• RSS Queering the Church

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
  • RSS Spirit of a Liberal

    • Gonna Stick My Sword in the Golden Sand September 15, 2014
      Gonna Stick My Sword in the Golden Sand: A Vietnam Soldier's Story has just been released. The title comes from a stanza of the gospel traditional, Down by the Riverside, with its refrain--"Ain't gonna study war no more." Golden Sand is a bold, dark, and intense retelling of the Vietnam experience through the eyes of an army scout that is […]
      Obie Holmen
    • Gay Games Symposium July 21, 2014
      I am pleased and honored that the UCC has asked me to moderate a symposium during the games entitled Queer Christians: Celebrating the Past, Shaping the Future. [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
      Obie Holmen
  • RSS There Will be Bread

    • Where Are You? October 26, 2011
      Greetings to all others who grace these pages! Thank you for stopping by. If you still have a reader pointed here, this blog no longer publishes in this location, but can be found at this new link. Please subscribe to the new feed, get the new blog via email or read us by liking us on Facebook or by following me on Twitter.If you want more, please feel free […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Fran)
  • RSS The Wild Reed

    • At the Mall of America Today, a Necessary Disruption to "Business as Usual" December 21, 2014
      Earlier today parts of the Mall of America, the largest shopping center in the U.S., were shut down by police and mall officials in response to a rally that Black Lives Matter advocates held in the mall's rotunda.Although it's only a 10-15 minute drive from my home, I didn't make it to today's rally at the Mall of America. I support the B […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
    • Out and About – Autumn 2014 December 20, 2014
      With the winter solstice just days away, it seems appropriate to pause and look back on some of the events of my life this autumn. I periodically do this type of looking back in The Wild Reed's "Out and About" series. I began this series in April 2007 as a way of documenting my life as an “out” gay Catholic man, seeking to be all “about” the S […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
  • RSS Bilgrimage

    • Gay-Bashing Suspects in Philadelphia to Be Formally Arraigned: Update on Previous Story December 19, 2014
      Remember those young folks in Philadelphia, all graduates of the same Catholic high school, who were charged this past September after they beat a gay couple to a bloody pulp? If you need reminding of that story, click the label "Philadelphia" below, and what I've posted here — with links to various news reports — will pop up. An update: as Da […]
      noreply@blogger.com (William D. Lindsey)
    • Vatican Report on U.S. Nuns: Valuable Commentary by Joan Chittister, Christine Schenck, Sandra Schneiders, and Tom Fox December 19, 2014
      Some brief excerpts of responses to the Vatican report on American women religious that have struck me as well worth reading:Joan Chittister maintains that the lingering questions about why this witch hunt took place and what role women are to have in the church point to the following conclusion:These are the questions that will make real both the concern of […]
      noreply@blogger.com (William D. Lindsey)
  • RSS Enlightened Catholicism

  • RSS Far From Rome

    • the way ahead March 23, 2013
      My current blog is called the way ahead.
      noreply@blogger.com (PrickliestPear)
  • RSS The Gay Mystic

    • Barracuda - a Young Gay Teen Novel December 10, 2014
      A significant contribution to gay teen literature, but not without its exasperating flaws.I had to struggle to finish this book, but I persevered to the end because I respected the author's intentions and his deliberate efforts to integrate the gay sexuality of his central character into the narrative without making it a central issue. We are still in d […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Jayden Cameron )
    • Religion of the Gypsies December 7, 2014
      I am very pleased that my first book review at Crime Scene Reviews is the sweeping historical saga, Dosha, Flight of the Russian Gypsies, by Sonia Meyer (Author Interview here) which I’ve selected from Book Club Reading List. This deeply moving account of the tragic plight of Russian Romany gypsies is an appropriate choice for this site because it deals with […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Jayden Cameron )
  • RSS The Jesus Manifesto

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
  • RSS John McNeill: Spiritual Transformations

  • RSS Perspective

    • Do Christmas movies have to be about the first Christmas? December 20, 2014
      - from The Bishop's WifeThere's a post at Crux - The trouble with Christmas movies - that I thought was interesting. It was asking why there weren't more Christmas movies actually about the birth of Jesus. I guess it's true that most Christmas movies, aside from The Nativity Story, are set at Christmas in various different eras but aren […]
      noreply@blogger.com (crystal)

Today is the day: ELCA rosters gay clergy

From the moment they called the question and the resolution passed by a 55-45% majority at last August’s ELCA churchwide assembly, Lutherans knew that partnered gay clergy would soon become rostered on the list of ELCA ordained clergy.

