ELM Pride Worship Service


The grace of Jesus the Christ, the love of God the Creator, and the communion of the Queer-making Spirit be with you all. 

I am The Reverend Nicole Garcia, pastor of Westview Church in Boulder, CO. I welcome you all to this worship service to commemorate Pride. The mission statement of Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries is, “Freed and compelled by the Gospel of Jesus Christ to proclaim God’s love and seek justice for all, Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries envisions a church where all can serve God according to their callings.” 

These powerful words were lived out through the decades when individuals were “Extraordinarily Ordained.” ELM enabled so many of my friends and colleagues to answer their call to ministry. These powerful words are lived out today as we witness the church lifting up more people from the LGBTQ+ community into positions of leadership. 

Today we give thanks for those who endured the pain of rejection, but refused to leave the church they loved. Today we give thanks for those who have taken leadership roles in the church. Today we give thanks for those who will continue to tear down the walls that separate us, so the message of love and inclusion of Jesus Christ can become a reality. 

Today, our worship service will include Holy Communion. You are invited to set a place for a patten and chalice near the place where you will participate in the service. If you would like to receive Holy Communion, have bread and wine or grape juice ready. Any kind of bread or gluten-free option is fine. Any cup will serve as your chalice for wine or juice. You may also choose to only use bread and it will still be a full experience of the sacrament. If you don’t feel comfortable with this way of receiving communion, that is fine. When the Words of Institution are uttered, you are invited to raise the bread or cup, respectively, at the same time, I am raising the bread or cup. In this way, we are church together.  

Let us begin…

Call to Worship by Rev. Brenda Bos- Spoken by Rev. Nicole Garcia

Creative One,

You were in a very good mood the day You created us.

Fabulous and faithful, free and fierce

Made in Your own image.

Beautiful, brave. 

Vulnerable, vibrant.

We are the people You have called us to be, 

Liberated, Longing, Loving.

Filled with the hope of the rainbow, Set free by Your gifts of grace.

We marvel at your love

We bow to your mercy.

We live because of your forgiveness.

Join us in these moments

And in our lives

We offer once again 

All of ourselves given to You, 

Who first gave all of Yourself for us.

Alleluia, Alleluia, all praise and honor are Yours,

Now and forever, 

All: Amen.

Thanksgiving for Baptism, adapted by Rev. Brenda Bos- Spoken by Nicole Garcia

We give you thanks, O God,

for, in the beginning, you called forth life from the waters of chaos.

At Stonewall our siblings met chaos with courage, shouting “No” so we now can receive “Yes”.

Through the waters of the flood, you delivered Noah and their family.

The Berkeley Four faced their own rising waters of fear and rejection, 

But they held firm in their faith that you would save them from the maelstrom.

At the river, Jacob wrestles with your messenger and receives a blessing,

and you give him a new name.

In 2009 you gave us a new name: “Ordained” in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. 

Through the sea, you led your people Israel into a new identity as a free people.

The extraordinarily ordained, those who came out later in life, those who never thought they would 

Live to see same-gender marriage; we are now a free people. 

At the Jordan, your Beloved was baptized by John and anointed with the Holy Spirit.

By water and your Word, you name us all as your beloved children,

All genders, all sexualities, all people, now claim themselves as 

heirs of your promise and servants of all.

We praise you for the gift of water that sustains life,

Poured out for all people, 

washed clean of the shame and fear the world

Wishes to put upon us. 

Raised up to new life in Jesus Christ, 

God’s most glorious gift,

Embodied in each of us through the Holy Spirit, 

All praise to you, Living God, now and forever.

All: Amen. 

Gathering Hymn Canticle of Turning- performed by Deacon John Weit and Rev. Matt James

An excerpt from Joel Workin’s Essay “The Prodigal Church”- Luke 15: 11-32 read by Greg Egertson

Usually, when we hear St. Luke’s story of God’s grace in the parable of the “Prodigal Child,” we the listeners are cast in the title role. Not a bad part, actually, since as the stars of the show we get to satisfy all of our carnal desire and still have things work out back home in the end. A sort of have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too role. And that great swine scene: “I will arise and go to my father!” 

The other alternative, of course, is to be cast in the villain’s role and play the big bad Elder Sibling who will not cut anyone a break. Not a bad part either. Anyway, as I say, this is how it usually works out. Usually. 

In the story of the Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgendered/Queer people and the church, however, the customary roles are reversed. The Church, God’s understudy, which usually retains for itself the role of warm and waiting Parent, is now the one that has taken the “journey to the far country.” 

