by Wednesday evening before dinner at 6pm and leave Saturday after 1pm.

The Proclaim retreat is a gathering of publicly identified LGBTQ rostered leaders and seminarians for a time of renewal, community building, and professional development. The 2012 retreat will be held at Stony Point Center, New York, April 18-21. Our keynote speaker is Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson, who will join us for most of the retreat.

This year’s theme is ¡Vamos Tod@s! (We are all going!/We are on the move!).  The theme is tied to the hymn, “Let Us Go Now to the Banquet.” (ELW 523).

(The use of the “@” is a way that some people seek gender-neutrality in Spanish.)

This retreat is open to members of Proclaim, significant others, and children 3 and under. For information on joining Proclaim go here.

The retreat begins with dinner on Wednesday evening and concludes with lunch on Saturday.

Proclaim is funded in part by a grant from the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation.  An additional grant from the Advent Mission Fund from Advent Lutheran Church (New York, NY) provides support for expansive outreach efforts for our Proclaim and Candidacy Accompaniment programs and to increase ELM’s organizational commitment to inclusion.  Additional support for Proclaim and this retreat comes from individual donors and congregations.

More about the Event:

Proclaim Logo

This retreat will be the second gathering of ProclaimWe will gather together and embrace what it means to be publicly identified leaders as we care for ourselves, as we live in and amongst our communities, and as we serve as public witness to the Gospel.

The keynote speaker this year is Bishop Gene Robinson, the current bishop of the New England diocese of the Episcopalian church. Bp. Robinson is the first publicly identified gay person to be elected bishop in a major Christian denomination. His story is featured in the 2007 feature-length documentary, “For the Bible Tells Me So,” and his book In the Eye of the Storm: Swept to the Center by God (Seabury Books, New York) was released in 2008.


Here is a sample of sessions and discussion items for our time together:

  • What is the banquet that we are invited to?  What motivates/propels us forward?  What feeds our souls?
  • Discuss how LGBTQ leaders can shape and reshape church and community in the present and into the future.
  • Examine how LGBTQ leaders are a gift to the church.
  • Offer opportunities for LGBTQ leaders to hone and sharpen skills for ministry.
  • Create a vision of what this community and church might look like in 10 years–when we are all moving/going together.

Current Workshops

For more programming details about these presenters click here:  Speaker & Workshop leaders at the retreat

Keynote: The Right Reverend V. Gene Robinson, IX Bishop of New Hampshire

The Rev. Dr. R. Guy Erwin, professor at California Lutheran University, “Queering Lutheran Theology”

Emily Ewing, Joel R. Workin Scholar, seminary student at LSTC, “Nonviolent Peacemaking in a Culture of Violence”

Laura Kuntz, Joel R. Workin Scholar, seminary student at Trinity Lutheran Seminary, “Rituals for Renewal and Self-Care”

Ross Murray, Director of Religion, Faith & Values at the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), “GLBTQ Voices of Faith in the Media”

The Rev. Heidi Neumark, pastor Trinity Lutheran Church, New York, New York, “Living Beloved Community”

Rick Ufford-Chase, co-director Stony Point Retreat Center, “Ministry on the Borders”

Friday Evening Entertainment: Peter Donnelly


Stony Point meditation space

We will be staying at the  Stony Point Conference Center in New York.  Stony Point is just over an hour outside of New York City. Situated in the beautiful and historic Lower Hudson River Valley. Stony Point Conference Center offers delicious & locally sourced food, comfortable accommodations and stunning outdoor space.

Rooms will be shared with one other attendee. Please mark your roommate preference on your registration form. If no preference is indicated, we will assign you a roommate. If sharing a room presents an accessibility challenge for you, please contact operations@elm.org.

Each spacious room offers two single beds, two desks and a sink. Single-person bathrooms are located in the hallways. Each lodge offers a shared lounge and kitchenette with a microwave, sink and small refrigerator, as well as hot water for coffee and tea. Wireless internet access is available in most of the lounges, and in the main administrative building and dining hall. Dress for the retreat is casual.


Meals will be nutritious and tasty. ELM seeks to extend a spirit of hospitality in all things, including food. Please note dietary restrictions on your registration form, so that we may meet your needs. The retreat begins with dinner Wednesday night, three meals a day Thursday and Friday, and breakfast & lunch on Saturday. Snacks will be provided throughout.



Includes: Double-occupancy room for three nights, meals and snacks, programming, and your 2012 membership fee for Proclaim.

Single rooms are available on a limited basis. Registration for single occupancy will be $495.


Partners and spouses are invited and encouraged to attend this retreat. The retreat is designed to address the reality of living as publicly identified LGBTQ leaders. Partners and spouses are an integral part of this lived reality, experiencing the joys and challenges of this important ministry from their own unique perspectives. We want this perspective to be represented, and we want to support the vital and unique ministry of these partners/spouses. There may be moments where the conversation drifts into theology and church politics, likely reminiscent of those awkward gatherings in seminary. Be assured, there will be plenty of spouses/partners present to create a space for those who are not engaged by these kinds of conversations. Significant others will pay the full retreat cost of $375 for early-registration and $425 for regular registration.


Children 3 and under are welcome to attend at no charge. Please note there will not be childcare programming provided.


The recommended airport is Newark. Please plan your travel arrangements so you arrive to the center by Wednesday evening before dinner at 6pm and leave Saturday after 1pm.

If you registered after February 16, you are responsible for your own transportation to and from Stony Point. Traveling by bus, plane or train?  Please refer to the Stony Point Center website for transportation options. 

Important Dates!

Registration Deadline is March 30, 2012.

If you have questions, please contact Rachael Johnson, operations@elm.org

Looking back; living forward

Freed in Christ to Serve Banner
ELCA Banner in Lobby at Churchwide Assembly

We’re back in Orlando. I was here in 2005 with scores of Goodsoil volunteers who came to witness as LGBTQ people and allies who were members of this church.  I was just coming back to the Lutheran church at that time, and newly involved in the movement for full inclusion of LGBTQ persons in the Lutheran church.

A lot has changed since 2005. As I walk down the hallways to the plenary sessions, I remember standing there with a Stoles Project stole.  I wore Rev. Jane Ralph’s stole the first day. I hadn’t met her before that. A year later, she would become part of the team that hired me as development director of Lutheran Lesbian & Gay Ministries (a forerunner of ELM).  The clearest memory I had of that experience was the way people wanted to look at anything but us when they walked down the hallway.  Then came the plenary where we moved as a group to witness silently on the floor of the assembly. It was hard for the Church to ignore us after that.

This assembly is similar in so many ways to the others I’ve attended since 2005. The layout, the speeches, the agendas, and even some of the speakers have become familiar. Here’s one major difference: For many years, so many of us suffered the pain of attending amazing worship services where preachers, bible passages, songs and litanies called for justice, and yet ignored LGBTQ  people. As LGBTQ people and our allies, we felt invisible and betrayed by the church we loved.

It is a gift this Churchwide Assembly to experience the ELCA as we live into the changes made in 2009.  In his opening sermon and address to the Assembly, Bp. Mark Hanson spoke out for the inclusion of LGBT people. Others in worship have voiced their support for people of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities. While many of us have experienced a welcome far beyond these initial steps for many years in our own congregations, it was a first for me at the Churchwide Assembly.

We are all living into the future together as members of the ELCA. As LGBTQ people, we know we have always been freed in Christ to serve. It is a joy to now experience that within the ELCA as well. I give thanks for the many members of our community who attended so many painful Churchwide assemblies and who worked so hard to bring us to today. You are with us in spirit. In looking back, we are living forward.

Your gift funds ministry: ELM Grants

Grace Lutheran SignSince 1995, Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries has awarded grants each year to directly support ministry by publicly-identified lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Lutheran rostered leaders. ELM awarded $62,000 in grants to five ministries this year.  The grant recipients are selected by a volunteer team, led by Margaret Moreland.

Through this program, ELM donors support diverse ministries and congregations.  Current and past grants have gone to support parish ministry and a wide variety of specialized ministries and special projects. ELM donors have given away over $850,000 to ministry since the program began. ELM’s 2012 grant cycle is now open!

One of this year’s recipients is Grace Lutheran Church in Houston, TX. The photo above, reading “Grace Lutheran Loves Ya!” could be read as a thank you to ELM donors. Thanks to ELM donors, Grace has full-time pastor Lura Groen. But the message is to the people who Grace is now able to reach out to, thanks to you. You love Grace, and Grace loves you, and thanks to your support of ELM, they are sharing that love. Hallelujah!

The grants program is at the heart of ELM’s mission to expand ministry opportunities for LGBTQ rostered leaders.

Any member of Proclaim, ELM’s professional community for LGBTQ rostered leaders, may apply. You can read more about requirements for applying and past recipients by clicking here.

We thank all the ELM supporters throughout the years who have supported LGBTQ led ministry.