Churchwide Assembly

2013 in Review

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Churchwide Assembly
You were an important part of our 2013 journey.

Thanks to you, it’s been another full and productive year for Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries.  If you missed a few stories, or just want to look back at all you helped accomplish, we’ve gathered together our top stories of the year.

Our Proclaim community grew to 143. This means that in less than three years, the number of publicly identified LGBTQ rostered leaders and candidates has TRIPLED.  Wowza.  We launched a new section on our website, Proclaim Profiles, to help you learn more about the leaders you are supporting. Read Profiles.

A number of folks in Proclaim received calls.  For some these were first calls – including the Rev. Erik Haaland (called to Christ Church Lutheran in Minneapolis, MN), the Rev. Sara Cogsil (called to University Lutheran Church in East Lansing, MI), the Rev. Matthew James (called to Trinity Lutheran Church in Worcester, MA), the Rev. Jeanine Reardon (called to St. Paul Lutheran in Evanston, IL and specialized ministry in chaplaincy).  And others began new calls: Rev. Paul Clark (Chaplain at Fresno State University), Rev. Jenny Mason (Light of the World in Farmington, MN), Rev. John Roberts (Unity Lutheran in Chicago, IL), and Rev. Mark Allred (Program Director for American Indian & Alaskan Native Ministries for the ELCA).

Oh and then there was that other call…the Rev. Guy Erwin was elected Bishop of the Southwest California Synod of the ELCA making history (and the news!). Full Story.  And a link to all the news coverage here.

We said goodbye to a beloved member our community, the Rev. Paul Brenner, who passed away on February, 24 2013.  Full Story.

And we walked with many Proclaim members who still await call. Chris Wogaman shared his take on this experience in a guest blog. Read it here.

We held our biggest Proclaim Retreat yet! LGBTQ leaders and their families gathered for renewal and learning in sunny California. Full Story. Or if you like to see it in pictures, check out our retreat slideshow.

Thanks to you – and in response to a growing need – we greatly expanded our outreach to LGBTQ Lutheran candidates for ministry in 2014. Full Story.

We launched a major resource for ELCA Candidacy Committees working with LGBTQ candidates.  Full Story and resource download.

Ministry Engagement
This was a year of transition for the way that we support LGBTQ-led ministry. 2013 marked the final year (for now) of direct grants to congregations and ministries. We provided nearly $1 million in grant funds since 1995. In 2014, we are launching Ministry Engagement, a new way of connecting with ministries led by LGBTQ-leaders – and those that are open to it in the future.

You helped support fantastic and successful ministries like EcoFaith Recovery and pastors like the Rev. Robyn Hartwig in Portland, Oregon. Full Story.

You provided support for mission development ministry like Spirit of Hope in Detroit, MI, led by the Rev. Matthew Bode. Full Story.

You helped fund four internships for LGBTQ seminarians – from Denver, CO to Victoria, British Columbia! Full Story.

Joel R. Workin Scholar
You supported Gretchen Colby Rode, our 2013 Workin Scholar. Full Story. Gretchen shared some reflections in a guest blog post here.

Other Noteworthy Highlights
Of course, a major development this year was saying goodbye to long-time staff member, Rachael Johnson, and expanding our staff to include a  new full-time program director. We’re delighted that the Rev. Jen Rude began this important role in October of this year! Full Story

The Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries Board of Directors approved a new mission and vision statement and affirmed a multi-year strategic plan.  Full Story.

The Rev. Jenny Mason traveled to her former missionary site in Chile and had a powerful experience. Read More.

Executive Director Amalia Vagts was able to give an important LGBTQ perspective in The Lutheran. Read the essay.

Lastly, we launched a new 6 -minute video to help you introduce your friends and congregation to ELM. Share this video widely! Click the photo below to watch the video.




We couldn’t do any of this without you.  We haven’t finalized our 2013 numbers, but over 425 individuals and congregations and two foundations shared their resources to help us raise $207,886 for LGBTQ leaders and LGBTQ-led ministries. Friends also gave special gifts totaling $14,300 towards the Joel R. Workin Endowment. All of this work happens thanks to your generosity and faithful support. Thank you for your wonderful involvement in 2013 and for joining us as we head into 2014!

One Reply to “2013 in Review”

  1. Amalia,

    Very good and full year-end report (and using links to specific stories, rather than stuffing everything into one big box, was the way to go).


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