In this drama, with the Church off living its carnal and sinful life, LGBTQ Christians are suddenly thrust into the role of Forgiving Parent and are left standing, if I may use this rural image, by the mailbox at the end of the driveway waiting for the Prodigal to come home. What does it mean for the church’s LGBTQ people to play the part of this often overlooked, mostly inactive character of Forgiving Parent? If prodigality and hospitality have both been taken away, what is left to do? The parable answers back quite simply: wait

It is curious to note that in the parable the Prodigal wises up without anybody’s assistance or advice (save the swine’s perhaps). Will the church do the same? 

We as the grieved party, have the power of forgiveness. But, whereas one may forgive, it takes two to be reconciled. 

Childish as the Church may seem and act, it is not a child. LGBTQ Christians, therefore, await a Church that comes home as an adult. Not happily perhaps, not jumping and skipping, even some fear and concern, but of its own will and confessing with its lips and heart that “I have sinned against you and against God.” A church which is dragged home, seduced or tricked home does not end the wait. No, we do better by waiting, waiting expectantly, lovingly and hopefully by the mailbox for a repentant return, rather than playing juvenile games about recognition, policy, and the like. 

It is not easy to hope and to believe in future reconciliation when a loved one says “No, period,” and blithely walks away. It is not easy to stand ready to forgive and to welcome home with open arms. Personally, I would rather be the star and squander the family fortune. That sounds like a lot more fun. The parable, however, says, “Hope, believe, wait.” There is more to be said. This show is not over yet. 

Just you wait. 

Genesis 9:12-17- Bishop Susan Johnson of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada

God said, “Here is the sign of the covenant between me and you and every living creature for ageless generations: I set my bow in the clouds, and it will be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth, my bow will appear in the clouds. Then I will remember the covenant that is between me and you and every kind of living creature, and never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all flesh. Whenever my bow appears in the clouds I will see it, and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature on the earth.” God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all living things on the earth.”

Psalm 13- Margaret Moorland

1 How long, YHWH? Will you forget me forever?

How long will you hide your face from me? 2 How long must I wrestle with my anguish,

and wallow in despair all day long?

How long will my enemy win over me? 3 Look at me! Answer me, YHWH, my God!

Give light to my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death, 4 lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed,”

lest my foes rejoice when I fall. 5 I trust in your love;

my heart rejoices

in the deliverance you bring. 6 I’ll sing to you, YHWH,

for being so good to me.

Gospel Matthew 10:40-42 “Those who welcome you also welcome me, and those who welcome me welcome the One who sent me. “Those who welcome prophets just because they are prophets will receive the reward reserved for the prophets themselves; those who welcome holy people just because they are holy will receive the reward of the holy ones. “The truth is, whoever gives a cup of cold water to one of these lowly ones just for being a disciple will not lack a reward.”

Sermon – Rev. Jen Rude 

Hymn of the Day – San Francisco’s Gay Men’s Chorus- “Truly Brave”

Queer Christian Creed, Created by Rev. Emily E. Ewing, Rev. Brenda Bos, and Katy Miles-Wallace- Spoken by Rev. Asher O’Callaghan. 

I believe in God the Creator,

who designed all good things,

including people of all gender identities and sexual orientations.

I believe in Jesus Christ, Sophia, the Word,

who came to earth to live among us,

who was born into a non-conventional family

that adored Jesus even when they didn’t totally get it,

who confounded authorities and comforted the oppressed.

Jesus was so hated by the Empire that they took the earthly body of God,

crucified it, mocked it, killed it,

and threw it in a grave as one of so many marginalized people..

Jesus knew personal Hell.

On the third day, God celebrated the wonder of the human body

and the power of resurrection over death and oppression.

Women were the first to declare Christ risen.

Jesus ascended into the realm of beauty,

and They continue to move among us,

blessing and sustaining us.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, all music, wonder, and strength.

I am a member of the Body of Christ.

I cherish the communion of the saints,

live because of the forgiveness of sin,

emulate the resurrection of the Body

and already experience life everlasting. Amen

Prayers of the People, adapted by Margarette Ouji from enfleshed.com

In the midst of chaos and calm, and all that keeps our spirits wild, overwhelmed, or troubled, we pause.

We pause to remember each other as those whose precious and precarious lives are inherently bound together. We pause to remember the gifts of water, of trees, of beauty, of the land each of us inhabits.

We pause to remember our neighbors – distant and near.

And so to the One who is Love, we bring the prayers of our communities. Where we share in joy or concern, let us respond together, “Beloved, as the world turns, hear our prayers.”

Let us pray…

We pray for our elders whose labor of love we show reverence to. We pray for St. Francis and First United, the first congregations that called our LGBQTIA+ siblings as their pastors thirty years ago. For the congregations that followed courageously and faithfully in their footsteps. 

