This summer First United Lutheran in San Francisco took a historic vote to unanimously rejoin the ELCA. After calling openly gay pastor Jeff Johnson, First United was suspended in 1990, then expelled in 1995. Their actions, along with those of St. Francis Lutheran Church began the movement that became Lutheran Lesbian & Gay Ministries, then the Extraordinary Candidacy Project and eventually to the formation of Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries.
Rev. Susan M. Strouse is pastor of First United Lutheran Church. Susan was on the ELM Roster for a period of time when her call was in jeopardy because she was serving First United. Susan writes about planning for the Service of Reconciliation & Healing that will take place on October 14th. Read her blog here.
Seems like only a few weeks ago Proclaim was celebrating our 100th member. And now we’re welcoming nine more wonderful people!
I’ve been thinking about the journey to becoming a Proclaim member. As I scan the names of those in the community, some are old friends; some are people I have yet to meet. Some are in ordained positions, in seminary, seeking calls. I realized every Proclaim member in my Synod, Southwest California, is in the middle of career transition. On the national level, we acknowledge some people have had a fairly easy process, with supportive congregations and families. Others have had to take a long walk through the desert to get to this point.
As I write those last sentences, I realize I could be talking about either part of our journey to Proclaim: the journey of coming out as an LGBT person, or the journey to ordained ministry! I think that’s the strength of the Proclaim community: we are people who have lived into vocation in a profound way. We bring the gifts of self-reflection that come with seeking ordination and with coming out. We have had to struggle with big questions of identity and what it means to be an authentic child of God. Hallelujah! We may experience setbacks or frustrations or great triumphs, but because of Proclaim, we are not alone in the journey.
I’m so thankful for these leaders and their ministry and so glad to welcome them to Proclaim!
Rev. Bruce Thorsen: Lutheran Church of the Ressurection: Yardley, PA
Sean Raghailligh: Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary
Angel D. Marrero: Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia
Rev. Darryl W. Kozak: Interim Pastor, Christ Lutheran Church, San Clemente, CA
Jay Berry: Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia
Jill Rode: Luther Seminary (Serving as Vicar at St. John United Lutheran Church in Seattle, WA)
Gretchen Colby: Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary (Serving as Vicar at Trinity Lutheran Church in Manhattan)
Peter Schattauer: Yale Divinity School
Joseph Graumann: Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettsburg
This post was updated on 9/17/12 at 8:18 p.m. to reflect yet one more Proclaim member!
Tyler Rasmussen was ordained at Zion Lutheran Church in Gowrie, IA on Sunday, August 26. Tyler has been called to serve as Pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Coopersburg, PA. Tyler is a member of Proclaim, the professional community for publicly-identified LGBTQ Lutheran rostered leaders and seminarians- a program of Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries.
Tyler was ordained in Zion Lutheran Church, Gowrie, IA, his childhood congregation, which also happens to be the childhood congregation of Barbara Lundblad.
The sermon was preached by Tyler’s internship supervisor, Bill Waxenberg, who was the pastor of Christ Lutheran in Dallas, TX, at the time of Tyler’s internship. Since then Pastor Waxenberg retired and became a part-time adult education director at Shepherd of the Prairie Lutheran Church, Huntley, IL. He brought with him a letter from the senior pastor at Shepherd, who happened to be the first person to enter the ministry of Word and Sacrament from Zion. One of the other ministers there that day, Katherine Werner, happened to be a founding member of Shepherd.
Tyler wrote, “So, we had continual small-Lutheran-world effect throughout the day.
“Also,” he continued, “I am officially the 24th person Zion has sent into the ministry.”
Small Lutheran world effect, but big Lutheran world impact….Congratulations to Tyler as he continues changing the church through his ministry as a publicly-identified LGBTQ Lutheran rostered leader.