By Amalia Vagts
ELM Executive Director
As you read in last week’s blog past, our recent Proclaim Gathering for LGBTQ leaders focused on stories. The theme was “Queer stories/Sacred Witness.” One of the “a-ha” moments for me is that there is no “story” of this movement. No story is alike, no two people have had the same journey. There are countless individual stories – told together, these stories create a tapestry of a movement and an organization.
At the end of our time together, we spent some time in group conversation and reflection. We hung three sheets of paper on the walls, asking individuals to share their responses to the following prompts; “The queer stories/sacred witness of ELM was/is/will be…”
Words and phrases leap off these three pages – “holy & prophetic,” “life-saving,” “truth-telling,” and “expansive.”
One person wrote this on the “Will Be…” sheet:
“Something we don’t have words for yet.”
As we move deeper into the process of identifying the next strategic steps for Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries and the Proclaim Community, our individual stories must be realized, shared, and heard.
As one person wrote, we are called to “remember the past, live in the present, and proclaim the future.”
Amalia Vagts has served with Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries since 2006. Part of her story includes meeting John Brett at a Reconciling in Christ training in Portland, OR in 2005, and having her life changed as he shared some of his own story. Pictured together at the recent Proclaim Gathering (John Brett, part of the Proclaim Community and a seminarian who serves with the San Francisco Night Ministry is currently on street retreat with the Faithful Fools in San Francisco).