Beloved, as the world turns, hear our prayers.

For the ones who never tasted the freedom they fought for. For the ones who were forced to the fringes of their own movements. For the allies who suffered beside us, casting their lot with us in true solidarity. For the ones forgotten and betrayed.

Beloved, as the world turns, hear our prayers.

For the ones who are struggling with feelings of isolation and shame. For those who have no safe place or people to retreat to. For those who are unsafe in their homes and communities during this pandemic we find ourselves in. 

Beloved, as the world turns, hear our prayers.

For the black and brown bodies who have been murdered by the state. For our black, brown and indigenous trans siblings. For the ones who speak truth to power. For the protestors who will not cease until justice is served. For the ones who took risks, who dreamed.

Beloved, as the world turns, hear our prayers.

For all those who hunger for justice and liberation today. For all who are suffering in the world and in our church at the hands of white supremacy. For those imprisoned by the state. For those whose land has been taken. For the land we occupy that does not belong to us. For the earth that groans beneath us. For those without food or shelter. For those who have yet to repent.

Beloved, as the world turns, hear our prayers.

We pray in gratitude for all that nourishes and sustains us. For the gifts of beauty and friendship, shared meals, and art, and love. For laughter. For pleasure. For the friends, lovers, and comrades who lift our spirits, always by our side when the days are heavy. For the freedom we have in Christ. 

Beloved, as the world turns, hear our prayers.

For your presence within and around us, in our highs and lows, and everywhere in between. In our hope and our despair, Creator, we give you thanks. Hear our prayers and deepen our willingness to show up with and for one another, sharing in each other’s burdens and working for one another’s protection and care. Amen.


If you would like to make an offering to ELM please click here: https://bit.ly/elmoffering

Offering Music “Gracious Spirit, Heed our Pleading” provided by Tasha Gerken-Nelson & Rev. Amanda Gerken-Nelson


God is with you.

And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.

We lift them to God.

Let us give thanks to God.

It is right to give our thanks and praise.


It is indeed right our duty and our joy

That we should at all times and in all places

Give thanks and praise to you

Lifegiving God.


We thank you, divine Seamstress

For you never stop creating.

From the dawn of time, in our mother’s womb, and even in the age to come,

Your creativity is as endless as eternity.

Even today you are knitting us your people 

Into a garment of many colors.


We thank you, Holy Spirit, 

For you do not allow us to grow complacent.

You stir up dreams and visions within us

Making us restless for a new Heaven and a new Earth.

You clothe us with power to bring these dreams to life.

In you, we are beginning to see all things anew.


We thank you, Christ our Savior

For your wondrous transformation

Word made into flesh.

You challenge us with foreign experiences

Teaching us that those we thought were strange and cut off

Are members in your holy body.

Therefore, with Joseph and all of Israel’s children, 

With the confused disciples and the Ethiopian eunuch,

With all who have shown us your way,

All who have gone before us,

And all those we gather with this day,

We praise your name:


Holy, holy, holy God of power and might. Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is the one who comes in the name of God. Hosanna in the highest. 


Jesus is made known to us in the breaking of bread 

and in the pouring out of the Holy Spirit. 

We remember how, on the night before he was

crucified, Jesus took bread, gave thanks broke it and said, 

this is the bread of life. 

Every time you eat it together, remember me.


Again, after supper, Jesus took the cup, 

gave thanks, and gave it for all to drink, saying: 

this cup is God’s love poured out for you 

and for all people for the forgiveness of sin, 

whenever you drink it, remember me. 


We remember that night Jesus spent with his friends,

and we feel their presence with us now,

brought into our midst by faith and love,

opening our eyes to a new reality.

We ask God, through the Holy Spirit

to bless these gifts we offer and share,

making them Christ’s body and blood,

and we Christ’s holy people.


Together with all the church, we give you thanks:

Creator, Redeemer, Spirit of love.

Bind us together. Open our hearts.

Grant us peace. Amen.


Lord’s Prayer

Using the language of your own heart, let us pray together the prayer Jesus taught us: (you may use the following or other similar words in any language)

Our Parent who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. 

Thy reign come. 

Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 

Give us this day our daily bread. 

Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. 

Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. 

For thine is the reign, the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen. 



Come and your souls will be fed. Come at the Holy One’s invitation and eat

the bread of salvation; drink of Jesus’s love poured out for you.

Before we share communion, let us pray together:

God, in this time of physical separation from our church

family, we give you thanks as we partake in your gift of grace,

Holy Communion. As we receive this meal, remind us of your

forgiveness and promise of eternal life. This we pray in Jesus’

holy name. Amen.



