An Update from the ELM Board of Directors!

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Greetings from the ELM Board of Directors!

Thank you for the extraordinary support you continue to provide ELM and the LGBTQIA+ leaders we serve! Your ongoing commitment to our organization inspires and empowers us to continue in our belief that the public witness of gender and sexual minority ministers transforms the church and enriches the world.

No doubt, you will not be surprised to hear that 2020 has been a year unlike any in the recent history of ELM. Some of the plans and priorities we set at the start of this year have had to be paused or delayed in getting going as our Board and staff adapted to the realities of a global pandemic.

Canceling the 2020 Proclaim Gathering was a hard and sad decision to make — the staff and many of the Proclaim members and Spice (Spouses of Proclaim members) on the Board know how integral that event is to the sustained care and celebration of our community. We are proud of the ELM staff and volunteers for the ways they have continued to buoy our community through creative programming and unceasing advocacy.

This fall, the ELM Board of Directors made significant progress in our strategic planning efforts as we look to discern ELM’s mission and vision in our current time and context. We engaged a visioning consultant as well as strategic conversation partners to help our Board and staff articulate both who ELM is and how we engage our mission in the church and in the world today as well as into the next five years. We are excited to share the results of our work with you in the new year!

ELM is an organization that takes anti-oppression seriously and strives to be anti-racist in all of the ways we engage both our ELM community and the wider community of the church and world. As such, the ELM Board underwent the first of a two-part training on ableism at our fall retreat and we continue our efforts to interrogate and review existing policies and practices while at the same time creating new organizational documents that help to articulate our values and give shape to how we function as a staff, Board, and community.

We are thrilled that the ELM Endowment will be making its first grants this winter to ministry partners who share ELM’s commitment to lifting up and supporting queer ministries and leaders. The ELM Board anticipates receiving recommendations from the ELM Endowment Committee (Peter Beeson, Amanda Gerken-Nelson, Jim Kowalski — chair, Margaret Moreland, and Margarette Ouji) at our December meeting with announcements and grants offered in early 2021. Thank you to Blanche Grube and Joe McMahon, who rest in light eternal, for their love and shared belief in our mission that inspired them to set the foundation for this Endowment. And, our thanks go to all of you who have ELM as part of your estate plan who will continue to make bold, faithful, queer ministries possible for years to come!

Finally, our thanks to our fellow ELM Board of Directors for their dedication, passion, and wisdom which help to fan the flame of our movement and to ensure ELM remains the beacon of hope, liberation, and justice for all queer leaders we strive to be.

With joy,

Emily Ann Garcia, Co-Chair

Matthew James, Co-Chair

The ELM Board of Directors

Emily Ann Garcia, Co-Chair

Vancouver, BC

Matthew James, Co-Chair

Racine, WI

JM Longworth, Secretary

Rutland, VT

Jan Peterson, Treasurer

Omaha, NE

Kelsey Brown

Brooklyn, NY

Jessica Davis

Norristown, PA

Emily E. Ewing

Des Moines, IA

Jeff Johnson

Berkeley, CA

Margarette Ouji

Berkeley, CA

Suzannah Porter

Baltimore, MD

Clyde Andrew Walter

Glenview, IL

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