How to receive a copy:

Those giving $25 or more may request this book be mailed to you as a thank you gift for your donation to ELM.  

Write “Joel Workin Book” in the memo line of your check or the “note” section of your online gift.  Make your gift to Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries. 

Mailing address: ELM + PO Box 14317 + Chicago, IL 60614-8503

About the book:

Read the Rev. Erik Christensen’s foreword to Joel Workin’s book here.

On February 25, ELM released the 2nd edition of this incredible collection of essays and sermons. The new edition features a new foreword by the Rev. Erik Christensen, as well as several never before published sermons, including the sermon Joel preached at the Rev. Jeff Johnson’s installation at First United Lutheran Church in 1990. Editor Michael Nelson has gone through stacks of material to select pieces for the new book. Joel’s parents, Betty and Ray Workin have generously underwritten the costs of the second edition. Proceeds benefit ELM’s mission.

Joel’s writings have been a resource to numerous LGBTQIA+ rostered leaders and others. He embodied ELM’s core belief that the church is changed by leaders who are public about their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

About Joel:

Joel Workin (left) and Paul Jenkins
Joel Workin (left) and Paul Jenkins

Joel Raydon Workin (1961-1995) was born in Fargo, ND, and grew up on a farm in nearby Walcott. He received his Master of Divinity from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, Berkeley, CA. In 1986 Joel interned at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Inglewood, CA.

In the fall of 1987, Joel came out publicly as a gay candidate for the ordained ministry and was certified for call by the American Lutheran Church (a predecessor body to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America). Following this courageous and faithful act, Joel’s certification was revoked by the ELCA and his name was never placed on the roster of approved candidates waiting for call.

Joel’s ministry continued in Los Angeles, however, at the AIDS Healthcare Foundation and as Director of Chris Brownlie Hospice. On December 30, 1988, Joel married Paul Jenkins. Joel was a member of St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church, North Hollywood. He and Paul were active in Lutherans Concerned/Los Angeles and Dignity/Los Angeles. Paul died of AIDS on June 6, 1993.

In the last weeks of his illness, Joel gave his friends and family permission to sponsor an endowed memorial fund in his name. The Joel R. Workin Memorial Scholarship Fund was thus established upon Joel’s death on November 29, 1995.

Information on the Joel R. Workin Memorial Scholarship Fund.