This is the body of Christ given for you.


This is the blood of Christ shed for you.



Post-Eucharistic Prayer: 

Queer-making Spirit, you made darkness and light and twilight called them good; sea and dry land and everything in between; genders trans, cis and all that is beyond and outside. Yet this world, this life, and this feast are but a foretaste of your celestial realm. Nourish our hearts and bodies so that the loves we have fought for, fuel us to keep fighting until the kin-dom of God is come. We ask this in the name of the one, holy, and undivided Trinity.

Sending Song – “Beloved” – The Eschatones (Caitlin, Emily, Anne, Carolina & Christina) 


Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers,

nor things present, nor things to come,

nor powers, nor height, nor depth,

nor anything else in all creation,

will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.

God, the creator, ☩ Jesus, the Christ,

and the Holy Spirit, the comforter,

bless you and keep you in eternal love.


Today’s Worship Leaders
Presiding: Rev. Nicole Garcia

Preaching: Rev. Jen Rude

Priests for Equality. The Inclusive Bible. Sheed & Ward. Kindle Edition.


St. Francis Gala Honoring Bp. Guy Erwin

Erwin Installation
Bp. Guy Erwin with members of Proclaim.


This festival Gala Dinner will honor The Rev. Dr. R. Guy Erwin, Bishop, Southwest California Synod. Please join us to celebrate the election of the first publicly identified LGBTQ ELCA bishop, who is a member of Proclaim!

ELM Executive Director Amalia Vagts and ELM Program Director Rev. Jen Rude are attending.  This event is a benefit for St. Francis and ELM. Get more information or RSVP by visiting here.

Festival of Reconciliation & Restoration at St. Francis Lutheran Church, San Francisco

On Sunday, February 27 at 3 PM at St. Francis Lutheran Church, 152 Church Street, San Francisco, CA 94114 the Sierra Pacific Synod of the ELCA and St. Francis Lutheran Church invite you to The Festival of Reconciliation and Restoration, with the Rite of Reception, for St. Francis Lutheran Church to be restored as a congregation of the synod and of the ELCA.  Bishop Mark Holmerud, presiding.

Following the service there will be a GALA event starting at 6 PM to celebrate this historic occasion.

In 1990 St. Francis took the courageous step of calling Ruth Frost and Phyllis Zillhart as their new pastors. This action led to a trial, and in 1995, the removal of the congregation from roster of congregations of the synod and of the ELCA.

Formal invitations will be mailed out to members and friends of St. Francis.  If you would like to join us just email us at st.francissf@sbcglobal.net and we will forward to you an invitation.

Human Rights Campaign Clergy Call May 22-24

New Website for Clergy Call 2011

Clergy Call for Justice and Equality is being held May 22-24, 2011 in Washington, DC. Registration for this years conference is $50. Get more information and register here.

“In 2009, 250 clergy and religious leaders from all backgrounds and faith traditions joined us in Washington to make history by standing as a unified voice for justice and equality.  Together they brought that voice to Capitol Hill ensuring Congress knew that people of faith believed in fairness for LGBT people.

Religious leadership has been critical to the successes we have seen: the passage of the “Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act,” marriage equality in 5 new states and the District of Columbia, and the legislative repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”  We have made huge strides but much more remains to be done.  Join us this May as we continue to build a faithful movement that advocates for LGBT rights, locally and nationally.”

EcoFaith Recovery Party with ELM!

Young girl and Rev. Robyn Hartwig
Eco-Faith Recovery Director Rev. Robyn Hartwig

Join other friends of EcoFaith Recovery to share food, drumming, dancing & stories with each other and Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries’ Executive Director Amalia Vagts.
Sunday, February 13, 2011 + 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Redeemer Lutheran Church + 5431 NE 20th Avenue; Portland, OR

Schedule of Events
6:30 p.m. – Drum and Dance Circle with “Simply in Season” Salad Buffet
7:00 p.m. – Stories of EcoFaith Recovery
7:45 p.m. – Stories of Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries
8:00 p.m. – Dreaming together for the future of ELM and EcoFaith Recovery

*In thanksgiving for Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries, we will be welcoming donations to ELM that will support other creative and courageous Lutheran ministries across the country. EcoFaith Recovery is the direct result of a seed grant from ELM. All are welcome! Please RSVP to director@elm.org or PastorRobyn@aol.com. Then bring a percussion instrument, and come out for a great time!

You will learn more about ELM’s work to expand ministry opportunities for publicly-identifed LGBTQ Lutheran rostered leaders. You will also learn more about the various ministries of EcoFaith Recovery which were created with an ELM grant.