Greg Egertson

Greg Egertson

Greg A. Egertson, M.Div. was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1957. The oldest of six sons, his parents are the Rev. Dr. Paul W. Egertson (Bishop Emeritus, Southern California West Synod ELCA) and Shirley Smith Egertson. Greg grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada, and in Los Angeles, California. He was raised in the American Lutheran Church and comes from a family of Lutheran pastors, including his father, grandfather and brother.

Greg graduated from California Lutheran University in 1978 with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Two years later, he completed the requirements for an undergraduate degree in Music. He worked at UCLA as a Research Associate in the Neuropsychiatric Institute until 1982, when he relocated to San Francisco. Since then, he has been a member at St. Francis Lutheran Church where has served in a number of leadership roles, including congregation president.

In 1983 Greg enrolled as an openly gay student at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary (PLTS), in Berkeley, CA. Often referred to as the “fourth seminarian,” Greg was a classmate of Jeff Johnson, Jim Lancaster and Joel Workin, “the Berkeley three.” After completing his internship at St. James Lutheran Church in Portland, OR, Greg graduated from PLTS in 1989. Because he refused to vow celibacy, Greg was not approved for ordination in the ELCA. Upon his return to San Francisco, Greg was appointed to serve on the call committee at St. Francis that called Ruth Frost and Phyllis Zillhart to serve with Jeff Johnson as the founding pastors of Lutheran Lesbian & Gay Ministries (LLGM).

In 1993, Greg became a founding board member of the Extraordinary Candidacy Project (ECP) where he served until 2003. He joined the LLGM Board in 1998 and was approved for ordination by the ECP in 1999. During his time with LLGM, Greg filled many board positions including co-chair. He helped to shepherd several extraordinary ordinations and installations of ECP pastors. He also provided key leadership in the visioning process that resulted in February’s agreement to join LLGM and ECP.

In his secular life, Greg currently holds a position as Associate Dean for Budget, Administration and Enrollment Management at Golden Gate University School of Law in San Francisco.

Julie Boleyn

Julie Boleyn (right) with family

Julie Boleyn grew up in Oregon, attending a Lutheran church for the first time at the invitation of a high school friend. While still in high school, she became a Sunday School teacher, jr. high youth leader, and sang in the choir. Almost directly upon graduation, Julie started working for a start-up software company as their first employee. While the work was interesting, she found her real joy was always in the volunteer work she did with the church.

In August of 1997 she came out as a lesbian, leaving her marriage of 2 years. It was in Bible study, not long after, that she realized that God’s love urged her out of the closet, much as Jesus called to Lazarus to come out of the tomb.  With this new found freedom and hope, she left her work in software and volunteered on long-term staff at Holden Village. It was there that she discerned a call to the ministry as a parish pastor. In May 2010 Julie completed her masters at Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.

Julie and her partner, Jeanine Reardon, were married in a church ceremony at St. Paul Lutheran in Evanston, Illinois in October of 2004.  Jeanie is training to become a chaplain, and is completing her year-long residency at Alexian Brothers Medical Center. In January of this year, Julie and Jeanie welcomed the birth of their daughter, Madelyn. They are thrilled, awestruck, and humbled by this new vocation of parenthood.

The Rev. Dr. Susan Strouse

The Rev. Susan Strouse

Rev.  Susan Strouse is a native of Pottstown, PA (near Philadelphia) and is a graduate of Antioch University/Philadelphia (B.A. in Human Services) and the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg (Master of Divinity) She has previously served congregations in Amherst, NY, Buffalo, NY, and Novato, CA. She has been at First United since December 2004 and on the ELM roster since 2009. She was on the ELM steering committee and served as the first chair of the Congregations ellipse on the Covenant Circle. Since 2010, she has served as Dean of the San Francisco conference.

In 2005 she received a Doctor of Ministry degree from the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley. Her area of study and interest is interfaith theology, particularly working with congregations and clergy to explore the meaning of being a Christian in our religiously diverse world. She currently serves on the board of directors of the Interfaith Center at the Presidio.

Pastor Susan resides in Berkeley and enjoys the CA weather, sitting in cafes, and hanging out with her “significant other” and resident furry friends.