Today is the day.

A visible sign of the wondrous changes in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is the reinstatement of Pastor Bradley Schmeling and Pastor Darin Easler to the roster of ministers of the ELCA. Both had been removed from that roster for being in a committed, same-gender relationship.

The leading Minnesota newspaper, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, reported on the local angle, noting that Darin Easler had earlier served in the SE Mn synod (now my home) and also mentioned Anita Hill whose own celebrated case in St Paul was an important waypoint on the journey toward full inclusion.

Because they both had been rostered before, the process was different than for them than, say, the Rev. Anita Hill, who has been pastoring St. Paul-Reformation Lutheran Church in St. Paul since 2001 without being on the ELCA roster. She said that she’s going to apply for rostering but is waiting so that the distinction of being first goes to a California minister who was the first lesbian to challenge the old ELCA policy.

And, speaking of the 20 year old California extraordinary ordinations of gay and lesbian pastors, here is a video that retells and celebrates the story of Jeff Johnson, Phyllis Zillhart, and Ruth Frost.  The video was released on the Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries (ELM) blog.  Susan Hogan at Pretty Good Lutheran’s blog has more background information, and I also cite my own past post.

Cross posted at Spirit of a Liberal blog.

6 Responses

  1. Obie,

    How is the ECLA dealing with their self-imposed requirement that the relationships had to be “publicly accountable”? Are same-sex marriages publicly accountable in Minnesota?

    • David,

      Are you expecting the ELCA to be peeking through the bedroom window?

      I think the terminology, “publicly accountable” is self-explanatory. It doesn’t say marriage or civil union, but if either status is legally available to a committed same-gender couple, I think there is an expectation that the couple will avail themselves of such legally recognized relationships. But, the terminology recognizes that such legal relationships may not always be available; thus, publicly accountable includes but is not limited to marriage or civil union.

      As you well know, Minnesota does not recognize gay marriage nor offer civil unions, but that does not prevent the ELCA from recognizing publicly accountable same-gender relationships for partnered gay clergy in this state. Note that Pastor Anita Hill of St Paul is now eligible for rostering.

    • Obie,

      How is “publicly accountable” self-explanatory?

      I don’t expect people to be peeking through the window. But, I would expect that there would have to be some kind of accountability mechanism. As I recall the debate, there was concern with regard to how to distinguish various kinds of sexual relationships, and “publicly accountable” meant that there had to be some kind of official secular recognition.

      I had understood that for heterosexuals, clergy had to be within a marriage relationship. For homosexuals, I understood that there had to be some kind of equivalent institution. I never understood that homosexual clergy could make up their own rules on what constitutes publicly accountable.

    • Obie,

      I reread the ELCA Sexuality Statement. “Publicly accountable” clearly means within the legal contract of marriage.

      • If your interpretation held sway, the ELCA would be in the awkward position of allowing states to determine whether partnered gays were eligibile for ordained ministry. That is, if a state allowed gay marriage or civil unions, then the ELCA could ordain those gays who were married or in a civil union under the laws of that state. But, if the state allowed neither gay marriage nor civil unions, then the ELCA could not ordain partnered clergy in that state.

        I cite the situation of Pastor Anita Hill in St Paul who is now eligible for rostering and will become rostered soon, but who is not eligible for marriage or a civil union since Minnesota allows neither.

      • Obie,

        Here are some quotes from the document:

        1. Lutherans have long affirmed that the public accountability of marriage, as expressed through a legal contract provides the necessary social support and social trust that are intended to be sustained throughout life and within changing and often challenging life situations.

        2. The public character of marriage also implies a civil responsibility.

        3. This also suggests a way to understand why this church teaches that the greatest sexual intimacies, such as coitus, should be matched with and sheltered both by the highest level of binding commitment and by social and legal protection, such as found in marriage.

        4. … it [the church] does not favor cohabitation agreements outside of marriage.

        I don’t see much room for interpretation.

        Do you know if the ELCA provides the opportunity for religious ceremonies in states that don’t have civil marriages for same-gendered partners? Perhaps that is the solution in states like Minnesota that don’t have same-gendered marriages.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 148 other followers

%d bloggers like this: