Two Years!: With our 100th issue, Lutheran (True!) Confessions completes its 2nd year of publication. We look forward to many more years speaking what we have seen and heard and serving up hotdish for your enjoyment. We give thanks to God for all (you know who you are and so do we) who have helped along the way.
Ordination of Rev. Jodi Barry: On October 25 at Grace University Lutheran in Minneapolis, Jodi Barry, who serves as chaplain to Mercy Hospital in Minneapolis, was ordained extra ordinem into the Lutheran ministry of Word and Sacrament. Rev. Barry is rostered with Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries (ELM).
The Rev. Anita Hill of St. Paul Reformation Church presided at the rite of ordination. The Rev. Dan Garnaas preached. Approximately two dozen clergy participated in the service which was attended by about 200 worshipers.
Since 1990 Lutheran faith communities across the United States and Canada have revived the practice of extraordinary ordination because official church policies exclude people in loving, same-sex relationships from the church's ordained ministry.
Rev. Barry is a self-avowed "football-throwing" lesbian who lives with her spouse The Rev. Dr. Jenny Mason. She has felt a call to ministry since high school and for many years feared that there would be no opportunity to live out that calling.
She is the 16th Lutheran to be ordained extra ordinem since 1990, and the 8th since October, 2006. She is the first of the extraordinarily ordained clergy to be called to work in hospital chaplaincy and the first to be called by ELM rather than a congregation.
As reported by the Star Tribune, Bishop Craig E. Johnson of the Minneapolis Area Synod could not be reached for comment.
Lutherans Against 8: On October 20, Sierra Pacific Synod Bishop Mark Holmerud joined 11 other religious leaders announcing their opposition to Proposition 8, California's ballot initiative to revoke the right of same-sex couples to marry.
Approximately 100 people stood with the religious leaders, and according to our sources approximately 25 of those were Lutheran clergy. One far-flung reporter submitted photos of the event.
In addition to Bishop Holmerud, speakers included the Rev. Rick Schlosser, Executive Director of the California Council of Churches; the Rev. Mary Susan Gast, Conference Minister of the Northern California Nevada Conference, United Church of Christ; the Rt. Rev. Marc Handley Andrus, Episcopal Bishop of California; and the Rev. Lindi Ramsden, Executive Director of the Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry, and speakers from the the Jewish, Buddhist, and Pagan faith traditions.
The press conference was organizred by the National Religious Leadership Roundtable (NRLR), an interfaith network of leaders convened by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.
Last Call: The end is near. Saturday November 1, 2008 is the deadline for submitting responses to the ELCA Draft Social Statement on Human Sexuality
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. The Task Force will meet November 7-8 to take stock and craft a report for the ELCA Church Council which meets the following week (November 14 - 17).
For your convenience the task force has provided an On-line Response Form.
More Lutherans Against 8: On October 26 St. Matthew's Lutheran Church in North Hollywood, California will observe Reformation Day with a festive worship service, a beer, brats, sauerkraut lunch, and "No on 8" press conference. The featured speaker is Bishop Emeritus Paul W. Egertson (pictured) and Lutherans Concerned/Los Angeles will present a $5,000 check to California Faith for Equality a non-profit group supporting marriage equality.
Another Call, Another Extraordinary Ordination: On October 19 First United Lutheran Church (SF) voted unaninmously to call Jay Wilson as pastor to the Welcome Ministry where he serves as Assistant Director and works with the poor and homeless.
Jay is a graduate of Wartburg College. He received an MDiv from Luther Seminary (
Jay was removed from the ELCA candidacy process for reasons of gender identity and sexual orientation. He is approved for call by Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries and serves ELM as chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Ellipse.
Jay's ordination extra ordinem will be December 6, 2008 in San Francisco.
Extraordinary Methodists: On October 19, Annie Britton (pictured left) and Jenna Zirbel (pictured right), two women denied ordination by the United Methodist Church, were ordained extra ordinem at Mount Vernon Place Church in Baltimore, Maryland. Mount Vernon Place Church is widely recognized as the birthplace of American Methodism. The ordinations were organized under the auspices of the Church Within a Church Movement.
The Rev. Annie Britton was denied ordination because she is a married lesbian and the UMC refuses to ordain "self-avowed practicing homosexuals".
The Rev. Jenna Zirbel is a married heterosexual woman who was unanimously recommended for ordination only to be denied by the Iowa Annual Conference because of her support for gay rights.
Among the ecumenical participants in the ordination were Rev. Patricia Barth, United Church of Christ, Rev. Erik Christensen pastor of St. Luke's Lutheran Church of Logan Square and co-chair of Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries (ELM), Mary E. Hunt, a Roman Catholic feminist theologian active in the women-church movement,and The Rev. Dr. Herbert D. Valentine, Moderator of the 203rd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA)
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