The Rev. Dawn Roginski

The Rev. Dawn Roginski

Rev. Dawn Roginski was ordained extra ordinem at St. Francis Lutheran (SF) on June 16. Pr. Ruth Frost was celebrant; Bishop Paul Egertson (retired) and Pr. Dan Solberg, Dean of the San Francisco Conference conducted the rite of ordination; Pr. Donna Simon preached. Pr Roginski was installed as pastor of parish programs at St. Francis on June 17 (Pr. Erik Christensen preaching).

Rev. Dawn Roginski grew up Catholic in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She earned an undergraduate psychology degree from the University of Minnesota and began a career in counseling. Dawn then earned an M.A. in Counseling Psychology from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota. Dawn was promoted to program director at a residential treatment facility for seriously mentally ill patients at Boston Health Care in Minneapolis. After nearly 10 years of full-time employment at Boston Health Care, Dawn was called to ministry after presiding at a prayer service and further exploration.

Following a discernment process, Dawn became Lutheran because she felt a deep connection with the theology of Martin Luther and the way he envisioned the Gospel, and because of the Lutheran church’s strong theological grounding. She also did research, read materials and talked to other Lutherans and pastors.

Dawn transferred to Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN, and came out while attending there. Despite obstacles due to her sexual orientation, Dawn received her Master of Divinity degree at Luther Seminary December in 2002, completing her internship at Lord of Light Lutheran Campus Ministry in Ann Arbor, MI. As the only out M.Div. student she was aware of in her first year at Luther, other closeted students actively avoided her, leaving her isolated from their support. She gained strength from Pr. Anita Hill and the congregation of St. Paul-Reformation, where she became a member. In 2002, Dawn embarked on the course of eventual indefinite postponement of her approval for ordination in the ELCA. Her approval committee has never followed-up. Dawn joined the ELM Roster in 2002.

In 2003, Dawn became a part-time chaplain and part-time youth care worker at a residential treatment center for children in Kansas City, MO, providing care for seriously emotionally disturbed children and youth. Dawn developed a youth ministry program from the ground up, including groups and worship. As her programs grew, she was offered the position of full-time chaplain.

As a volunteer, Dawn’s service includes having served in leadership roles on the Lutherans Concerned/North America board.  Dawn loves music and plays in the Mid-America Freedom Band. Dawn serves on the Roster Council for ELM.  Rev. Dawn Roginski was received onto the ELCA clergy roster in 2010.

The Rev. Megan Rohrer

The Rev. Megan Rohrer

Megan Rohrer, is a native of Sioux Falls, SD. A graduate of Augustana College in Sioux Falls, Megan received a master of divinity at Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California where Megan is currently a candidate for the Doctorate of Ministry degree.

The first openly transgender pastor to be ordained in the Lutheran church, Megan has been the Executive Director of Welcome (a ministry to the homeless and hungry in the Polk Gultch District of San Francisco, CA) at Old First Presbyterian Church since June of 2002 – and has been called to this ministry by a joint call from herchurch (Ebenezer Lutheran), Christ Church Lutheran, St. Francis Lutheran and Sts. Mary and Martha Lutheran. Megan was ordained extraordinarily on November 18, 2006.

Known for creative leadership and ministry, Megan has worked with congregations across the Bay Area to transform unused land into community gardens. The most notable of these gardens is the Free Farm, a 1/3 acre farm on the former site of St. Paulus Lutheran Church which is expected to harvest 12,000 pounds of free food that will be given away to local residents.

Preaching and teaching across the country, an author for the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) Out In Season: A Transgender Encounter With the Church Year and as a facilitator of HRC’s Gender Identity and Our Faith Communities– A Congregational Guide for Transgender Advocacy, Megan is known as a leader in transgender theology.

Currently, Megan is working in partnership with the GLBT Historical Society in San Francisco on the Vanguard Project. Tenderloin street youth founded the organization Vanguard in 1966 with the support of liberal ministers, and in the context of a federal anti-poverty campaign. It is considered to be the nation’s first gay liberation organization and first gay/transgender youth organization. This project creates a series of opportunities for people living in poverty and those working on anti-poverty campaigns, to consider their place in the city vis-à-vis creative engagement with Vanguard Magazine, published from 1966-68.

Megan also served as the Director of Candidacy for Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries, on the board of Soujourn Chaplaincy at San Francisco General Hospital is an associate of the Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls, MN.

Rev. Megan Rohrer was received onto the ELCA clergy roster in 2010.

The Rev. Arlo Peterson

Inside the office of Pastor Arlo Peterson is an array of flying pigs. Not just pigs. Flying pink pigs. According to Pastor Peterson it has been said that “there will be a gay Lutheran pastor when pigs fly.” Well, on Sunday, November 11, 2001 the pink oinkers got their take off orders as Arlo David Peterson was installed as pastor of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Key West, Florida.

Ordained as a Lutheran pastor in 1974, Arlo David Peterson served congregations on Long Island, New York, and in the New York City borough of Queens until moving to Key West in 1994 to become a case manager for AIDS Help, the local organization that has a multi-faceted response to the AIDS epidemic in the Florida Keys.

“I came down here because I had friends who had suffered from HIV disease and I wanted to do something to help. I have a gift of being able to get close to people, then back away at their death and not be destroyed by it. It’s a very difficult thing to do. But I felt God was calling me to do this work.”

So Arlo and his partner, Michael Cilento, sold everything they had in New York and moved to Key West. Peterson remained on the ELCA clergy roster until he was removed without his knowledge in 1999.

He only became aware of his removal when the ELCA Board of Pensions contacted him two years later, inquiring about his status as he was still being covered by the ELCA pension and medical plans. It was only in April of 2001 that he received official word that he was off the ELCA clergy roster.

The Rev. Jen Nagel

The Rev. Jen Nagel

Pastor Jen began serving Salem English Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, MN in 2003 and was ordained on January 19, 2008.  She combines urban ministry experience, a love for working with congregations in the midst of transformation and change, and a deep care for the people of Salem and the neighborhood. Her work includes the usual pastoral duties (preaching, teaching, worship leadership, pastoral care) as well as walking with Salem in this time of re-development and partnership–a challenging balancing act and yet one that gives Jen energy. Jen is trained in intentional interim ministry.

She holds an M.Div. from University of Chicago-Divinity School, completed work at Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago and earned a B.A. at Concordia College, Moorhead Minnesota. She’s served at Central Lutheran Church and Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, in Africa, Chicago, Michigan, and outdoor ministry settings.

Jen has served on the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches.  She is a leader in the Minneapolis Area Synod and currently serves as the Co-Chair of the Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries Board of Directors.  Jen’s spouse, Rev. Jane McBride, is a pastor in the United Church of Christ and they have a young daughter.

Rev. Jen Nagel was received onto the ELCA clergy roster in 2010.

The Rev. Craig Minich

The Rev. Craig Minich

On February 18, 2001 Craig Minich was ordained as Pastor of Youth Ministries for the then named Oakland-Berkeley Lutheran Youth Program (OBLYP). Pastor Minich was called by three Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) congregations — St. Paul Lutheran, Oakland, United Lutheran, Oakland, and University Lutheran Chapel, Berkeley.  Pr. Minich is a 1999 graduate of Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary (PLTS) in Berkeley, California.  Pr. Minich established OBLYP in September of 1999 and served as a lay director until his ordination.

In 2005, with the joining of Trinity Lutheran Church in Alameda, a name change was necessitated,we changed the name to East Bay Lutheran Youth Program (EBLYP).  This ministry celebrated its 10th anniversary and serves five congregations in Oakland and Alameda in the Bay Area (Resurrection Lutheran, St. Paul Lutheran, Trinity Lutheran in Oakland, Trinity Lutheran in Alameda, and United Lutheran) and provides opportunities for children from toddler through college age.

