• 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

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
  • RSS The Wild Reed

    • Autumn Leaves October 9, 2015
      See also the previous Wild Reed post:• Autumn Beauty• An Autumn Walk Along Minnehaha CreekImages: Michael J. Bayly.
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
    • The Body: As Sacred and Knowing as a Temple Oracle October 8, 2015
      As I approach my 50th birthday, Julia Cameron's words on the human body as teacher and guide ring especially true for me. I also think that it's fair to say that our Western consumerist society is one that idolizes youth and certain types of bodies. Yet Cameron's words remind us all of the beautiful gift of our body, no matter its shape or con […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
  • RSS Bilgrimage

    • Weekend Blogging Hiatus October 9, 2015
      Dear Readers,I am traveling this weekend and participating in a panel discussion at an academic society meeting, and so I won't be posting on the weekend. I've closed the last three discussion threads for the period in which I won't be blogging, since, in my view, some of the discussions are heading off on tangents that are not really producti […]
      noreply@blogger.com (William D. Lindsey)
    • On Evil and Angelic Troublemakers: What Bayard Rustin (and Martin Luther King and Gandhi) Were About October 9, 2015
      Colleen, thank you for reminding me that angelic troublemakers should not forget their vocation to be troublemakers. The point on which I'm insisting over and over in comments here lately is that I think we should struggle to keep aiming at the angelic side of the equation, too.Constantly shouting that those we're challenging are evil may be very s […]
      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

    • Rest in Peace Father John McNeil September 25, 2015
      One of the very great patron saints of the gay rights movement in the Catholic Church and the  US passed away on September 22. I can't begin to express how much I owe to him and how deeply his death has moved me. I feel somewhat the way I felt with the news of Thomas Merton's death so many years ago - that there was no longer anyone left that one c […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Richard Cameron )
    • Back from Summer Camp August 31, 2015
      Just returned from eight intense non stop weeks of summer camp with Czech kids. Exhausted beyond words, but I wouldn't have missed a moment of it. Thankfully, the world and it's woes were far, far away from us.Now it's back to reality.Here are some of my adorable kids walking through the forest in a happy mood.
      noreply@blogger.com (Richard Cameron )
  • RSS The Jesus Manifesto

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

  • RSS Perspective

    • Day 4 of the synod October 9, 2015
      Today's press briefing included some comments from Archbishop Charles Palmer-Buckley of Accra, Ghana ... Archbishop Charles Palmer-Buckley of Accra, Ghana, said that the world needs to be patient with Africa when it comes to dealing with issues like homosexuality. “Give countries time to deal with issues from our own cultural perspectives,” he said. He […]
      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


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 150 other followers

%d bloggers like this: