ELM Ministry Grant in Action: EcoFaith Recovery (Oregon)

EcoFaith Recovery
Photo by Theresa Reiser

This year ELM donors are supporting EcoFaith Recovery, an innovative environmental ministry founded and led by Proclaim member Robyn Hartwig.

EcoFaith Recovery is starting the year off by working on leading a course called “An Ecology of Grace and Justice: Organizing in the Biocommons for Lutherans (OBC)” led by Dick Harmon, a retired Industrial Areas Foundation community organizer, Portland Pastor Terry Moe, and EcoFaith founder Pastor Robyn Hartwig. OBC invites Lutheran leaders to engage together in the global eco-crisis out of the richness of the theological and spiritual tradition through the lenses of organizing.

The goals of Organizing in the Biocommons series is:

• To bring together Lutheran leaders, clergy and lay, who bring expertise and passion to care for creation, in prayer, reflection and action;

• To deepen our understanding of the world’s economic and ecological situation;

• To engage the well of our tradition and to respond theologically and spiritually to the world;

• To build relationships based on common interests and concerns;

• To agitate imaginative local responses to the ecological/economic crisis;

The course will have five sessions with one gathering each month. For more information on the course go here.

EcoFaith Recovery
Photo by Theresa Reiser

Last summer, EcoFaith Recovery held a table talk called “No Salvation Apart from Earth” in the ‘Sanctuary in the Firs’ at St. Andrew Lutheran in Beaverton, Oregon. These photos, taken by Theresa Reiser illustrate the EcoFaith community at work.

BOOK RELEASE! 2nd Edition!


Joel Workin (left) and Paul Jenkins
Joel Workin (left) and Paul Jenkins

Many ELM friends are familiar with the book, “Dear God, I am Gay — thank you!” which is a collection of Joel Workin’s writings.

On February 25, we will release the 2nd edition of this incredible collection of essays and sermons. The new edition features a new foreword by the Rev. Erik Christensen, as well as several never before published sermons, including the sermon Joel preached at the Rev. Jeff Johnson’s installation at First United Lutheran Church in 1990. Editor Michael Nelson has gone through stacks of material to select pieces for the new book. Joel’s parents, Betty and Ray Workin have generously underwritten the costs of the second edition.  You may request a copy of the book as a thank-you gift when making a donation to Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries.

Joel’s writings have been a resource to numerous LGBTQ rostered leaders and others. He embodied ELM’s core belief that the church is changed by leaders who are public about their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

The book will be released at a special event in Santa Monica, CA on Saturday, Feb. 25 and available to the public immediately following.

Learn more about Joel Workin and the Joel R. Workin Memorial Endowment here.

Julie Boleyn’s Ordination at Unity Lutheran Church of Berwyn

Julie BoleynJulie E. Boleyn will be ordained into the ministry of Word and Sacrament on January 14th at 3:00 p.m. at Unity Lutheran Church of Berwyn, located at 6720 W 31st, Berwyn, IL 60402. Your presence and prayers are requested. Clergy and other rostered leaders are invited to vest and process. The liturgical color of the day is red.

Bishop Wayne Miller, of the Metropolitan Chicago Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America will preside.
The Rev. Dr. Melanie Morrison, Director of Allies for Change, will preach.

Ms. Julie Boleyn, who is originally from Oregon, graduated with a B.A. from The Evergreen State College, in Olympia, Wa, and with a M.Div. from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. She entered seminary having worked in fundraising, and software development. She has also worked as the Vision Catalyst at Resurrection Lutheran Church in Chicago, helping the congregation live into their mission statement. She is also the Financial Education Coordinator for the Stewards of Abundance Project at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, and serves on the board of Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries. She and her partner, Jeanine Reardon, live in Berwyn with their daughter.

ELM’s Year in Review

ELM LogoJoin us in remembering the people, ministries and places our work impacted in 2011. You can skim the list, or pour a cup of tea and catch up on stories you missed from the year.

Read what YOU, our Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries community, have achieved in 2011.


Proclaim community created

In April, we launched the professional community for publicly-identified LGBTQ rostered leaders & seminarians. Proclaim now has over 80 members. You can check out the list here.

Over 60 LGBTQ rostered leaders & seminarians attended the first Proclaim retreat at Williams Bay, WI. ELM donors provided support for 18 seminarians to attend this retreat.

Registration opens next week for 2012 Proclaim retreat, ¡Vamos Tod@s!: April 18-21 in New York.

2012 Grants announced:

Thanks to your gifts, this year we had $62,000 to give to ministries across the country.

East Bay Lutheran Youth Program, Pastor Craig Minich

EcoFaith Recovery; Portland, OR; Innovative environmental ministry; Pastor Robyn Hartwig

Grace Lutheran Church; Houston, TX; Pastor Lura Groen

Welcome and Center for Gay and Lesbian Studies; San Francisco Bay Area; National program for LGBTQ homeless teens; Pastor Megan Rohrer and Pastor Dawn Roginski

St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church, Edwin Weber (Intern)

St. Luke’s Lutheran of Logan Square; Pastor Erik Christensen

Pastor Cindy Crane, Anti-bullying ministry in South Central Synod of Wisconsin

Set-Aside for 2012 Seminarian Internships

Candidacy Accompaniment Began:

Your contributions are helping to set up a network of support for LGBTQ candidates for ministry.

Randy Nelson, former contextual education director at Luther Seminary is chairing this program.

2011 Workin Scholars:

We named two Joel R. Workin Memorial Scholars: Laura Kuntz and Emily Ewing.

In Memoriam:

Paul Egertson

Ginger Georgulas

Diane Nelson DeLange

Noteworthy Highlights:

Service of Reconciliation, Restoration and Reception at St. Francis Lutheran Church, San Francisco.

EcoFaith Recovery & ELM Celebration in Portland, OR.

Rev. Pieter Oberholzer, South Africa’s “Inclusive & Affirming Ministries” 2011 PRIDE Presentation in Chicago.

We celebrated our 4th year as Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries !

We have much to accomplish together in the coming year and look forward to our continued partnership. Here’s to 2012!

-Amalia Vagts

Executive Director