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Gordon Straw Joins ELM Board of Directors

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The ELM Board of Directors met for their August meeting yesterday evening, welcoming the newest member of the Board, Rev. Gordon Straw.

Gordon Straw

Gordon Straw

Gordon brings years of experience in organizational development, development of lay ministry leaders, and experience and commitment to intercultural competency. Gordon is an enrolled member of the Brothertown Indian Nation. He currently serves as the program director for Lay Schools for Ministry in the ELCA and is a former director for American Indian/Alaska Native ministries in the ELCA. Gordon is married to Evelyn Soto and they have a daughter, Amanda, who will begin her second year at DePauw University, Greencastle, IN in the fall.

Gordon writes,

“I am joining the ELM board because I want to make more public my personal commitment to the full inclusion and participation of LGBTQI leaders in the ELCA. While in Lutheran Student Movement, I began to make connections between my own personal struggle with acceptance of my “mixed blood” identity by others and the struggles of LGBTQI people with acceptance of their sexual and gender identities by the Lutheran church. This journey began in 1978; I like to say that I had been living with a bound conscience in the church, until 2009. I hope to bring together my passion for developing leaders for the church and my commitment to full inclusion and participation of LGBTQI persons in the church.”

The ELM Board of Directors consists of twelve individuals with diverse experiences and talents. These leaders are: Dr. Margaret Moreland (Berkeley, CA); Rose Beeson (Washington, DC); Asher O’Callaghan (Minneapolis, MN); Rev. Dr. J. Elise Brown (New York, NY); Jim Kowalski (San Francisco, CA); Ángel David Marrero-Roe (Boston, MA); Dr. Jeremy Posadas (Sherman, TX); Rev. Julie Boleyn (Chicago, IL); Charlie Horn (Pitman, NJ); Rev. Mike Wilker (Washington, DC); and Rev. Gordon Straw (Chicago, IL).

GET INVOLVED: Are you interested in serving on the ELM Board of Directors? We are always interested in talking more with potential  board members who have passion for and commitment to ELM’s vision and mission. Board terms are three years long and run from March 1 – March 1. Please reach out to Amalia Vagts, Executive Director, if you would like to learn more.


Amalia Vagts

Amalia Vagts

Amalia Vagts, Executive Director, gives thanks daily for the passion, dedication, wit, and wisdom of the ELM Board of Directors.

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