Enrich & Transform: New Resource for Call Committees

By Jen Rude, program director

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.   Romans 12:2

Rev. Angela Joy Nelson.   Photo credit: Emily Ann Garcia
Rev. Angela Joy Nelson. Photo credit: Emily Ann Garcia

Is your congregation open to LGBTQ pastors?

Do you need help beginning that conversation?

Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries is thrilled to be sharing a new resource with you – Enrich & Transform: Welcoming LGBTQ Candidates into the Call Process.

ELM’s Ministry Engagement Team has been working hard gathering wisdom and insight from call committee members, LGBTQ pastors, synod staff, and bishops in an effort to develop a useable resource for call committees to become more open to the full diversity of gifts and people that God has called, including LGBTQ persons.  It’s inspiring, colorful, practical, and faithful.  And I’m going to keep this blog post short so you can get right to it.  Check it out HERE!  And help us get it out there – send it to a congregation looking for a new pastor in your area!

Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries’ wonderful friends made this resource possible through their contributions. Your continued support will help us identify and produce more tools for ministry. You make ministry happen!


By Rev. Jen Rude.  Jen is enriched and transformed by the bold and faithful people that are connected with Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries.  Today this especially includes all the voices and stories that are represented in this resource and the Ministry Engagement Team convener, Dr. Margaret Moreland, who was a champion on this project.


ELM Board

Coming Out, Being Proud

ELM Board
The ELM Board is thankful to lead the way in giving to ELM.

Amalia Vagts, ELM Executive Director

October 11 was International Coming Out Day. For some, this is a day to help make the decision to start coming out about one’s sexual orientation or gender identity. For many, the day becomes an annual ritual of “coming out” again. Visibility leads to understanding, to acceptance, to celebration.

Now we’re inviting you to come out and be proud about your support for Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries.  Many people say they support LGBTQ leaders in the church. We want to celebrate you for investing in these leaders and their ministries. 

We’ve launched new Friends Circles to bear witness and give thanks to the wonderful people who sustain this ministry. These circles give us a chance to say thank you, and give you a chance to celebrate your work with ELM. We encourage you to share the good news of your support for ELM.  We’ll thank our friends in our 2015 Annual Report and in new ways throughout the year.

  • Extraordinary Friends – those giving $10+ monthly
  • Faithful Friends – those giving $300 yearly (or $25 monthly)
  • Fabulous Friends – those giving $600 yearly (or $50 monthly)
  • Faithful & Fabulous Friends – those giving $1,000 yearly (or $84 monthly)
  • Extraordinarily Faithful & Fabulous Friends – those giving $2,500+ yearly

Matthew 6:21 states it so beautifully: ‘For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  I also like the version in The Message: “It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.”

When you invest your treasure in Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries…

You tell me it feels great to support this work. One long-time wonderful supporter was excited to find out they were now “Faithful & Fabulous Friends.” She told me, “I’ve been faithful before, but I’m not sure I’ve been fabulous!” We are thankful for ALL our friends!

Amalia Vagts
Amalia Vagts

Amalia Vagts, Executive Director, is thankful for a faithful and fabulous spouse who took part in a serious stewardship conversation and decided that he felt “extraordinarily” good about their decision to increase their monthly support.

Potlucks, Pumpkins, Provoking – Proclaim Pops in October

By Jen Rude, program director

And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.  Hebrews 10:24-25

chicago proclaimThis past Sunday, on a crisp but sunny autumn day in Chicago, a group of Proclaim members and their families gathered in the home of Rev. Michael Fick and his husband Charlie.   What a delight to be together, to catch up, to encourage each other, to talk about our work, our families, transitions, new adventures and more – all of this enriched by the delightful tastes of pumpkin and apples and other fall treats at our potluck.

As part of the evening, we shared briefly a few things that are going on in the Proclaim community and it’s exciting! This month Proclaim members are connecting as part of a book group reading Patrick Cheng’s Rainbow Theology: Bridging Race, Sexuality and Spirit, gathering to talk about Advent worship planning, and hosting conversations for those navigating being a single seminarian or rostered leader.

Although the annual Proclaim retreat is the largest gathering of the Proclaim community, this year we’ve been trying to connect in person regionally as well.  Since a lot of the work we do together is via video and conference call or email it is always so nice to see each other in 3D.

Next month I’ll be in Philadelphia gathering with Proclaim members at the home of ELM board member Jim Kowalski and Bruce Jervis, as well as connecting with students at Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia and Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg.  Your support helps make these connections possible as we seek to support and affirm LGBTQ rostered leaders, candidates, and seminarians as they faithfully serve God in our church and world by proclaiming God’s love and provoking one another to love and good deeds.

jr photo

By Rev. Jen Rude.  Jen loves a good potluck and for this Proclaim gathering made a delightful avocado-lime purple cabbage and apple slaw (okay, so mostly her partner Deb made it).  She also delights in the funny mid-western tradition where no one will take the last piece/bite/scoop/slice during a meal.