Pr. Craig, or PC as he is known by his youth, is also adult chair of the Sierra Pacific Synod Youth Committee.  He was elected in 2007 and before that served on the committee for 6 years over terms as an adult representative for District C and the assistant to the chair.  This youth-led, adult-guided team plans and puts on 4 youth retreats in the Sierra Pacific Synod (SPS) each year.  The SPS is, geographically speaking, a vast synod and takes much effort to pull together.  He and the youth are dedicated to engaging the youth across the synod and to helping create community in places where Lutherans merely dot the map.  “We are spread out, but when we gather, we have a loud voice!”

On the day of his ordination, PC was interviewed by a local news station. On that day he said:

“I have always felt an affinity for teaching and working with kids. We have a strong emphasis on Christian education, building relationships, service and fun!” He goes on, “I have been called to be pastor of Youth Ministries by three strong justice-minded congregations who believe that God’s love is more powerful than outdated church law which is discriminatory and degrading to gay people. The gospel calls us to be whole people and to live with integrity.”

Highlights of PC’s ministry include:

1.Uniting youth from disparate ethnicity’s, social, and economic realities into a unified group.

2.Leading youth in a variety of local service projects to help youth get invested in their communities and to see the wide-ranging realities of people living there.

3. Leading youth to get outside their communities by traveling to synodical, regional and international spiritual development retreats.

4. Leading youth to experience the larger world around them. PC has led groups to Tijuana, Mexico; South Africa; El Salvador; and Rwanda.

Craig was born and raised in Land O’ Lakes, FL (near Tampa).  Raised outside the church, he attended Lenior-Rhyne College and was an adult convert to Lutheran Christianity.  He was baptized on April 15th, 1993 at a campus ministry service just one month prior to his graduation. After graduation, Craig worked as a camp counselor at Lutheridge summer camp in Arden, NC and went through confirmation of sorts with his campers each week that summer.

He began to feel the call to ministry by the end of that summer and worked again at Lutheridge the following summer. He entered PLTS the following fall.  He came out to himself as a gay man his second year at PLTS and thrived as he reconciled his sexuality with his call.  He lives with his partner Bruce in San Carlos and loves snow-boarding, supporting the San Jose Earthquakes MLS soccer team, going to theater and concerts, and playing the video game, Rock Band.

Rev. Craig Minich was received onto the ELCA clergy roster in 2010.

Vince Lavieri

The Rev.Vince Lavieri

Vince was ordained in 1977 by the Michigan Synod of the Lutheran Church of America. He served three LCA congregations as pastor in Michigan, in Dearborn (assistant pastor), Albion, and Greenville. In the Michigan Synod he served on the Stewardship, Youth Ministry, and Peacemaking committees.

Because of ELCA’s former policies, Vince was unable to continue on the ELCA roster. He continued in service to Christ’s Church on the Stewardship Commission of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan. Under the auspices of an American Old Catholic church body, he served as pastor in adult foster care home ministry in Greenville, Michigan.

In the United Church of Christ, Vince served as an associate pastor in Muskegon, Michigan. For the Michigan Conference UCC, he served on the Conference Board of Directors, and on the Grand West Association’s Council and New Church Start committee. He currently serves as a pastor in the Ohio Conference UCC.

Vince, a native of Chicago, graduated from North Park College (Chicago) and the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. He did his Clinical Pastoral Education at the University of Michigan Medical Center. He is also a member of the State Bar of Michigan’s Legal Assistant’s Section.

The Rev. Lionel Ketola

The Rev. Lionel Ketola

The first openly gay seminary student in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, Lionel’s openness regarding his sexual orientation resulted in the removal of his endorsement as a candidate for ordination by the ELCIC in 1988. For the next fourteen years, Lionel worked in the non-profit sector with a variety of church-related and social service organizations and trained as an expressive arts therapist.

Sensing the Spirit’s nudge to once again pursue his call to ministry, Lionel was endorsed for candidacy by ELM in 2004. On May 16, 2008 Lionel became the first openly gay man in a same-sex marriage to be ordained extra ordinem by a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. Lionel is presently involved in a full-time CPE residency at St Joseph’s Healthcare, Hamilton, along with a part-time chaplaincy ministry at Mackenzie Place, Newmarket ON.

Lionel and his husband Steven Loweth were married on new years’ eve 2003, and make their home north of Toronto close to family along with the beauty of Ontario’s “near north”.