by Amalia Vagts, Executive Director
It has been nothing short of a whirlwind for Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries these past few weeks. When I tell people that our work is “fruitful & multiplying,” some days I’m tempted to add, “maybe a little too much all at once!”
It is a glorious thing to see all the ways in which our belief in the extraordinary gifts of LGBTQ people in ministry is taking root and flourishing. Last week, the Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries’ Board met to discuss and plan the ministry we are doing through our Proclaim, Accompaniment and Ministry Engagement programs. Over the last few days, ELM Program Director Rev. Jen Rude and I each spent time at the ELCA Conference of Bishops meeting as they engaged in conversation about many matters related to our work (including candidacy, theological education, documents related to LGBTQ relationships and families, among other things). There are 211+ Proclaim leaders engaged in the most inviting and fabulous of ministries. There are an additional 68 volunteers actively engaged in ELM’s ministry across the church right now.
Yesterday, I offered the chapel talk at Luther College as part of their fall chapel series, “With Good Courage.” The opportunity presented a great chance for me to connect and make sense of the many directions we feel pulled in these days – and the purpose of why so many of us continue in this work.
“How many people hear something inviting and captivating about God, or the Lutheran church, or grace, or communion and come check things out only to get completely fed up with the reality of what they find in our churches, and like Gallio finally say – “I can’t be bothered with this nonsense!”
How many? Too many. And more and more all the time.
But, thank God, some have heard the call from God, “Do not be afraid, but speak and do not be silent; for I am with you,”
Speak – and do not be silent.
Because there is so much good here in the church and in the Gospel.”
May you be renewed and clear in your purpose, your sense of self, and your voice these days.
Amalia Vagts, ELM Executive Director, is thankful for a Board, staff, and volunteers who are passionately committed to ministry by LGBTQ people. She is also thankful for a supportive partner who reminds her when it’s time to come home and go for a walk.