Recapping the October Board Meeting

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By Emily Ann Garcia and Matt James
Board Members who were present included Matt James (Co-Chair), Emily Ann Garcia (Co-Chair), Margaret Moreland (Secretary), Emily Ewing, Matta Ghaly, Jeff Johnson, and Brad Froslee. ELM’s Treasurer, Charlie Horn, was present as well.  ELM staff who were present included Amanda Nelson and Olivia LaFlamme.  Board members absent from the meeting included Barbara Lundblad and newly joined board member Angela Shannon.
This past October ELM’s Board of Directors met for one of two annual in-person meetings at the beautiful Nicholas Center in Downtown Chicago. Each meeting we endeavor to remind ourselves of who Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries is by keeping our Explicit Practices before us, we share them with you now as a reminder of who you are as a Proclaimer, supporter, ally of ELM and the incredible LGBTQIA+ ministers that continue to transform and enrich the world.
ELM Explicit Practices:
  • We respond boldly to God’s love and call to justice in these ways:
  • We listen deeply.
  • We publicly claim our identities.
  • We work collaboratively.
  • We act transparently.
  • We ask, “Who is not here?”
  • We speak truthfully, even when it’s hard.
  • We laugh together.
With a fuller slate of staff, we all felt there is great energy and potential as God’s Spirit leads us into the future.
We spent time dreaming about where we might hope to see ELM go as we move forward together toward the edges of our work.
Guided by our Explicit Practices listed above, we asked ourselves:
  • What would ELM look like in five years if we lived into these edges?
  • What could we do, starting now, to help us get there?
We dreamed of how we might continue to support Proclaim members doing fabulous, ground-breaking ministry around the country and around the world.
We dreamed of how we might continue to be a beacon of God’s justice in-breaking into God’s world:
  • Continuing the journey of being an anti-oppression organization;
  • Providing fabulous opportunities for continuing education and professional development that speak to our community;
  • Supporting Proclaimers who are called to Mission Development/Redevelopment;
  • Continuing to reimagine what it means to be the community of Proclaim and how we might support those in myriad ministries in and around the church; and
  • Continuing to walk through the challenge of supporting the great work and ministry of ELM through fundraising and other resources.
These conversations will guide the board’s and staff’s work in the coming months as we live into our dreaming.
We also had the opportunity to meet with the President of ADLA (African-Descent Lutheran Association), the Rev. Lamont Wells.  ELM and ADLA got the chance to get to know each other, and start imagining what kinds of next steps we might take to work more closely together in the future.
The Board’s next meeting will be a conference call on December 20th.  The next in-person meeting with be held March 14-17, 2019 in Berkeley, CA.
Questions or concerns you may have for the Board may be directed to Executive Director, Amanda Nelson ( who will pass them along to the Board’s Executive Committee.

Bio: Emily Ann Garcia and the Rev. Matthew James are the Co-Chairs of the ELM Board of Directors. Emily resides in Vancouver, British Columbia and is a Proclaim SPICE (spouse of a Proclaim member). The Rev. Matthew James lives in Chicago, IL and is the Director of Admissions at LSTC. He and his husband, John Weit, are both Proclaim members.

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