Each month we are inviting people who support Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries to share how and why they are involved with our ministry. This month we hear from Rev. Erik Christensen about when he first thought our ministry was worth supporting and why he’s continued to invest in our mission. In Erik’s words:
As I prepare to leave the ELM Board of Directors after six years serving as its Co-Chair, I’ve been asked to reflect on the first time I thought ELM’s ministry was worth supporting. What an odd question– considering it was ELM (and its predecessor bodies, Lutheran Lesbian & Gay Ministries and the Extraordinary Candidacy Project) that first thought my ministry was worth supporting. I entered the ELCA’s candidacy process in 1998 and was removed from that same process in 2004 for being openly gay and unwilling to endorse the denomination’s former policies of exclusion. In spite of all my training and preparation, the ELCA wasn’t able to support my ministry. ELM was.
I was first rostered for ordained ministry by the Extraordinary Candidacy Project in 2005. This community, the ELM community, was the first to step out and publicly support my ministry – and I have been publicly, and financially, supporting the work of ELM ever since. Even now, having been received onto the ELCA’s roster of ordained clergy in 2010, I continue to give my time and my treasures to support the work of ELM because I know that publicly-identified LGBTQ seminarians, rostered lay leaders and clergy need a well-funded and organized network to support and sustain them in their ministries as they change hearts and minds across this church, one person at a time.
Erik Christensen serves on the Board of Directors for ELM and is finishing his term as Co-Chair later this month. He lives in Chicago, IL and is pastor at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church of Logan Square.