The Rev. Dr. Robyn Provis has been called as pastor at Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church in north Minneapolis, MN. Robyn served at All God’s Children Metropolitan Community Church in Minneapolis and completed a one-year appointment as Interim Senior Pastor for MCC Austin in Austin, Texas. Robyn was received on to the ELCA roster in 2011. She lives in Richfield with her partner, Kathy Luebbe. Robyn is a member of Proclaim, the professional community for publicly-identified LGBTQ Lutheran rostered leaders and seminarians.
“I am forever grateful to the public ministries and activism of so many. To go from a fear that I would never see full inclusion in my lifetime, to being called to a heritage church that isn’t yet RIC, I am reminded that God has a vast capacity for joyful surprise!”
Proclaim member the Rev. Bradley Schmeling has accepted a call to lead St. Paul’s largest ELCA congregation. On March 25th, the congregation of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church has voted overwhelmingly to call Pastor Bradley Schmeling as its new senior pastor. He will join the Gloria Dei pastoral staff in mid June. Bradley made national headlines for being put on trial by the Lutheran Church for being in a relationship with his partner Darin Easler, also a Lutheran minister. Bradley and Darin are both members of Proclaim.
Bradley shared these words about his new call, “I always knew that God would lead the church to change the policy and open ministry to everyone with a heart to serve. I’m just not sure I imagined that a move to Minnesota would be part of God’s plan, too. While I’m very sad about leaving St. John’s, I’m excited about ministry at Gloria Dei. It’s a great church with a love of tradition and a heart for social justice. ”
Gloria Dei Lutheran Church has about 2,300 members, making it the largest ELCA congregation in St. Paul. Raja David, Gloria Dei’s call committee chair said that, “The people of Gloria Dei told the committee what type of pastor we needed, and Pastor Bradley aligns with those needs in every way. We are honored by his acceptance of our congregation’s call.” The press release Gloria Dei wrote can be found here.
On Sunday, March 18, the Rev. Jen Rude was received onto the ELCA Clergy Roster in a service held at Grace Lutheran Church in Evanston, IL. Rev. Rude was ordained extraordinarily on November 17, 2007 at Resurrection Lutheran Church in Chicago. She has received a call from the Metropolitan Chicago Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America as pastor at the Night Ministry. Bp. Wayne Miller presided at the service.
Like the 18 other people who were extraordinarily ordained, Jen was barred from serving in the ELCA for many years because of her sexual orientation. Thanks to supporters of Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries and the members and leadership of Resurrection Lutheran, Jen was able to follow her call to ministry and continue on the path that led to her current ministry with homeless LGBTQ youth on the streets of Chicago. Read more about the historic ELM roster here.
The Sunday afternoon service included a rousing sermon from the Rev. Dan Ruen, Pastor at Grace. You can listen to it here. Lutheran blogger Obie Holmen attended the service and you can read his reflections on the service here.
Many parts of the service were organized by Micah 6:8, a group at Grace that makes clear the congregation’s welcome to all people, especially the LGBTQ community. This included a beautiful reception hosted by members Tony Garcia and Tim Schannep.
Proclaim member Rev. Mark Erson of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Manhattan is launching a weekly LGBT-friendly drop-in night for homeless youth. Up to 50 youth are expected to attend the drop in which will include meals and activities. St. John’s is looking to help the LGBT youth they often see walking outside their doors. Pastor Mark said the volunteer-staffed, grant-funded drop-in night for those roughly aged 15 to 25 will give visitors a hot meal and a place to relax, and may even grow to include theater and arts programs.
One of the highlights of the 2012 Proclaim retreat will be inspiring worship. The Worship team has been working hard to bring together diverse voices and worship resources, using the ELW hymn, Vamos Todos al Banquete/Let Us Go Now to the Banquet as a central theme. Bishop Gene Robinson will preach at the Opening Eucharist and the Rev. Jen Nagel will preside. At the closing Eucharist, Sara Cogsil will preach and the Rev. Dr. Guy Erwin will preside.
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. Jen Rude about when she first thought our ministry was worth supporting and why she’s continued to invest in our mission. In Jen’s words:
I remember visiting seminary as a college student, longing to be there, although I was convinced that pastoral ministry was not in my future because of the then-policies of the ELCA. While in Berkeley I had lunch with a local pastor, Pastor Jeff Johnson (one of the first three pastors extraordinarily ordained), and over pie he told me about the Extraordinary Candidacy Project (one of the predecessor bodies to ELM). All of a sudden, there seemed to be a way where there was no way before. My heart was opened and filled with possibility for living out a call to ministry.
Starting then I became involved with ELM, through the professional network of rostered leaders and seminarians, as a Joel R Workin scholarship recipient, and now serving on the board. It was largely because of the work of ELM that I have been able to receive a call to ministry and serve as a pastor. I give my time and money because my heart is with this community and I see it making a difference – both in my own life and ministry and in the larger church. I am inspired by the ways that ELM continues to creatively make new ways and open possibilities for ministry and I want to be part of this spirit-filled work!
Rev. Jen Rude serves on the Board of Directors for ELM and is Proclaim program chair. She lives in Chicago, IL and was the first Joel Workin scholarship recipient.
This year ELM donors are supporting Welcome and the Center for Lesbian & Gay Studies with an ELM Mission Grant.
These ministries serve LGBTQ homeless youth through programs that focus on empowerment and fostering leadership. Rev. Megan Rohrer serves as director of Welcome. Rev. Dawn Roginiski serves as Associate Coordinator at the Coalition for Welcoming Congregations (at the Center for Lesbian & Gay Studies). Both are members of Proclaim, the professional network for Lutheran rostered leaders and seminarians who publicly identify as LGBTQ.
Dawn and Megan recently led a Bay Area retreat on spirituality with LGBTQ homeless youth. Excerpts from a storytelling group are compiled in the video link below. This is a part of the stories Megan is gathering from across the country. Because the participants are under 18, their faces are excluded to protect their anonymity.